Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbird Feeder

It’s time to get the Hummingbird Feeders out. You just never know when these guys are going to show up – and when they do come north, they’re going to be hungry! There certainly aren’t any flowers blooming right now, so they’re going to need all the help they can get.

The male Hummingbirds will show up first. They are anxious to set up their territories. Ruby-throated Hummingbirds start coming into southern Minnesota by May 1st. According to the MOU (Minnesota Ornithologists Union) the median date for southern MN is May 4th. The median date for northern Minnesota is May 7th. The past few years I have been keeping track of the date in Crane Lake, and it’s usually around May 9th that the first Hummer shows up here.

Every spring I like to purchase a new feeder. Hummers don’t like dirty feeders and they seem to really like a brand new clean feeder. My favorite brand is “Perky Pet” like the one in the above photo. This model has a glass bottle and is easy to clean – that being the key to a successful season of feeding Hummingbirds. The worst thing that you can do is put out a feeder and then forget about it. In the warm weather of the summer, the nectar goes bad quickly and mold will form in the feeder. During the dog days of summer, the nectar must be changed every other day. During cooler weather of the spring, the nectar should last a week, unless it gets eaten first!

In the early part of the season, I mix my sugar water a little stronger: 3 parts of water to 1 part sugar. In the summer I mix the sugar water at 4 parts of water to 1 part sugar.

Check out this link for a map of the 2009 migration. I was surprised to see some of the dates, including a 4/21 date up in Ontario, Canada.

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