Feeding the Hummingbirds

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If you’re like me you probably feed the birds, especially the hummingbirds!

I put out my first feeder of the year on March 15th, every year. That might seem a little bit early for zone 7 but the scouter hummers arrive first. They source out places with lots of flowers and feeders!

Hummingbird at feeder
Hummingbird at feeder

The first pairs typically arrive here the first week of April and I’ve been feeding them ever since.

When they’re feeding their young and when the weather gets HOT here they tend to go through a lot of hummingbird food. The last two weeks I’ve refilled three large feeders on a daily basis. They consume more sugar then we do!

Don’t add red food coloring to your hummingbird food as it’s been shown to be a detriment to their health. You can buy premade but why when you can make it yourself? I shared my hummingbird food recipe here. Always make certain that your feeders are clean.. You can do this by using a little bit of bleach in water in the glass container overnight, but be sure to rinse well!

This time of year when the weather is so hot there’s not a lot blooming so they rely on the feeders. Right now all I have blooming is some Turk’s cap, some phlox, some purslane and some old fashioned four-o-clocks.

This is also the time of year when I start thinking about the next season. What can I plant in my yard or garden that will feed the hummers?

There are lots of choices and you want something that blooms for long periods of time. Hummingbirds love zinnas, and the long blooming butterfly bush. You can consider planting a mockorange and some spirea. Potentilla, bluebeard and viburnums are also good choices. If you have room, plant a Rose of Sharon and it tends to bloom in late summer when most of the other flowers are spent. There are others I’m sure. They sure love it late afternoon when the four-o-clocks open!

If the liquid in your feeder looks cloudy or there is mold/mildew or bugs inside the feeder, then it’s certainly time to change the liquid. With this heat the mixture can ferment and we don’t want that for our lovely feathered friends.

I leave my feeders up until mid October, just to be on the safe side. Of course, as the season progresses I won’t need three filled feeders. I can decrease the volume as the birds begin to head south for the winter.