If you are anything like my family you love seeing hummingbirds buzzing around your yard in the warmer months. In honor of my grandmother who passed just under a year ago, this blog is for her. She loved hummingbirds and always had feeders and decor and talked about the birds regularly. It became a family thing as my mom also has feeders at her house, I have one at my house, and my sister and I (and soon to be mom too!) have tattoos of lilies and hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds seem to be this mysterious bird that not everyone gets the chance to see, but it's not because they are uncommon or mystical creatures, but that you just may not have what attracts them in your yard. After spending the weekend at the lake my mom and I found one of grandma's feeders and made some nectar and I thought I would share what we did for anyone who would like to give it a shot.
First, get yourself a feeder. This is not a bowl you set out on a table and say voila! These feeders are specially made for hummingbirds and their long beaks. You can get a cheap plastic one at the Dollar Tree (where I got mine LOL) or you can get a fancy looking glass one at Theisen's or your local farm store. I will say that glass is the better option as plastic can create bacteria faster which is bad for the birds, and you will want to change the water more often with plastic.
Second, you will need measuring cups. It is a 1:4 ratio sugar to water. You can make any amount that you want if you're good at math but I am not so simple is the way I go. You will need 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water. That's it. Thank you for coming.
But really, that's all it is. When I made mine the other day I started off with hot tap water (you can use boiled water if you want the sugar to dissolve faster) and poured it over the sugar while I stirred. Side note, you can buy pre-made nectar at a farm store and some garden stores, and it is red. Hummingbirds are attracted to red but that does not mean putting red food dye in the nectar, you can just purchase a red feeder if you'd like. If neither your nectar or feeder is red, that's okay, they will still check it out. Now, if you are good at math, you know that 4 cups is quite a bit. Whatever does not go in your feeder you can save, but to be safe I would dispose of the extra after about 8-10 days. After all, you will want to change out the water in the feeder every 3 days or so (ya know, for bacteria) so you should not have to waste much.
Once you have the nectar made, pour it into your feeder. It's cool if you got skills and can free pour it, otherwise a funnel will work just fine. I do not have a funnel, so the creamer cup from one of my china sets will do it. Once it's full put on the bottom or the top or the lid or the bottle and flip 'er over. Then hang it outside. There is no right or wrong place to hang it, usually in front of a window or on a porch if you want to be able to see if you have visitors, but anywhere in your yard will work.
Some of you may want to see hummingbirds but are too busy or just do not want to do the feeder thing. No problem. There are a few plants you can put in your yard or garden that bloom gorgeous flowers that hummingbirds like. Typically it is anything with a "bell bloom" like hostas, hibiscus, morning glory, petunias, foxglove, and bleeding heart to name a few. If you do not mind the planting and waiting to bloom and do not need immediate satisfaction the plants will work for you. I on the other hand, have a feeder because I like right now results, and because it's the wrong time of year to plant anything that will not bloom until next year.
Since I have put my feeder out a couple days ago, I have seen one bird visit (I hung mine in the backyard so I cannot always see it) and it was a dark colored bird so I was very excited as I've only seen green ones in the past. If my dollar feeder worked, yours will too!