I am a little late sharing this info but hopefully better late than never. The Rosedale Garden blog has some good info on all kinds of things including hummingbirds. I have learned two very important things about the birds and how to feed them from this blog. One, never use the red dye food, mix your own. Hummers are attracted to the colors red and orange. That is why the feeders are red. The food doesn’t have to be. And two, I was always under the impression we had to remove the feeders the first of September in order to let the birds migrate South and not keep them hanging around. Not true. Birds from the north of us are traveling south and still need to feed. The birds know when to leave. Be sure and visit this site often for all kinds of info, pictures of flowers and other happenings.
According to the 2015 spring migration maps, hummingbirds arrived in the Shoals March 25. Time to get your feeders up. Notice mine does not have the red dye toxin in it? Make your own sugar water by using four parts of hot to boiling water and one part of sugar. I’ll start out with a coffee scoop at the first of the season until the birds come in and start hitting the feeders. I use one scoop of sugar and 4 scoops of hot water, mix well, cool and put in feeders. Change out and clean feeder every four or five days. As the numbers at the feeders increase, I’ll increase the amount of liquid I make. Extra may be stored in the refrigerator. I usually let it set at room temp for a spell, but I found out last year that they will make pigs of themselves during hot spells if you put it out cold.
If you have trouble with ants, you can easily make the ant moat pictured here using a spray can cap, a length of wire and water resistant caulking around the hole the wire goes through. Let the chalk dry well hang between the hook and the feeder, fill with water. If you have a rainy period, it will catch rainwater. During dry spells, refill as needed. I usually refill when I change out feeders.
This also from Rosedale Gardens,…
“I finally saw my first ruby-throated humminbird on 4-15, actually 5 at one feeder, zipping and fighting among each other. I knew they were around as my feeders were being used. My work schedule and their feeding schedules didn’t overlap for several weeks.
Don’t use the red dye poison. Make up one part of sugar and four parts of hot to boiling water. Mix well, cool and put in your feeders. Store extra in the refrig. And be sure to change out your feeders with a clean on at least every four or five days. Just think what sweet tea will taste like sitting out in the hot sun for a couple of weeks. Yuck!!”