Need hummingbird advice

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Beezle, May 6, 2005.

  1. Particularly from Uncle Frank (he lives near me and knows this stuff).

    So the wife regularly buys nice looking, but apparently ineffective hummer feeders and fills them with apparently unappetizing red liquid.

    I have decided I like the little buzzers (I see them visiting our flowers) and want to give them a proper treat.

    I saw one that was jet black, with a very red chest. I have never seen a hummer like that before.

    Anyway, what do I need to do? What feeder? 4/3 water to sugar? Help!
  2. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    I use one cup sugar to four cups water, lightly boil, and "serve". As I type, there are broadtail hummingbirds at the feeder, so it must work for some of them at least...

    John P.
  3. Here's a link to all you need to know:

    Importantly, do NOT use red food coloring. It may be harmful, and its not necessary.

    Good luck!
  4. Thanks for the help.

    So far, I am still seeing the occasional hummer near their favorite flowers in our garden, but they don't seem to notice the feeder - which now has the recommended syrup in it.

    I noticed on that web site that they "learn" what a feeder looks like - which makes me wonder what other feeders in my area look like - that are known to attract them - Uncle Frank?

    Keeping my eyes on the backyard, I've begun to notice some birds visiting our seed feeder I have never seen before. One is bright yellow with black wings. I'll have to spend some time hiding in the garage with the 70-200 and a TC...
  5. Bright yellow with black wings...sounds like a Goldfinch.
  6. I think I know what a gold finch looks like - or at least those in the Eastern US. This seemed different to me. But, I am not familiar with the birds here in Northern Calirfornia.

    The black area was very sharp and clean.
  7. Did a little research online, and I would guess he was an "american goldfinch."
  8. Hummingbirds will have checked out every square inch of your yard so they will know were the feeder is and they even know from year to year were to find it, there is probably lots of food around so there not using the feeder that much, and if they have been migrating they will be putting weight back on by eating lots of bugs.

    Also you may have been seeing the migrating birds so the feeder is not part of the trapline of anybirds, once they settle in for breeding they will use the feeder more.

    Othere ways to attract them is lots of trumpet shaped flowers, running water, they won't use bird baths but like the waterfalls in small ponds and the spray from the garden hose, they bathe often and its fun to watch.

    Insects are a big part of there diet so puting out old banana peels or anything that will get some fruit flies going they will like, the insects are important for feeding there babies.

  9. Makes sense.

    Their favorite flowers in my yard appear to be these.

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