Tuesday, April 5, 2016

It is time to put out hummingbird feeders

Hummingbirds are making their great migration north, and they have arrived in Missouri.
If you want to attract the little ruby throats to your home, get your feeders out now. They won't show up if there's no food source.
For a graphic view of where the birds have been seen, go to this migration map that a St. Louis fan of the birds works hard to keep track of the little ones.
Here at the World Headquarters of The Ozarks Almanac, we feed birds year-round. We have half a dozen suet feeders out, along with three seed feeders, a couple of nugget feeders and two thistle seed feeders for the finches. Those are kept filled all year. We also keep the birdbath filled with clean water. In winter, we put in a heater.
We love watching the birds, and we look forward to the spring arrival of the hummers. They are fesity little fighters.
You can easily make your own nectar, or you can buy it at most home improvement or farm and home stores. You can also buy inexpensive, or expensive, feeders.
Change the nectar frequently, once a week is good, because the nectar can sour.
Rinse the feeders with water thoroughly, but never use soap. That's the word from our local Audubon Society chapter birding coordinator, who also hosts a monthly birding program on our local public radio station. He says a feeder washed with soap will forever be shunnted by hummers.
Get out the feeders soon. To parody that line from "Field of Dreams," a great baseball movie:  If you put out the feeders, they will come.

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