Hummingbird Feeder How-To

gillnurseryBirds, Butterflies, and Bees, Life in The Garden, Timely TipsLeave a Comment

Pop Quiz! How often should you change the nectar on a hummingbird feeder? Is red food dye good or bad? How are you supposed to clean it? Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers. We’ve got you covered. A hummingbird feeder is a great supplement for nectar-rich plants like Turk’s Cap and Firebush, but if you don’t take care of them properly they can do more harm than good. South Texas is hot, and bacteria love to grow in warm sugar water, so make sure you take down your feeder, clean it and replace with fresh nectar every 1-3 days. To make fresh nectar, boil 1 cup of water and add ¼ cup of granulated sugar (not artificial sugar please!) then let it cool and Voila! Now red food dye is controversial. Some experts say it is harmful, and there are some specific kinds of dye that are. Honestly, most hummingbirds will be attracted by the flowers painted/molded on your feeder, not the color of the nectar, so don’t bother with it. Cleaning is a breeze if you have the right tools, like a bottle brush and a port cleaner (like a clean mascara wand). You can use weak vinegar or bleach solution to disinfect your feeder after it air dries. Keep your feeder clean and fresh, and your hummingbirds will be sure to thank you!

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