It’s almost that time of year again when the windows will be open and you’ll hear the familiar buzzing sounds of the ruby-throated hummingbirds dashing around. If you live south of North Carolina, they are likely already back from their migration, and hungry from their long journeys. Here in western North Carolina, the hummingbirds should be arriving in the next couple of weeks, (in 2013 they arrived on April 8th and then in 2014, on April 16th) first the males and then the females a short while later.
If you want to watch their progress as they migrate NORTH, check out this MAP detailing their 2015 status–it’s an awesome way to know where they are RIGHT NOW and when you can expect them in your neck of the woods. If you are like me, seeing the first one in the spring is a true joy; It truly makes my heart smile.
No matter where you live, dust off your hummingbird feeders and make up some fresh nectar! It’s that time of year again!
It is much better to have your feeders out too early than too late. If the hummingbirds arrive back and find suitable nectar sources, including feeders, they are more likely to stop and choose a nesting place, rather than fly on to someplace else.
The best feeders are the kind that come apart for easy cleaning. If your feeder doesn’t do this, consider replacing it. During the hot months of the summer, mold can take hold quickly and be harmful to the little birds so regularly cleaning the feeders is essential. A good rule of thumb is If you’re not willing to clean the feeders regularly, please don’t put them out!
Also, contrary to what perky pet and some others will tell you, YOU DO NOT NEED red food coloring or the RED DYE they sell in stores. Some scientists believe this could actually be harming the birds and seeing as how the red dye is COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY, it seems a foolish risk to take. Please don’t support this product! (Read more about this HERE.)
Instead, make up your own nectar. It is easy and cheap and takes about 5 minutes. Simply add 1 cup of regular-old-ordinary-white sugar to 4 cups of water and stir. I use hot water from the tap, mixing the sugar until it has dissolved. I then put it in a pitcher and store it in the fridge until I need it.
I’d love to hear from you about what date you saw your first hummingbird arrive this spring! Please use the comment box below, or send me a email. It would be fun to do a subsequent post sharing this information with all of my subscribers.
If you want to read more about hummingbirds, including how fast they beat their wings, where they go each winter and how rapidly their tiny hearts beat, CLICK HERE. Or, check out Weekly Puzzler #14 that featured a question about a hummingbird.