Saturday, June 17, 2017

Romance Tip - Enjoy the Hummers... Birds That Is

When we built our log home in the woods, we designed our 60'x8' porch to be an extension of our living space. During nice weather, Hubby and I enjoy quiet moments sipping wine and watching our neighborhood humming birds visit a feeder which is only a few feet from where we sit. Once in a while a couple females get scrappy and poor hubby has to duck out of fear of getting flown into by one of the tiny creatures. (He likes wearing red or orange t-shirts... perhaps it makes them amorous. LOL)

Grab your honey and visit your local hardware or home store and pick up a brightly colored humming bird feeder. Together in the kitchen brew up a batch of Hummingbird food. Find a spot in your yard where you can hang the feeder and sit to enjoy some quiet time together. Early morning while enjoying your coffee or in the evening sharing a bottle of wine is the best time for simple romance while bird watching.

Below is some tips on food and care of your feeder. 

    In nature, hummingbirds eat flower nectar for energy and bugs for protein.  Flower nectar is 21% to 23% sucrose - regular table sugar - so it is very easy and inexpensive to make.  Here is the recipe for making hummingbird nectar:

  1. Mix 4 parts water to 1 part table sugar in a pan.  For example, use 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water.  Do not use honey, Jell-O or brown sugar.   Especially do not use artificial sweeteners.  Putting hummingbirds on a diet will kill them.  They burn prodigious amounts of energy for their size and need real sugar.  Do not use red food coloring.  It is unnecessary and can harm the little hummers even in low concentrations because they eat so much nectar.  If your feeder isn't red, tie a red ribbon on it as described in the Feeders section, above.  Do not add anything else that you might think of.  Just sugar and water, that's all.
  2. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.  Stir it while it is heating until all of the sugar is dissolved.  Don't boil it for long because that will change the ratio as water is boiled off.  The reason for boiling is not to make syrup, but to drive out the chlorine in the water and to kill mold and yeast spores that might be in the sugar.  This will help make the nectar last longer both in the feeder and in your refrigerator. 
  3. Cover and allow to cool before using or pouring into the storage bottle.  We recommend making a large batch of nectar and storing it in the refrigerator in a 2 liter soda bottle (washed thoroughly first.)  This makes refilling the feeder so easy that you won't mind doing it every few days.
    Sugar water is a very rich growth medium.  Yeasts like to eat it causing fermentation which can harm hummingbirds.  Mold and bacteria grow in it and can also harm the birds.  That is why it is important to keep the feeder clean and the nectar fresh.  You must change the nectar frequently to avoid these contaminants.    In cooler temperatures we recommend changing it every seven days.  If the temperatures are getting above 70 degrees, follow this chart:

High temperaturesChange nectar after
71-756 days
76-805 days
81-844 days
85-883 days
89-922 days
93+change daily

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