July 15, 2008

Backyard Delight: Hummingbirds

I just love hummingbirds. They make the cutest chirpy kissing sounds. We have the type with green or red heads (are the red heads boys?). They are migratory birds. Have you seen Winged Migration? A great documentary.

Photo: www.sfcphotography.com

They hover over our heads while we weed and trim the shrubs, or zoom past us like UFOs. If you want to experience these cute little birds, I suggest brewing a batch of nectar and fill up a feeder (easy to find at your local hardware store).

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

1 part sugar/4 parts water

Boil the water first, then measure and add sugar, at the rate of 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water.

Let cool and store excess in refrigerator until ready to use.

Do not add food coloring, honey (which ferments), or artificial sweetener, which has no nutritional value.

You will need to clean your feeder about once a week. According to the National Audubon Society, this should be done by rinsing with one part white vinegar to four parts water. If the feeder is dirty, try adding a few grains of dry rice to the vinegar solution to help scrub it clean. Follow the vinegar wash by rinsing three times with clear, warm water before refilling with sugar solution.


  1. Why do hummingbirds have such brilliant iridescent throat feathers? Actually, it is only the male hummingbirds have the brilliant iridescent throat feathers. These feathers serve two very important functions: attracting a female and defending their territory. They use these to display to one another. Females find it attractive, and other males are repelled. Male hummingbirds are extremely feisty and territorial and these feathers are part of their territorial display.

    Also, a hummingbird feeder can even be cleaned by running it through the dishwasher.

  2. Wow! I just love nature. Your own backyard can be one of the best places to get up close to this display.

    Thanks for dishwasher tip too!


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