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Ring the Dinner Bell for Hummingbirds and Orioles - Nectar Recipes
Spring is just around the corner. Our nectar eating feathered friends that went south for this very tough winter we just went through will soon be making their way north to help us chase the winter blues away. You guessed it; the Hummingbirds and Orioles will soon be showing up. With this in mind I was looking over my feeders and noticed they needed a little TLC before they could be put into the yard for another season of service. I headed to my local bird store and picked up some new bee guards and a bottle scrubber. I went home and I went to work. It took about a half hour and my feeders were clean and ready to go with the hummingbird feeder equipped with new bee guards.
Now it’s time to fill your feeders with Nectar. You can go to the store and buy pre-made Nectar for both Hummingbirds and Orioles, or you can have a little fun, and save some money, by making your own Nectar. This is a great project for the kids to help with and a great way to get them interested in birding.
Here are recipes for Hummingbird and Oriole Nectar.
Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
· 4 parts water
· 1 part white sugar
Mix 4 parts water and 1 part white table sugar together, bring mixture to a boil then immediately remove from heat (boiling slows the fermentation process). Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool before filling your feeder. Store any extra solution in the refrigerator.
Though not necessary, and for appearance purposes only, you may color the Hummingbird Nectar Red by adding a drop or two of Red food color to the solution.
Oriole Nectar Recipe
· 6 part water
· 1 parts white sugar
Mix 6 parts water and 1 part white table sugar together, bring mixture to a boil then immediately remove from heat (boiling slows the fermentation process). Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool before filling your feeder. Store any extra solution in the refrigerator.
Though not necessary, and for appearance purposes only, you may color the Oriole Nectar Orange by adding a drop or two of Red and Yellow food color to the solution.
When you refill your feeder, which should be done at least once a week, make sure you clean it completely. Use hot water and a mild detergent, or a mild solution of bleach and water. This will keep your feeder free from mold.
Do NOT use artificial sweeteners or honey as a substitute for sugar for either recipe .
Because of the sugar based mixture used as food, ants can become a major problem to your Hummingbird or Oriole feeder. Ants will get into the feeder, drown and foul the food solution causing your birds not to feed. The best way I've found to combat this problem is to use an Ant Moat. This simple but effective gadget hangs between what ever you use to hang the feeder from and the feeder itself. The moat is filled with water and the ants are turned away from your feeder. In the summer heat the water will evaporate so you must be diligent in keeping the moat filled.
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