Safety Tips For Feeding Hummingbirds

Emily White B.Sc. - Featherfields
2009-07-08

Hummingbirds get the energy they need to maintain their high metabolism primarily from flower nectar and the sugar water they find at feeders. For protein and other nutrients, they also eat soft-bodied insects and spiders. A great perspective on the hummingbird’s diet: "Hummers need nectar to power the bug eating machine that they are." Sugar is just the fuel for getting their real nourishment.

The sugar water we use to fill hummingbird feeders is only a supplement to the birds' natural diet. All they want from us is the quick energy they get from ordinary white cane sugar. It's just fuel for chasing bugs, and causes no known health problems in hummingbirds, whose metabolism is significantly different from humans'.

Important notes when making your own hummingbird nectar:

Please use only regular white processed sugar in a 1:4 ratio with boiling water.

Do not use raw/organic sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, honey or red dye.

• Raw sugar and brown sugar are too high in iron and will prove deadly to hummingbirds
• Honey can cause a fungus that attacks the hummingbird’s digestive system
• Red dye or food colouring may be harmful. The red on your feeder is enough to attract birds

Featherfields’ carries a great alternative to homemade hummingbird food. Our Nature’s Garden Party Hummingbird Nectar is made from a combination of 3 sugars (sucrose, dextrose and fructose) which closely mimics true flower nectar – a more natural food choice for hummingbirds. No dye is added.
Remember to change the nectar in your feeders regularly: every 2 or 3 days in the heat of the summer. Sugar water solution spoils quickly in the heat. Wash your feeders every time you change the nectar, and rinse extremely well.
We all want to do what’s best for the birds. Please follow the above tips for healthy, happy hummingbirds.



FUN FOR FATHER’S DAY

Hang a Squngee and watch squirrels bungee-jump for corn! The Squngee holds two ears of corn, giving the clever bushy-tailed acrobats a different way to ride each time! The corn is secured at the end of a spring-propelled bungee cord, such that the squirrels spin and hop as they nibble.

The ScareCrow motion-activated sprinkler automatically detects deer, racoons, heron, and cats as they approach, and repels them with a short but startling burst of water. The sudden noise, movement and spray scares animals away, teaching them to avoid the area in future. Works for months on a single 9V battery.

Feeding birds is sometimes messy. Let us help you clean it up. Try the new SeedHoop seed catcher. Made of lightweight, durable mesh and adapts to almost any feeder. Keeps the ground free from an accumulation of weeds and shells. Also acts as a platform feeder keeping birds safe from predators on the ground.
Spring is in full swing at Featherfields. Hope to see you soon.

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