Hummingbird Prep Time

HummerNectar

The third weekend in April is when we put out our hummingbird feeders every year. That may seem early, but as you can see on THIS map, first sightings have already been reported as far north as Maine! It’s still chilly here, 55 degrees today, but the hummers are arriving, and if we want to have them in our yard all summer, now is the time to put out our two feeders. First step is to mix up a batch of nectar or sugar water: 1 cup of white granulated sugar to four cups of water, stir until dissolved. Only takes a few minutes.

HummerFeeders

Get out the feeders and hangers from the closet where they’ve been in a plastic bag since I washed and dried them last fall. The hooks attach by suction cup to our windows, the red cups go on the hooks and are filled with water to prevent ants from raiding the feeders, and each feeder hangs below an ant cup. We use HumZinger feeders, they work well and have no small parts to fall off or get damaged, just a base and a lid. Easy to clean, too, and that’s good as you have to wash them before each refilling. I fill each base with nectar, assemble the feeders, and everything is ready to go.

FrontHummerFeeder

One feeder goes on a front porch window…

BackHummerFeeder

…the other goes on a back window. This cuts down on hummingbird fights a little. If you have two or more feeders in sight of each other, one feisty male will try to monopolize all of them. This one will go on a different window, one in my studio, in a few weeks.

GoldfinchWindowFeeder

At the moment there’s a window sunflower seed feeder in that spot, where I’m still enjoying birds like the American Goldfinch. When it warms up, the songbird traffic will slack off, and hopefully I’ll be about out of seed. That’s when I’ll take this feeder down until next fall and put up the hummer feeder. We’ll see how long it takes for the first hummingbird to arrive in our yard, some years it’s the same day I put up the feeders. They’ll keep us and the cats entertained until September, and I’ll wash and refill the feeders at least once a week until then (more when it’s very hot).

One thought on “Hummingbird Prep Time

  1. Amy

    Great timing! I had one stop briefly to check out the coral honeysuckle (just starting to bud, no where near flowering yet) in my Goshen yard on the 16th. Filling feeders was on my to do list for this past week, but of course I hadn’t gotten to it yet… At least now I’m ready for the return of the residents on the 20th or 21st.

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