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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Nectar concentrate for hummingbirds may save you time

Violet-crowned Hummingbird
     To make it easier to fill your hummingbird feeders with the correct percentages of water and sugar [4:1], try using a pre-made nectar "concentrate":
     To make the concentrate, boil one part (cup, pint, gallon ??) of water, then stir in an equal volume of plain table sugar until it’s dissolved. Simply store the clear nectar concentrate in a jar in your refrigerator. (the mixture is now 1:1)
       When it comes time to fill a nectar feeder, pour one part of the concentrate into the feeder. Then add, to the feeder, three equal parts of plain, clear water. (sorry, this takes a little basic math)   Then just hang the feeder in its usual place.

White-eared Hummingbird
     It's OK to freeze either the concentrate or the 4:1 nectar; just make sure the frozen "cube" or whatever will fit into your feeder. The outside air temperature will thaw it out quickly.


”I forgot to fill the feeder” insurance        A mass of native grass is an ideal back-up food source for when you go on vacation, or any other time when your feeder’s empty.

Indian grass

There are many kinds of native grasses to choose from, such as little bluestem, sideoats grama, Lindheimer muhly, Indian grass, gulf muhly, eastern gamagrass - with heights anywhere from 5 inches to 6 feet.  The native prairie grasses are almost maintenance free, needing only to be cut down to about one-fifth of its mature height late each winter. Birds will flock to it, often favoring it over the seed in your feeder.  In north Texas, late winter / early spring is the best time to plant it.


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