Hummingbird Feeders - A Helping Hand for the Long Journey Ahead

Sep. 9, 2012

Flower and nectar supplies for hummingbirds and butteflies have been very good this summer due to the abundant rain and cooler than normal temperatures most of the state has experienced. 

It is not too late to give our hummingbird friends a "helping hand" to prepare for the long journey ahead. 

This article from Buckeye Lawn and Garden August 30, 2012

Hummingbirds are getting ready to start their thousands of miles migration to Central America - in fact, male hummingbirds have already started on this journey and may have left as early as the beginning of August. From now until mid-October, numbers of Ohio's only hummingbird, the ruby-throated hummingbird, may increase at feeders and in flower gardens as this tiny hovering bird travels south. Migration is an extremely difficult journey, especially for such a small bird, but hummingbirds able to find good supplies of nectar or feeders have an easier time of it. Now would be the time to restock hummingbird feeders, and perhaps put a few more out. Hummingbirds can be very territorial, especially over food, so locate feeders around yards where hummingbirds can't see each other (i.e. on each side of the house). Fill feeders with a mixture of 4 parts water to 1 part white sugar that has been boiled 1 - 2 minutes and cooled. Change the mixture weekly or before it gets cloudy. During hot weeks, feeders may need to be changed 2 - 3 times. Feeders should be cleaned weekly with soapy water or a mixture of 4 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. Grains of rice can be placed in the feeder with the vinegar mixture and shaken to clean the inside of the feeder. Male ruby-throats are an emerald green, with grey-white chests and brilliant ruby red throat patches. Identification can be tricky on a cloudy day, when the male's throat patch will appear gray without the sun to reflect the ruby color. The females are similar in appearance to the males minus the ruby throat patch.


Happy Birding!

For More Information: Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds - Ruby-throated Hummingbird

More Migration information at: