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Hummingbirds

Discussion in 'Nature/Habitat/Garden Corner' started by KTdid, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. KTdid

    KTdid Well-Known Member

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    If you feed hummingbirds you may have noticed fewer feeding as many have already begun their trek to warmer climes.

    Last year, I had hummingbirds visit through the first week of October. No doubt they were stragglers traveling south making a rest stop. The summer flowers were no longer available and even insects (another source of food) were starting to thin out or hibernate. While I typically remove the feeder in the middle of September, I'm told that when you think you've seen the last hummingbird, keep the feeder out for two more weeks. I'm so glad I did.

    The hummingbirds that arrived during the final weeks of September looked harried and disheveled. They happily sat down on the perch and fed, and sometimes stayed around for a few days to regain their energy before continuing their journey south.

    So, if you feed hummingbirds here are some helpful tips to make the experience a healthy one for the weary traveler.

    When you think you've seen your last hummingbird of the season keep the feeder out for two more weeks to aid the juveniles and stragglers. It can mean life or death for a hummingbird.

    Always ensure the nectar is fresh and free of mold or mildew, which can kill hummingbirds. During the hot summer months it's not uncommon to change the nectar every 2-3 days. As the day temperature cools you may get an extra day or two before you have to change it. Check it frequently and clean and rinse it thoroughly before refilling it.

    A sudden cold snap can be deadly for hummingbirds especially if they do not have warm nectar to replenish their energy. So as the evenings get cooler, bring the feeders indoors after dark to keep the nectar at room temperature and then put them out again about 45 minutes before sunrise when hummingbirds begin their search for food.
     

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