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Hummingbird Feeders

Attracting those flitty little friends

If you want a hassle free, fun hummingbird project for your kids, you've got to buy a feeder first. No working with wire and old soda bottles. Ease of cleaning will determine the best one for you. You or your child will spend quite a bit of time cleaning and filling a feeder during hummer season. You don't want it to be a chore.

You don't have to shell out for instant food mix, though. If you can boil water, you can make hummer food. You'll want four parts hot water to one part regular white sugar. Just stir until the sugar dissolves and store the excess in the refrigerator. Keep red coloring or other additives out of the mix. The red color of the feeder attracts the birds just fine.

Hang it in early spring. You might want to plop a potted plant with red flowers near the feeder, to act as a signpost and give the little birds a place to sit.

Ripe fruit placed near the feeder can attract fruit flies - which ordinarily would seem like a bad thing. But, hummingbirds get half their diet from small insects. They'll drink from the feeder and then snatch up the yummy bugs.

Rinse the feeder with clean water every time you fill it. Don't use soap! Once a month, a weak bleach solution, rinsed well, will sterilize the feeder and keep your birds happy. They'll expect it back next spring when they return.