Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Humming Birds are Back!

Every April we eagerly await the return of our hummingbirds to Degnen Bay on Gabriola, yesterday we saw the first two return. To us it symboloizes a sure sign of Spring! So we quickly got out the hummingbird feeder and made up some nectar.

Directions: One part sugar to 4 parts water, you can boil the mixture to help it dissolve, although it’s not necessary. (There is no need to put red food coloring in the mixture!) At this time of year, the birds are not feeding as heavily, as well all of them have not yet returned, so we usually have extra syrup, the syrup can be stored in the fridge for up to two weeks. In another couple of months, we’ll have to put up additional feeders as they go through the syrup in a matter of hours, and we want to ensure we keep them around.

There is little maintenance to do, however, it’s important that each time you re-fill make sure to rinse thoroughly with warm water, don’t use soapy water – the birds seem to be detracted by it. Once a month, it is necessary to clean the feeder, any easy way to do this is to soak it in a bleach/water solution for at least a ½ an hour and rinse thoroughly before re-filling it.

In my garden, I have also included some flowers that attract hummingbirds including; Bee Balm, Columbine, Foxgloves, Nasturtiums (I just spent the morning planting 750 seeds – hope there’s no more frost!) & a butterfly bush. I’m hoping the abundance of plant nectar & syrup will increase the buzz of these amazing creatures at our feeders! Just another spring pleasure here on Gabriola.

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