ROCKPORT-FULTON - It’s time to get those hummingbird feeders out. The beautiful fall visitors are flying in and they are hungry. Get feeders prepared and help celebrate the 31st Anniversary HummerBird Celebration. This is the time to give feathered friends a little extra help to fuel their continued migration south.
Remember to always start with clean feeders. Any time mildew or mold is suspected, clean with a bottle brush and a mixture of one-part bleach to ten parts water, but rinse very thoroughly. To refill the feeder, use a sugar solution of one-part sugar (no sugar substitutes or honey) to four parts water.
Do not vary this formula. If the sugar solution is more concentrated, there is a possibility of it being harmful to the birds by dehydrating them. Heat the water to a slight boil, remove from heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Fill feeders with the solution after it cools. Adding color is absolutely unnecessary and harmful. The red color of the feeder attracts the birds. Unused sugar water can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a covered container. Feeders should be cleaned and refilled with sugar water every two to three days or immediately at the first sign of mold. To make the yard even more inviting to hummingbirds, plant some hummingbird attractant plants.
Hummingbirds are bullies, always have been, always will be. And there isn’t just one bully; they’re all combative. Hanging feeders in a cluster can ease some of the competition but not all. They rarely hurt each other so just enjoy the show.
No one wants the hummingbirds to leave but leave they will. Help them out and send them on their way with a good store of energy for the journey and look for their return in spring.
The 31st Annual HummerBird Celebration is set for Sept. 19-22. For more information, visit rockporthummingbird.com Tickets are available.