This is the ninth year in a row that the population of monarchs wintering in Mexico has fallen below its long-term average, and this year it hit an all-time low. Butterflies, especially Monarchs, are in crisis, and we must take immediate action to protect them! Less than 20 years ago, an astounding 1 billion monarchs migrated to Mexico for the winter. This year, a small fraction of that -- just 33.5 million -- made the journey.
So I recommend planting a mass (at least a dozen plants) of milkweeds in your yard this year. Maybe they won't flower in the first season, but you may help some butterfly families have a brighter outlook.
Adding color to nectar is just an “urban legend”; it’s never been proven to be necessary or helpful. Nowadays, almost all feeders are colorful enough all by themselves. In truth, it’s not just red that attracts them. It’s any bright color except green; (an adaptation that lets them spot nectar-producing flowers in a leafy forest or jungle).
So please keep the nectar fresh and clear, and the Hummingbirds healthy!