This season has been extremely difficult for most hummingbirds. Because of the severe drought in the Southeast, and the destruction from Hurricane
Irene in the Northeast, most of the plants and nectar producing flowers that hummingbirds
depend on have been wiped out.
It's crucial to keep as many hummingbird feeders
out as possible. As the big migration is already underway,
hummingbirds need nectar for energy. For their insect catching efforts,
and to double their body weight so they can make the long flight back to
Central and South America. As the daylight hours begin to wane, hummingbirds
will begin to migrate south-but they can't start the trip until they
have gained enough weight to make the long journey.
is a myth that it's necessary to take down feeders in order to
force hummingbird to leave. As fall approaches, and the days become
shorter, nearly all the birds at feeders are already migrating. If your
hummingbird feeders are taken down too soon, the tiny sprites will seek and
find another food source. And since hummingbirds practice "site fidelity"
they may not even bother to return to your place next year. It is
recommended to keep your hummingbird feeders up, clean, and full of
nectar until freezing should become a problem.
Make your own nectar
using this very simple recipe: One cup plain table sugar to four cups
water. Nothing else, no red dye needed. You don't even need to boil the
water-but using some boiled water helps to dissolve the sugar quicker
and more effectively. Store unused nectar in the fridge for up to two
weeks. Never use honey or artificial sweeteners as they're harmful, even
fatal to hummingbirds. They actually prefer this sugar water solution
best! To help aide in successful migration efforts, you can actually
make the solution a bit stronger at this time of year. A ratio of 1:3
instead of 1:4 will help the little sprites achieve required body weight
to make it home.
Check out this video of frenzied hummingbirds feeding in Va. after hurricane Irene