To Dye or Not?

This is a subject we talk a lot about in the store and after reading an article about it I thought I would delve into this subject some more. There continues to be research done on the affects of red dye in hummingbird nectar and until someone tells me otherwise I will continue to sell and share the recipe for clear nectar. The article I read was from Sherry Teas at Happinest and she takes in many hummingbirds that are lethargic and unable to fly. What she notices is that their droppings are red and we all know what the doctors say when we see red in our urine go see your doctor. The thought on why people feed red nectar is that it will help to attract the hummers when in fact there is enough red on the top of the feeder to do just that. We had thought that boiling beets and using the water to mix with sugar was a good idea, and even though there has not been any proof that it is dangerous, when my mother tried it in her feeder inĀ Florida the hummers would not come back to the feeder. Here are some tips to help attract them into your backyard: Put your feeders out by the middle of April as the males are coming through at that time and then the females will be here within a couple of weeks them arriving, next saturate your yard with red – try placing a red tablecloth over a patio table and putting red ribbons in your trees (this will also make your neighbors wonder what your doing), start your feeders at flower height and raise them up gradually to a place where they are more visible to you. The last two are very important – Patience and keeping the feeders clean. You can expect to wait several years to attract these beauties to your backyard and will have better success if you are within a couple of blocks of water – where there is water there are insects. Keeping the feeders clean is very important because with the sugar content it can ferment very fast and make the birds sick. Clean your feeders every 4-5 days when the temperature is below 20 degrees but once the temperatures soar above 20 degrees you will need to clean them every 2 days. Purchasing the right feeder is just as important so if you would like to learn about feeders please come visit us in the store.