Hummingbirds are fun to watch and easy to feed with this simple homemade do it yourself feeder.
Hummingbirds are one of the most interesting kinds of birds to watch at the feeder and they are rarely seen due to their amazing speed and the swiftness with which they dart from place to place, never staying anywhere for long. Hummingbirds beat their wings with such speed that they are sometimes mistaken for giant bees or moths. The many fascinating qualities that hummingbirds possess are what makes so many of us want to lure them to our yards with bright red flowers and hummingbird feeders.
Hummingbirds eat many different kinds of soft-bodied insects such as spiders and flies for their protein and other nutrients. They are also particularly fond of nectar, which is where we mostly catch a glimpse of them, sucking nectar from long-throated flowers that are usually red in color. The very high metabolism of the hummingbird is what keeps them seeking the sweet sugar of nectar, which they use for energy. They will consume up to fifty percent of their body weight in nectar each day. Since the hummingbird rarely lands, it needs every bit of that energy to keep it’s wings beating up to 200 times per second.
Making your own hummingbird feeder will attract these amazing birds to wherever you can watch them best. Many people like to hang their feeders near a window so that they can watch the birds without disturbing them. Of course you can purchase hummingbird feeders at most home and garden stores, but making one is easy and fun. You can make a simple feeder or one that is very elaborate and will possible have more than one bird at a time lapping away at the nectar you have provided.
One of the easiest ways to make a hummingbird feeder is with a glass soft drink bottle. Take a wire coat hanger and straighten it, using pliers, then twist the wire around the glass bottle, leaving a small bit at the opening of the bottle for the hummingbirds to land on if they choose. The end of the wire that is towards the bottom of the bottle can be bent into a hook, which you can hang your feeder from. Drill a small hole in the middle of the bottle’s cap, which your homemade nectar will slowly drip from. If your hole is too large, the solution will run out too quickly. If the hole is too small, the birds may not be able to sense that it is there or be able to get it out. You can make a hummingbird nectar solution easily by mixing one cup of sugar with a quart of water.
Hummingbird feeders are not without their problems. If you place your feeder in direct sunlight, you nectar will quickly go bad. Put your feeder in partial shade and be sure to change the nectar at least once a week so that it doesn’t go bad. Another common feeder problem is ants. Ants like nectar, as much as hummingbirds do, after all it is sugar! A good way to keep ants out of your feeder is with an ant moat. An ant moat is simply a cup of water that you attach in between the hook and the feeder; this will trap the ants as they try to get past the water they will invariable fall into it.