19 June, 2008

Sugar High, Sugar Low!

I make my own Hummingbird Nectar. (Recipe follows...) There's a problem, though. I can't keep the feeders filled. Seriously, I plowed through a 5 pound bag of sugar in just two weeks! The hummingbirds around Chez Goodneedle are jazzed. They're high on sugar and I'm low (as in inventory)! Part of our "getting ready for retirement" regimen is Happy Hour on the side porch every evening watching the birds while sipping a glass of wine. We were treated to the antics of a Downy Woodpecker the other evening. I think he liked it here, he invited his friends on over to join him for a feast of sunflower seeds... a Cardinal and a Chickadee. "C'mon.. there's room around the feeder for everyone. Don't worry, she'll get more"! Looks like I need to get to the grocery store, my fine feathered friends are demanding it counting on me.

Life is Good!

Hummingbird Nectar:
-1 part sugar/4 parts water
-Boil the water first, then measure and add sugar, at the rate of 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water.
-Let cool and store excess in refrigerator until ready to use.
-Do not add food coloring, honey (which ferments), or artificial sweetener, which has no nutritional value.
-You will need to clean your feeder about once a week. According to the National Audubon Society, this should be done by rinsing with one part white vinegar to four parts water. If the feeder is dirty, try adding a few grains of dry rice to the vinegar solution to help scrub it clean. Follow the vinegar wash by rinsing three times with clear, warm water before refilling with sugar solution.

9 comments:

Quilt Memories said...

We have several hummingbirds that visit us each year, and I sure do miss seeing them, but my neighbor is taking good care of them. She has always made enough " food" for both of us to use and if I should forget she comes over and gets the feeder and cleans it and refills it about once a week. I love to watch them, but I don't do very much outside, so it's either her or my DH that takes care of them. It's wonderful to have good neighbors, and a good DH! We're coming home in about 11 days, can't wait. Bobbin

Pam said...

We have a hummingbird feeder off our deck as well but we have one hummingbird that is pretty aggressive and keeps all others away from the feeder. It is quite amazing to watch how he buzzes them off. I think there are a lot of feeders in the neighbourhood so each bird might stake out their own territory.

We do the exact thing as you - a nice glass of wine on the deck while the hummingbird buzzes around. I love to hear when they are doing their mating call.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I fill our birdfeeder every morning and our birds know it... cardinals, red headed finches, blue jays, doves, sparrows of countless varieties, and - this morning - a nuthatch!

We've seen a few hummingbirds passing through, but haven't committed to keeping a feeder for them just yet...

paula, the quilter said...

On the news recently, folks up in the high country were told to take down both hummingbird and birdseed feeder because the bears were not finding the amount of food they need. When that happens the bears raid the feeders and garbage cans. I do not feed either type of bird. I do, however, plant flowers that feed them. Does that count?

mamaspark said...

Thanks for the recipe! I will try it once again. The raccoons tend to tip it at night and then my poor hummers get nothing!

mamaspark said...

Thanks for the recipe! I will try it once again. The raccoons tend to tip it at night and then my poor hummers get nothing!

momma_donna said...

Do you see hummers all summer long? I just see them in spring and fall in Oklahoma. I also have trouble with ants invading the feeders. How do you deal with ants and your hummingbird feeder?

Libby said...

My Dad used to have Stellar jay that visited every evening for happy hour. Martini for the human - peanuts in the shell for the bird. They had the best time *s*

The Carter's said...

This will be a fun project that me and my girls can do!! Thanks for your recipe!! ((smile)) I do love birds...especially my grandma!

Bye (smile)