Hummingbird Migration Needs Your Help September 02 2011

Hummingbirds Desperately Need Your Help...
So Keep those Feeders Up and Full

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.

It 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