Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Sunday, June 7, 2015
After natural flower nectar, what's the best nectar for Hummingbirds?
butterflies love nectar. However, food coloring (red or any other color) has never,
in all of time, been proven to be effective. In fact it’s often genetically
harmful here. On hot days, it probably will introduce some tiny bits of mold or
bacteria, which will rapidly multiply in our Texas heat and pollute your whole
batch of nectar, causing Hummers to go elsewhere for food.
flowers produce sugary nectar, naturally. But not all flower species have the
same ratio of water to sugar. Some flower nectar is strong (2:1 possibly) and
some is weak (6, 7 or 8 to 1). I recommend an average of 4:1 (4 parts water to
1 part sugar). CLEAR! No food coloring or vitamins!That’s
just mythology or ad claims! 4:1 is the ratio that’s been shown to attract north Texas’
Hummingbirds best, both adults and juveniles.
Fast Hummingbirds! As
a Hummingbird speeds downward it’s flying, every second, almost 400 times the
length of its body. To slow down, it spreads its wings like flaps on an
airplane. At that moment its body is “pulling
10 Gs” - equivalent to ten times the gravitational pull of the earth (this is actually deceleration).
pilots can pass out above 7Gs since their blood gets unevenly distributed in
the circulatory system. Hummingbird’s small size, however, prevents this.
OWEN YOST, in addition to being a blogger, is a
licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived and worked in north Texas
for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award of the
Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American Society of
Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape Architects,
National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.