Hummingbirds can fly up to 500 miles during their spring and fall migration across the Gulf of Mexico. There are only eight species that regularly breed in the United States, but up to two dozen may pass through on their migration.
The most common in the United States is the ruby throated hummingbird. It’s average weight is 3 grams. Compare this to the nickel which weighs about 4.5 grams. They can fly up to 30 miles an hour and when diving can reach up to 60. All this flying and diving can make a hummingbird very hungry. They must consume up to one half their weight in sugar daily, and feed 5 to 8 times an hour.
While hummingbirds may be small, they are one of the most aggressive of the bird species. They are very territorial. They not only defend against other hummingbirds, but think nothing of attacking honey bees, and wasps that may be looking for a sugary meal, or even crows and hawks that they believe are invading their territory.
That’s why it’s a good idea to provide hummingbirds with several feeders, spaced at a distance. It will definitely cut down on the battles at the feeder. You can purchase a feeder, but why do that when you can easily make your own from recycled bottles.
To make your hummingbird feeder you will need.
Soda, wine, or beer bottles.
An old bed spring to place the bottle upside down in. If you don’t have a bed spring, you can wrap wire around the bottle and attach the hanger.
Wire for hanger
Feeding tube (found easily online on such sites as Amazon, or contact your local bird feeding specialty store.
Wash the bottles thoroughly before using.
The cork fits perfectly into the bottle. Drop the bottle neck down into the rusty bedspring. Wrap the wire around the top ring and form the holder.
Hang the feeder off your porch, deck, or tree. Hang it where you can see it, so you can watch and enjoy your hummingbirds.
The total cost of this feeder was around five dollars. You can make several, and give as presents to your bird loving friends
You can purchase ready made hummingbird nectar or make your own. There’s no need to add food coloring to your solution. Change the water and clean out the feeder at least weekly to prevent mold.
*Hummingbird on feeder picture via Scott Pehrson on Dreamstime.com
Click on picture to purchase feeder tubes.
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