Que Viva Espanola: My Hummingbirds
By Steven E. Lovato
I’ve always had this fondness of hummingbirds, their beauty, their way of life, their quickness. I use to watch documentaries to learn everything I could about them, including how to feed them. So a couple years ago I decided to purchase a birdfeeder and attempt to create a feeding ground for them Let’s just say I was not expecting the outcome I got.
I discovered a recipe to make my own simple syrup at home using equal parts sugar and water to put in the feeders. Honestly it was cheaper than going to the store and buying a bottle that was overpriced. Also the ones sold in stores are red in color done with food coloring, which from my research serves no real purpose. In fact, the nectar plants and flowers produce are clear and have no real color. I’ve also read that food coloring may potential cause harm to the bird. That is why I make my own and steer clear from adding any coloring. I have Birdfeeders that have bright colors and with floral designs on them. Which seems to do the job perfectly fine.I have a 6 quart sauce pan, to which I add 6 cups of water. I don’t necessarily bring the water to boil because all I want is for the sugar to dissolve into the water which can be done without bringing to a roaring boil. I then add 3 cups of sugar and stir consistently until all the sugar is completely dissolved. I use a metal spoon, when I remove the spoon from the pot and it steams that’s an indication the water is hot enough. I then remove it from the heat and allow to completely cool before I add it to the feeders. This fills about 3 feeders for me, but if I have enough left over I store it in the fridge which can last up to a couple of weeks.
With this method I went from one feeder to three, to which I have to fill up every couple of days. That’s how many hummingbirds I’ve attracted to my house. Last year, at one time I counted about 12 birds. They’ve grown accustomed to me, so I am now able to stand close to the feeders without chasing them away. I’m within a reasonable distance to see each ones individual colors. Which can range from green to purple. In the evening time is when they gather simultaneously. This went from hoping to see at least one to becoming a stomping ground for them. I know a lot of other people around here who have tried with no luck so hopefully what I have shared with you will attract these beautiful birds. Sitting outside watching them soar around in the cool evening time is real calm and peaceful moment. It’s a great way to stop and appreciate Mother Nature.