Tips on Hummingbird Feeding Solutions
by Donald Ray Burger
Attorney at Law

Hummingbird feeding solution is easy to make. Put one part sugar in four parts filtered water and bring to a boil for two minutes. Do not add food coloring. Commercial feeding stations contain sufficient red to attract hummers.

The clear solution is ready to use once it cools. It keeps in the refrigerator for about one week.

The enemy in feeding solutions is heat. Heat (from sunlight) encourages the growth of mold and bacteria. Mold and bacteria can kill hummingbirds. They also make the solution taste bad to the hummers.

With our Houston heat, I recommend changing the solution in your feeders every three days.

If your hummers are not sucking the feeders dry in that amount of time, don't put as much solution in the feeder. There is no rule that says the feeder has to start out "full."

Usually, all you have to do when changing the solution is to rinse the feeder in warm water. However, if you see black stuff growing on the feeder you have a problem with mold. It must be eliminated. Put some vinegar in the feeder with a few grains of rice and shake thoroughly. If that doesn't get all the mold out, use a bottle brush or old toothbrush to finish the job. Rinse thoroughly with warm water before refilling.

If you are having a problem with black mold in your feeders, try moving them to a shaded area. Sunlight promotes the growth of mold.

Please avoid using honey as a substitute for the sugar. Hummers do not eat honey in the wild and there are reports that it harms them.

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