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>
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.
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
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.
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.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.