Types of Hummingbird Food

November 16, 2016 at 11:19 am

Hummingbirds are an enigma, there is always something new to learn about them. Nectar is the most predominant hummingbird food that is used to lure the birds to gardens. However, hummingbirds do not depend on nectar alone. They also feed on tree sap, insects and spiders so as to supplement their protein supply. Some hummingbird species have even been observed to ingest sand and ashes.

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Best Types of Hummingbird Food

If you want to attract these lovely birds to your home, you must understand the requirements needed to feed them and at the same time keep them healthy. As much as most of us would find it very easy to make homemade nectar for the birds, it is important to take precautionary measures so as to ensure that the health of the birds is not affected. It is recommended that one mixes one part of sugar in four parts of water when preparing homemade nectar. Always ensure that the sugar brand that you are using is pure and granulated. Avoid honey, artificial sweeteners, powdered sugar and brown sugar at all costs. This is because the chemicals contained in these products can cause illness and subsequent death of the birds. The other alternative is to purchase premixed nectar. However, avoid the red colored nectar because studies have indicated that it has a damaging effect to the bird’s kidneys. The mixture should also be frequently changed to avoid contamination.

Since hummingbirds cannot depend on nectar alone, planting flowers in the garden can be done so as to attract other insects that will serve as hummingbird food. The best flowers are those which have vibrant colors. You can always inquire from your local bird group on the flowers that will grow best in your locality. The recommended flowers include delphiniums, honeysuckles and trumpet vines. Apart from attracting flying insects, these flowers have nectar which is an alternative hummingbird food. Trees in the garden can also provide sap for the birds. Hummingbirds are also known to feed on juice from overripe fruits.

Resource: Hummingbird Food – Hummingbirds Plus

The maintenance of the feeders where the hummingbird food is placed is also very important. They must be thoroughly cleaned before refilling is done. Always use a mild detergent and rinse using plenty of water. You can soak the feeder in a solution of bleach and water at least once every month to ensure that it is free from any disease causing germs. Alternatively, you can sterilize them using a dish washer. You can also use a moat to protect your feeder from ants. Your feeder should be raised at least four feet above the ground and as far as possible from the nests so as to protect the birds from predators.

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that are loved by many people across the world. In the past, people used to hunt them because of their feathers. A lot of effort has been made to protect them although pollution and destruction of their natural habitat has taken a toll on these beautiful creatures. Feeding and ensuring that these birds have a hospitable environment to live in is a great milestone in conserving nature.