Hummingbirds will be arriving soon in Western New York. Get ready for them by hanging your hummingbird feeder now.
“It may still be a bit early, but you really want the feeder up ahead of their arrival so that they find a food source as they are coming through,” said Penny Durnin of North Tonawanda, moderator of the Hummingbird Forum. “There will be very few natural resources available to them for a while.”
If you want to track the hummingbirds’ progress as they make their way north, check out the map of first sitings at the Hummingbird Forum.
To fill your feeder, don’t use commercial mixes, red food coloring or any other additive, Durnin said. She encountered people who were recommending adding 7Up to the hummingbird feeder, but that could actually kill the birds because they have no way to expel the carbonated gas, she said.
The best mix is the one closest to natural plant nectar: plain granulated white sugar and water, she said. Mix one part sugar with three or four parts water. Either ratio is in line with the natural percentage of sugar found in the flowers they use.
“I personally use the 1:3 ratio because it provides a little more energy and the hummingbirds can go just a little bit longer without food if they are still in migration mode,” Durnin said.