Attracting Hummingbirds

It's easy to invite hummers into your yard. Follow these tips...

1. Provide a hummingbird feeder: Make sure to keep it fresh. These small birds need high energy food sources such as a sugar water mixture. In hot weather, don't fill your feeders up to the top. You can add more, rather than waste nectar that is likely to ferment in heat and sun.

2. The ideal sugar water mixture for hot or dry weather is one-quarter cup of sugar per cup of water. This is the mixture that is available at Pasquesi.

3. Do not use honey when mixing your own nectar. It contains different sugars that spoil faster than sugar and water.

4. Clean feeders at least once a week with hot water and a bottle brush. Don't use soap or detergent.

5. Because mold grows readily in sugar water an can attach to feeders, make sure to take the feeder apart when cleaning. Use a dishwasher on a hot setting or hand wash either with soap and boiling water or with a dilute bleach solution. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry before refilling.

6. If you have a bee, wasp or ant problem, try moving the feeder. Don't put oil or other sticky substances around ports to deter insects; you might contaminate the nectar or soil the birds' feathers.

7. Several small feeders spread around your yard may attract more hummingbirds than one large feeder. Male hummers tend to be aggressive and one bird may keep others away from the feeder, even if there's plenty food to go around.

--Cornell Lab of Ornithology