I admit that one of my outside hobbies is bird watching. I can’t remember when I wasn’t fascinated by the winged creatures and my mind wandering, then grabbing my bird identification book to find out what just flew by! Living in the city, hanging bird feeders and leaving trays of water for thirsty birds and squirrels during the hot Texas summer provided entertainment for my cats and for myself. Hummingbirds are fun to watch, and occasionally, a less skittish bird will hover a few feet away. They are also very territorial about the feeders, so hang more than one. There is no reason to add food coloring, and it could be detrimental to the health of the birds. A standard recipe for hummingbird food is below. Hang up some feeders and enjoy the aerial show they put on for you!
I am a bird nerd. I love watching them in my back yard, catching bugs and hunting for seeds. A few years ago, I purchased two hummingbird feeders. The feeders came with packets of food; a mixture of sugar, food coloring and a preservative. I did a little research, and found that the red food coloring and preservative are not necessary to attract the hummers. So with another quick search, I found a recipe for cheap and easy food. The recipe can be reduced or increased depending on what the feeders will hold. It is a very simple 4 to one ratio, one part sugar and four parts water. I recommend having a least two feeders because the little beasts are very competitive and will claim and guard their feeders. Hang them where they can be seen inside and out. Clean the feeders at every fill to avoid a build up of sugar and molds. The feeders will also attract other birds, and here in central Texas, my visitors include House finches and Scott’s Orioles. Enjoy the action, sometimes you may need to duck as the hummers chase each other!
For 4 cups or about 2 feeders
4 cups water
1 cup granulated sugar
Combine in a glass bowl of measuring cup and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Place a bamboo skewer in the container. Set your microwave on high for 3 minutes. Repeat as needed to bring the mixture to a full boil. Remove from the microwave and allow to cool until filling your feeders.