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bersaguy

Question about Hummingbird Sugar water??

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I would like to get some opinions on how much sugar they use in making the water for Hummingbirds. When I make it I make it by the gallon and use 4 cups of sugar. What do ya'll do in making yours? Looking to make sure I am making mine sweet enough.....LOL

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Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

https://www.budget101.com/tips-n-tricks/747-homemade-hummingbird-nectar-recipe/

Attract lovely hummingbirds and Orioles into your garden and around your home with this super easy homemade hummingbird nectar recipe.

Homemade hummingbird food is such a simple recipe that can be made in less than 10 minutes, start to finish. As you can see from the photos, hummingbirds of all ages LOVE this homemade nectar recipe.

To Boil or Not to Boil?
You’ll note in the directions below that we boil the water first when making this hummingbird food recipe. From a health standpoint, this is not necessary as the microorganisms that cause fermentation are transported to feeders by the birds themselves, rather than in the water as is commonly believed.

The reason for boiling the water first is simply for the ease of dissolving the sugar.

Sometimes, if we’re in a hurry, we simply run a pot of plain water through the coffee pot and use the hot water to dissolve the sugar. This is known as the No-Boil method, directions for this method are further down.


Hummingbird food recipe

Traditional Hummingbird Food
You’ll Need:
2 cups water, boiling
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Hummingbird Feeders

Add sugar to boiling water, bring back up to a boil (for just under 2 minutes) Remove from heat, cool. Store in the refrigerator.

To Make 1 Gallon of Hummingbird Nectar
4 Cups of Granulated Cane Sugar
16 Cups of Water (1 gallon)

Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar, stirring occasionally. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool completely before filling feeders.

Do Not boil longer than 2 minutes as you will create a thickened syrup that will attract bees/wasps/yellowjackets – making it more difficult for the hummingbirds to be able to eat in peace without having to fight for their food.

homemade-hummingbird-nectar-recipe

No Boil Method
You’ll Need:
2 cups very hot water
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Hummingbird Feeders

How long does Homemade Hummingbird Nectar last?
Homemade Hummingbird nectar should be changed every 3 days, depending on the temperature. If it becomes “cloudy” or stringy, remove it immediately and wash the feeder in hot soapy water (using dish detergent).

High temperatures
Change nectar after:
71-75F    6 Days
76-80F    5 Days
81-84    4 Days
85-88    3 Days
89-92    2 Days
93+    Change Daily
WARNING: Do not vary the ingredient amounts, it can be deadly to birds. Do not substitute artificial sweeteners or honey as both are lethal to birds. Also, do not add food coloring to the water, it is unnecessary and unhealthy.

Other Interesting Facts you might enjoy about these sweet little birds:

Hummingbirds collect lichens & spider web fibers to build their nests; They will not use string, yarn or other nesting materials if you put them out, so save those items for the songbirds

Hummingbirds have little to no sense of smell and are drawn by bright colors rather than fragrances.

Be sure to put feeders up in early spring and leave them well into late fall. It is a MYTH that hummingbirds will not migrate if the food is still available. Migration takes place due to their own internal clock and by leaving the feeders up in place, you will be helping any stragglers and ensuring their successful migration.

Male Hummingbirds will often fly in a U-Shaped Pattern, this display is called the Pendulum Display. It is done to attract the ladies and to impress them enough to get them to mate. You’ll frequently see this behavior in Late Spring/Early summer while the females are on the feeders.

“Bully” hummers on your feeder? Hummingbirds are territorial. If you’re seeing a number of so-called “bullies” chasing off other hummers, simply put up more feeders. This “bullying” is natural selection hard at work and you shouldn’t interfere with it.

Perhaps you’re wondering why you should boil the water at all when making homemade hummer food.. well, boiling the water removes any impurities, over chlorination (or other chemicals) and naturally occurring bacteria that may be unhealthy for the hummingbird. Again, as a reminder, do not boil the hummingbird food solution longer than 2 minutes as this creates a syrup that will only attract bees/wasps/yellow-jackets and other undesirables.

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I use the 1 to 4 ratio, one cup of sugar and 4 cups of water. I only have two feeders, one in the front and one in the back. The 4 cups last me a week.

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Well I guess I got it right cause I have 5 feeders and I made a gallon of Sugar water using 4 cups of sugar and boiling it just right. I still have that one very small hummer coming to the feeder he has laid claim to and as of now he has no competition and has all 5 feeders to himself but he has picked out one that is out of site of the other 4 and he seems to like the water cause he will come on the feeder and drink 10 or 15 times and then fly up in a tree across the yard every time.  He is the smallest Hummer I have ever seen. I don't think head to tail he is over 1.5 inches long and grey with a red throat. I am hoping to get a few more soon. I will be changing out the fluid in a week in all of them. I have a gallon made and in the fridge!!

 

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4:1 here as well. Use plain white sugar. 

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Yup, same 4:1 ratio here, I only make two cups at a time (only two feeders) using warm water using plain sugar.  I have two of the bowl type and two of the bottle kind but haven't figured out how to keep the bottle kind from leaking.  Not my pics but this is what I am working with, anyone know a trick?

71rDPQsCJBL._SL1500_.jpg

 

81LjkP8PisL._SL1500_.jpg

 

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We use something similar to that in the second pic. Usually has good results, but we don't seem to be getting any around us this year. Using the 4:1 mix, maybe not changing often enough according to the above chart, but still try to keep it fresh.

Don't understand what's happened. Neighbors a couple hundred yards away are seen lots of activity around their feeders.

Any thoughts? 

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7 hours ago, Omega said:

Yup, same 4:1 ratio here, I only make two cups at a time (only two feeders) using warm water using plain sugar.  I have two of the bowl type and two of the bottle kind but haven't figured out how to keep the bottle kind from leaking.  Not my pics but this is what I am working with, anyone know a trick?

71rDPQsCJBL._SL1500_.jpg

 

81LjkP8PisL._SL1500_.jpg

 

You could try wrapping some of the PTFE (?) tape around the bottle neck/threads and see if it works, or maybe a garden hose washer if you can find one the right size.

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2 hours ago, jpx2rk said:

You could try wrapping some of the PTFE (?) tape around the bottle neck/threads and see if it works, or maybe a garden hose washer if you can find one the right size.

Yes, I would guess its leaking past the threads. 

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3 hours ago, peejman said:

Yes, I would guess its leaking past the threads. 

Teflon tape like you use on pipe threads will work to stop leaks around threads if that is where your leak is around the threads of the jar to feeder. I have used it a couple times with good success.

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Well it's time to update!! My 1 small hummer got another after about 2 weeks and now I have about 20-25 birds fighting over 5 feeders!! My daughter came back to see it and she said she couldn't believe that I have so many birds of all sizes and she brought her feeder back here and added it to my 5 and now have birds fighting over 6 feeders...……..LOL She said she didn't think I would get any since they have lived here 18 years and seldom got any birds on her feeder. Next year GOD willing I will be adding a few more feeders and I am looking at planting a vine that will grow up the posts from the ground to the railing and along my wooden deck that has a horn type flower that blooms in late spring and keeps blooming all summer and the Hummingbirds are suppose to love the nectar the flowers produce. Then the birds will have options on what to eat. I have a friend that lives in Castilian Springs and he has the vines and 10 feeders and he told me the other day that he has about 40 to 50 birds and him and his wife can sit out on their deck and have birds buzzing passed them all evening. He said it's funny when one will stop  right up in front of him and hover and just look him over with no sign of fear at all. My birds are getting use to seeing me on the deck when I am filling the feeders and they will even hover near me till I hang the feeder back up and then they will go directly to it and start feeding. It is amazing how something so small can give me so much pleasure just watching them!!!

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Had a male and female arrive yesterday, they so confident I wonder if repeats from last year

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2 hours ago, A.J. Holst said:

Had a male and female arrive yesterday, they so confident I wonder if repeats from last year

They very well may be. I have done a ton of research on Hummingbirds and it says that on an average year hummingbirds fly an average of 40,000 miles a year and there is an 75-80% chance that the birds you get you have had in the past. I thought that was odd because my daughter seldom go any with her feeder and I got the first little one and that grew into 2 little ones and now within a month I have a fighter Squadron of about 20 to 30. I think I may have figured out why I have this many birds. There is a driveway that runs down past my house to a house way back behind me in the woods and an elderly couple live there and there daughters and sons check on them everyday. One day while I was out putting food in the feeders one of their sons was driving past and stopped he said, Now I know where they went and I said what and he said the birds. He said his mother and father said that the birds were acting strange this year like they would come and be there for a day or so and then be gone a couple days and then back. He said they are flying from my parents two feeders to your feeders and back again. I will tell Mother why the birds are acting differently and I kind of want to thank you because they don't have to fill the feeders up as often now and that makes my father not have to keep them so full all the time. So actually I have almost what you could call local birds that come here every year and the 2 little ones I had to begin with found my feeders by accident and evidently other full grown birds followed them to here and that is where I go all these birds. When they are not here they are back in the woods not far away.

Edited by bersaguy
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Thats great Bersa. We just haven't had any this year, very strange. Saw the first one in months while watching a monster thunderstorm yesterday. 

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I think they do come back, I think the pair that I have, now three, are the same ones from last year.  They had an offspring last year, I don't know if that is the third one this year though.

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5 hours ago, peejman said:

Thats great Bersa. We just haven't had any this year, very strange. Saw the first one in months while watching a monster thunderstorm yesterday. 

Just keep your feeders up cause I think the migration of many birds are just now arriving in Tennessee cause I talked to a guy that lives next door to where I use to and he put 3 feeders up in May and decided to change out the food in the feeders with fresh red actual nectar instead of sugar water and he said in about a week he got about 8-10 birds fighting over the feeders. I saw one year they didn't arrive till August and stayed later than they normally do up in the fall. Make sure when you quit seeing birds in the Fall because they have migrated that you make sure you keep fresh food in 1 or 2 feeders till it gets cold enough you think it might freeze before you take it down. Reason being you probably had travelers stopped and fed a day of two that you did not see because they were just passing thru going north and they will be looking for food in your feeders in their migration back south and will expect to find it going south at same places they found it going north. I have read that is several different articles about them. It's amazing how smart those little critters are!!! They sure must have a great GPS built in to make migrations over 10,000 miles back and forth each year.

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Went from 2 yesterday to at least 6 today.

The alpha female is working overtime.

I am more convinced she may be a repeat customer from last year, she is pretty confident and approaches me and my wife.

Funnest and fascinating, better than electronically delivered entertainment.

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19 hours ago, A.J. Holst said:

Went from 2 yesterday to at least 6 today.

The alpha female is working overtime.

I am more convinced she may be a repeat customer from last year, she is pretty confident and approaches me and my wife.

Funnest and fascinating, better than electronically delivered entertainment.

You will probably get more as I think they are just late getting here this year.

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58 minutes ago, bersaguy said:

You will probably get more as I think they are just late getting here this year.

I have seen what I believe is an uptick of birds.  I had two for a bit, then three, and now it seems they are hitting the feeders hard, so must be more birds than I can see at once.  Had one buzz me this morning, then just hovered in front of me for a bit and took off, must of been a new one as they haven't done that before.

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14 minutes ago, Omega said:

I have seen what I believe is an uptick of birds.  I had two for a bit, then three, and now it seems they are hitting the feeders hard, so must be more birds than I can see at once.  Had one buzz me this morning, then just hovered in front of me for a bit and took off, must of been a new one as they haven't done that before.

It may be a new bird to your feeders but many times they are curious critters and will get right in front of you and study you. Also if your feeder levels are dropping faster there is a real good chance you have a lot of early morning feeders that will feed up early and then just pop in and out to snack all day. I have noticed over the many years I have been working with these birds that they do have a few certain feeding times and one is in the evening before roosting and the other is early morning and the rest of the day they fight over the feeders.

   I just had to fill 3 of my feeders that seem to be their favorites as I have to fill them more often.

Edited by bersaguy

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 About 12 years ago I learned something about them that surprised me. I went out on my patio back where I use to live and found an injured bird on the concrete and I picked it up gently and cupped it in my hand and took it in the house and thought it might be thirsty so I filled a lid from a milk jug and put it in front of the little guy and he was not bash full at all. He drank till I thought he was going to explode. I began calling people to find out where I could take him to get him help. I finally called the TWRA to see where they took injured wild animals and they told me to take it to Waldon's Puddle in Bordeaux so I called them and they told me to bring it up. Long drive but well worth it. They took him down to the examining room and checked him over. They said his wing was injured but not broken so I gave them a donation and they told me they would sent me updates on his case. About a month into it they send me a video of him in the flight net that was where he was in with 3 other birds and his wing was about healed and they would be keeping him for two more weeks until the migration should be about ready to start. They sent me a video of him when they released him and he was well nd took flight out of the lady's hand and was gone. What I learned is that they are very trusting little critters cause when he was in my hand and I put food in front of him he ate it while in my hand and didn't even try to get out of my hand. I made him a small box to stay in with cheese cloth material and he ate out of that milk cap for 3 days till I could find him help and he never once tried to get out of the box when I would open it to put his food in it. I don't think they are as afraid of humans as many people think they are. 

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Our hummers seem to be on the skittish side as I smoke on the screened-in porch out back where the feeder is.  Unless I move very slowly, they take off from the feeder, but return soon thereafter.  I was standing out on the deck this morning and one landed on the feeder and drank some, but it kept one eye on me just to be sure.  LOL

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2 hours ago, jpx2rk said:

Our hummers seem to be on the skittish side as I smoke on the screened-in porch out back where the feeder is.  Unless I move very slowly, they take off from the feeder, but return soon thereafter.  I was standing out on the deck this morning and one landed on the feeder and drank some, but it kept one eye on me just to be sure.  LOL

The more time you spend on the porch the more use to you they will get and soon they won't pay you no mind unless it's a new bird. I have a buddy that has a covered deck and has 10 feeders hanging all the way around it and it doesn't matter how many people are on the patio sitting or walking around there is always a bunch of birds buzzing around the feeders and there is times that 5 or 6 birds will come wide open right down the middle of the cover patio between and around people just like we ain't there.  He goes thru 100+ lbs of sugar a summer. He buys bags of 40 pounds at Sam's. He has a small refrigerator on the patio and his wife keeps it full of food for the birds.  

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Had our first visitors about 2 weeks ago. I know, seems late, but maybe I haven't been seeing them.

Anyway, 2 feeders on the front porch. If we go out and sit, even talking or using phones, they flit around both feeders as if deciding which is tastier. lol Love watching them.

Reminds me, I need to change the food out tomorrow. Or feeders get a lot of sun and heat from the brickwork. They seem to do better if I change about every 2nd to 3rd day.

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