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Hummingbirds in Your Backyard

Feeding Hummingbirds

Hummingbird nectar can easily be prepared at home. The best solution consists of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water (this mirrors the sugar concentration of the nectar found in flowers). Boil the water for 2-3 minutes before adding sugar. Cool and store the mixture in a refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

There is no need to add red food coloring. Hummingbirds are attracted to the red color of the feeder and do not prefer red nectar to clear.

Select a feeder that is easy to clean and does not drip. In warm weather, change nectar every 2-3 days or before it gets cloudy.

Periodically clean feeders, making sure that mold and bacteria are removed. Feeders can be easily cleaned soaking them in a solution of 1 part bleach and 10 parts water. Thoroughly rinse the feeders before using them again.

Keep at least one feeder up throughout the year. You cannot keep hummingbirds from migration by leaving feeders up during the fall and winter seasons. Hummingbirds migrate in response to a decline in day length, not food availability. Most of the rare hummingbird's fund in Georgia are seen during the winter.

Ants can be kept away from feeders by installing an "ant moat" between the feeder and the structure on which the feeder is hung. Smearing petroleum jelly or automotive grease on the wire above the feeder can also thwart ants.

Yellow jackets can be trapped using a simple yellow jacket trap made from a 2-liter soft drink bottle. Contact the DNR's Nongame Conservation Section for details. Bees, wasps and yellow jackets can be deterred by smearing cooking oil on the surface of the artificial flowers surrounding the feeding ports on your feeders.

Report sightings of rare hummingbirds as well as all hummingbirds spotted from November through March to: Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division, Nongame Conservation Section, 116 Rum Creek Drive, Forsyth, GA 31029, (478)994-1438. Your information could help unlock some of the fascinating secrets about Georgia's hummingbirds.

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