Posts Tagged ‘Hummingbird Feeders’

Leave Your Hummingbird Feeders Up!

September 8, 2009

hummingbird-8The question arises in the United States and Canada each year about this time: Should we take down our hummingbird feeders so the hummingbirds won’t stay too long and get caught in the cold weather?

The answer is: Leave your feeders up!

The urge to migrate far, far outweighs a bottle full of sugar water. Your hummingbirds will leave when their biological clocks command them to leave, no matter how much food is still available for them. It is likely, in fact, that the hummingbirds at your feeders today are not the same ones that were there two weeks ago. Hummingbird migration has already started and the birds you see today are likely migrants passing through rather than the ones who spent the summer with you.

And, of course, their food supply is dwindling now. Colder nights and cooler, shorter days mean fewer bugs, their primary source of protein, and less nectar from flowers which they also eat in abundance even if human supplied sugar water is available.

But your sugar water is especially helpful to them as they migrate southward. They need immense amounts of energy to migrate successfully and they need to add to their body weight substantially. If you leave your feeders up until the last one has flown through, you will help them maintain that weight for as long as possible and help provide a needed energy boost for the next leg of the journey.

Hummingbird-4For those of our readers who live in the Gulf Coast region of the southern United States, you should leave your feeders out all winter: You may be treated to Ruby-throated Hummingbirds some of whom no longer migrate any further south than your region. Warmer winters and hummingbird feeders have lured some of that species to stay for the winter in your temperate region.

But for the rest of us, it is not yet time to take down our feeders. There are migrating hummingbirds who will thank you to leave them up, with fresh syrup, for a few weeks more.

That is mine! It’s all mine! Don’t you dare touch it!”

July 30, 2008

And so the Rufous Hummingbird goes about its day, not calmly, not peacefully, but with great vigor and enthusiasm. Not for it the placid summer days. Not for it the quiet sunlit uplands. Always vigilant, belligerent, and bellicose, it protects its chosen feeder; giving no quarter and expecting none.

Cleaning Hummingbird Feeders

June 5, 2008

At the risk of stating the obvious, we’d like to remind you that Hummingbirds don’t like ants, mold and other extraneous substances in their feeders. Here is a short video about keeping the feeders clean.


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