Humming Birds

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well, that didn't work :o(
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Valkyrie wrote:

Try this http://www.birdinfo.com/AnnasHummingbird.html .
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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I was trying to get the pictures I had of my annas feeding in the dark and off snow covered feeders, can't seem to get the album link to work properly :(
Val
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I think the point of boiling it is to sterilize the syrup and retard spoilage. Sugar water, is a an all-you-can-eat buffet for all kinds of microorganisms.
-S
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Boiling the water just helps dissolve the sugar. I think mold is the major concern and even boiling it you'll get mold growth if you leave it out long enough. The feeder needs to be cleaned often.
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wrote in message I think the point of boiling it is to sterilize the syrup and retard

Boiling the water just helps dissolve the sugar. I think mold is the major concern and even boiling it you'll get mold growth if you leave it out long enough. The feeder needs to be cleaned often.
boiling the water dissolves the sugar, but boiling the water dissipates the chlorine and florides (if there is florides added to the water) which aren't bad but not necessarily good for the birds either..........(hell in the wild they face DDT's and pesticides........) and yes, Travis, 4-1 ratio, but honestly, it doesn't hurt them to make it a bit richer for their flight to their winter homes. <g> madgardener
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In the summer I use the 4 to 1 ratio, when the fall/winter temps start to dip into the 30s I switch to 3 to 1. We have annas here year around.
Val
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Valkyrie wrote:

They are here year round also and I always use 4 to 1. They also eat bugs for protein and fat etc.
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Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Cyberforest.net's hummingbird page notes: "Don't make the mix any stronger [than 4:1]. Too much sugar is bad for the hummingbirds."
I doubt you're doing great harm since late-season hummers will be transient visitors & won't eat often of the unhealthy concentrate. You'd hurt them more giving them too concentrate a nectar when they are nesting, as they'd be using nearby feeders too regularly during that time. But overly sugared nectars can be harmful at any time if too often encountered, & in no case does increasing the ratio strengthen them for their winter journey. Here's an overview of why it's bad for their health:
Sugar water may supplement hummingbird diet but if they are so fond of sugar water that they neglect their NATURAL diet, they will become deficient in scores of minute but essential nutrients. Too much sugar might actually hamper their search for the more appropriate natural nectars. Ideally sugar-water feeders are not the only things the hummers find in a garden which will be full of trumpet-shaped spring & summer flowers, or for summer & autumn sage-blossoms, especially in reds, either planted in the garden or set about in pots. Providing potted plants in autumn bloom would be much more an energy-boost than more concentrated sugarwater for their autumn/winter journey.
Some hummers actually reject over-sugared artificial nectars, & good thing they do since it is unhealthy for them. As the Suite101 hummingbird page says, "Do not alter the proportions, as hummers will turn away nectar that has too much sugar."
But other hummers will favor feeders with the most sugar in the water & they will come from greater distances from their nests to feed, overlooking more healthful flower-sources along the way, knowing where they can get the bigger but mineral-deficient sugar load. These hummers become sickly & neglect their nests are are away from their nests too long at a stretch.
Those hummingbirds fed too much sugar can develop calcium deficiencies, muscular weakness, & bone malformations similar to rickets. Their eggs are apt to be soft-shelled & will not hatch.
Some hummingbirds appear to show signs of illness resembling drunkenness when feeders contain too much sugar.
Over sugaring their nectar also encourages rapid bacterial growth in the feeders & can also attract bees, wasps, & bee-flies.
Too much water is less harmful than too much sugar, though both can be harmful, as too little sugar could cause some hummers to not get their daily caloric requirement.
Some hummer fans claim their higher concentrates "fatten" the birds for their winter trip. I doubt that. But it certainly would not help them get to their winter homes if it were true they were getting fat!
I have planted for hummingbirds & I do not supplement their diet artificially. I have blooms for them persistently from spring through most of autumn, & in our zone the hummers are usually gone before the autumn-flowering sages & asters & Hibiscus moscheutos are done, so there's never a time when they cannot find something that is a favorite. It might be possible to make the hummers linger a bit longer if I were to hang the garden with feeders too, but I seem to have plenty of visits from the little things just by planting the flowers they like best, assuring them the very finest/ideal/natural nectars with all the required nutrients.
-paggers
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thanks Paggers! I am always willing to learn and admit when I'm not right. I appreciate you clearing these facts up. (REALL!Y!! ) maddie
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Maddy, you wouldn't intentionally hurt a fly! People think more sugar is better for their migration, but what most people don't realize (and paggers many have listed this in her info) that hummingbirds get most of their nurtition from insects, not nectar.
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nah, there you have me totally wrong. I'm dead aim for flies..........I know they have a place in the web of life, but I take 'em out with an old fashioned swatter any chance I gets. I do capture wasps and bees though. Although........those steroid mamma jamma's I just zap. They're too mean to capture and release back outside. They turn on you and chase you back into the house for just living in their neck of the woods. So I kill those that wander inside upon occaison. I open a door and give them an opportunity before I nuke them. But if you've ever seen a yellow hornet that is a good three inches of fuzzy, pointy butted arrogance that only fears hawks and larger birds.....................I had one trapped in a sconce light in my hallway that leads from the nook to the kitchen on the opposite side of the house and after opening the door to freedom, she proceeded to try and sting her way out of the stained glass sconce. I decided that once she got out, she'd sting someone, many many times. So I put her out. literally. man she was a good 3 inches and had a stinger that gave me nightmares. maddie
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wrote:

Yeek. However, you obviously never had an infestation of cicada killers! Now that's a huge buzzer.
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I get hummers in my garden without setting out feeders as well ,besides the flowers they like they love eating the little bugs that get caught into the spiderwebs on my big window.
Lynn

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wrote in message

Boiling the water long enough might dissipate the chlorine but it would concentrate any flourides.
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Valkyrie wrote:

It should be 4 to 1. Water to sugar.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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