Home Page Image

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

~Frank Lloyd Wright~

Sugar & Spice - Nectar Feeding Birds

Make your yard come alive with the birds you love this year! If you aren't attracting as many Hummingbirds and Orioles as you would like, read on.

Orioles and Hummingbirds are migratory and will start their journeys north very soon. In our region, we usually see the first hummers towards the middle of March. Orioles pass through shortly thereafter. This year, we'll try to entice a few more to stay and make their summer home in our garden.

To make our location more attractive as a potential permanent home, we've ramped up our feeding stations. No one likes wet and diluted food or to get soaked while dining. Out-in-the-open feeders have acquired umbrellas and we've added a few more feeders in covered areas.

You, too, can have more of these beautiful creatures in your neighborhood!

Add Feeders

The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is probably the best known and most widespread of the 15 types of hummingbirds in North America. Their favorite food is nectar, be it from the flowers in your garden or from a special feeder. Orioles, on the other hand, feed mostly on insects: Nectar, fruit and jelly are special treats for them.
Cleanliness is very important, select a feeder size that is either emptied every 3 to 4 days or empty and replace the sugar solution yourself to keep the nectar fresh. During warm weather, the solution will ferment and we don't want drunken birds! They need a clear head for their air acrobatics.
Provide choices, if you have never fed mealworms, consider adding a cup style bird feeder that allows the feeding of either jelly or mealworms.

Regardless of which feeders you select, be sure to get them up early and keep them filled so that your garden will look like prime real estate to the passers-through.

Put out Nesting Materials

Most urban gardens are not naturally rich in nesting material supplies. No longer do chickens run wild and leave behind assortments of feathers, nor are there fluffs of cotton or animal hair stuck to bushes and trees. Encourage the travelers to stay in your garden by providing some natural replacements for hard to find nesting materials.
Your efforts can be as simple as tucking your pets brushings into the bushes here and there. Or you may choose to put up one of the decorative wreaths or bells that come prefilled with a variety mix to encourage our feathered friends to linger.

Provide a Water Spa

Not all birds need to drink water, but most seem to enjoy 'playing' in the water. There's misters, drippers, and fountains for every taste and budget, some are even battery or solar-powered.

Motion on the water's surface or the noise of falling water is like a magnet to birds and moving water has the added benefit of preventing mosquito eggs from hatching. While water near the ground is a more natural spot, consider elevating and placing the water source near trees. Soaking wet birds are no match for feline agility and nearby branches provide easily reached preening perches.

Nectar Recipe

Please skip the food coloring! Some research suggests this addition is not a healthy choice for birds. The final word is still out on the subject, we suggest erring on the safe side. Choose feeders with prominent colors or hang out some of last years Christmas bows near your nectar feeders instead.

Combine 1 part white cane sugar to 4 parts water. Bring to slow boil for 2 minutes. Cool before pouring into feeder. Excess may be stored in the refrigerator.


March in the Garden:

New Feeders:
Nesting Material :
Garden Sayings :