Get ready, they are back
The hummingbirds have already been spotted in our province this year! My wife has already put her feeder out.
Hummingbirds will return to the same feeders year after year — if feeders have not been put out yet, birds will come to hover around looking for it.
Though they’ll be tired and hungry this time of year, it is not true that you must put out your feeders’ first thing to attract the birds all summer. Birds will find your feeders even if you put them out later.
Feeding hummingbirds is fairly easy. Why don’t you give it a try this year?
Here are the dos and don’ts of feeding:
Do: create the proper food for your feeder.
The recipe for hummingbird food is simple. Mix one part sugar with four parts water and pour it into a hummingbird feeder. Some people boil the mixture but that’s not necessary
Don’t: add red dye.
The idea that people should add red dye to the sugar water to attract the birds is a huge misconception; the dye can be toxic.
Do: use a red feeder and put red accents in your garden
A feeder that incorporates red, as well as red garden accents, will attract hummingbirds. Avoid feeders that incorporate the colour yellow as that can attract bees and wasps.
Do: thoroughly clean the feeder weekly to prevent fermenting.
Fermented syrup can make the birds sick or kill them.
Do: hang the feeder in a quiet area protected from predators.
A hummingbird feeder that sticks with suction cups on the outside of a window is ideal… where squirrels and raccoons can’t reach the delicious liquid. To deter ants, add soapy water to the feeder’s moat.
Don’t: hang the feeder in a windy area where it will swing.
Do: Prevent ‘squabbles’
Nova Scotia gets ruby-throated hummingbirds, which migrate south to Mexico or Central America each winter but return to the same feeders every spring. Hummingbirds, especially males, are REALLY territorial over food sources and will fight with one another over feeders. To prevent this, add another feeder in a different area — the front of the house rather than the back. You may also attract other birds to the feeders such as Baltimore orioles and downy woodpeckers.
Do: Plant real flowers to add variety
Hummingbirds also love real nectar from real flowers. They enjoy any species with long cone-shaped flowers, especially those that are red or purple. They can be both annuals and perennials.
They’re coming (CLICK HERE TO SEE THEIR MIGRATION IN REAL TIME), so get your feeder out and keep your camera handy. I’d love to see pictures of your new feathered friends!