Hummingbird Tips

by Karen Legg

Spring and summer are wonderful times to observe hummingbirds. No less than 12 different species have been recorded in Georgia. Elachee Nature Science Center offers tips for setting up a hummingbird feeder in your yard.

You can easily attract these fascinating little winged jewels to your backyard by hanging a feeder or two. Pick a relatively shady area and hang the feeder at least 4 feet from the ground.

Tip 1: Nature of Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are aggressive and territorial so the more feeders you have, the more birds will able to feed peacefully at the same time.

Tip 2: The Feeder

Choose an easy to clean feeder and change the nectar mixture every four or five days, and more often in the hot summer months. When changing the mixture, wash the feeder in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly. If mold appears in the nectar, discard immediately and clean the feeder with a mild chlorine bleach solution.

Tip 3: Nectar

Making the nectar is a simple process:

  • 1 part sugar (preferably cane sugar, do not use brown sugar or honey)
  • 4 parts water

Boil the water for a couple of minutes, then dissolve the sugar in the water. Let the mixture cool and pour into your feeder.

You can refrigerate extra nectar for up to one week.

A word of caution:

Do not add red coloring to the nectar blend as it may be harmful to the birds. The red color on the feeder will be sufficient attraction. 

Happy hummer watching!