Getting Ready for the Hummingbirds
It’s that time in the season! Get ready to help out the early returning hummingbirds.
There have been sightings already, according to this map. This is a screen shot from hummingbirdcentral.com as of April 25th, with Wolfville & Weymouth tagged in the Annapolis Valley. The first arrivers are usually male.
It’s normally customary to get your hummingbird feeders out around Mother’s Day (this year that would be May 9th), but there have been sightings of the birds already, and it’s still pretty cold for them to be here, but you can help them out!
As we don’t have a lot of flowers in bloom yet they can feed off, the feeders are even more important. Hummingbirds will return to the same feeders year after year, so if you’ve put feeders out in the past, they will be returning to your property looking for them. Don’t let the down, have yours ready!
As few reminders about your feeder from Dwaine Oakley; an instructor for the wildlife conservation technology program at Holland College:
-For your recipe: mix one part sugar with four parts water. Some people boil the mixture but that is not necessary.
-Don’t add red dye, it can be toxic!
-A feeder that incorporates red will attract hummingbirds.
-Avoid feeders that incorporate the colour yellow; as that can attract bees and wasps.
-To deter ants, add soapy water to the feeder’s moat.
-Hummingbirds (especially the males), are really territorial over food sources, and will fight with one another over feeders, to prevent this, add another feeder in a different area.
-Wash your feeder weekly, fermented syrup can make the birds sick or kill them.
When it’s time to plant flowers, it you want to keep hummingbirds in mind; they prefer long or tapered shaped flowers that can accommodate their long bills. Bright colors will attract them, and red flowers are some hummingbirds favorites. More info on flowers here.
Thanks for helping these tiny birds survive, and enjoy watching them all summer!