8.27.2007

Hummingbirds

This is the season for hummingbirds to visit metro Denver. You can attract hummingbirds by placing a feeder in your yard. Hardware and garden stores sell special red-colored feeders specifically for hummingbirds. The Colorado Division of Wildlife publication, Summer's Hummers, gives a recipe for what to feed hummingbirds:

"The decision to feed hummingbirds carries along the responsibility to offer them fresh, healthy food and a safe, clean feeding station. Forget the commercial nectars or red dyes. Plain old sugar dissolved in water at a ratio of one part sugar to four parts water is best. This approximates the sweetness of flower nectar. Use only white table sugar. Honey and artificial sweeteners have been shown to be harmful to hummingbirds. Because of the high sugar level, hummingbird nectar may sour and mold may grow in the feeder in warm weather. When preparing your sugar-water, boil the water for a few minutes, stir in the sugar and let it cool, then fill the feeder and refrigerate any excess solution. Keep your feeder clean by rinsing it out between fillings. If you see spots of mold, scrub with a brush. If the mold persists use a 5% dilute bleach solution, then rinse thoroughly. Replace old nectar with fresh sugar water every week in spring and fall, every two to three days as it warms up, and daily if the temperature rises above 85 degrees."

This publication also offers facts on Colorado hummingbirds, including their coloring, flight, and their enormous appetites - they eat up to five times their body weight each day!

If you don't have a feeder, the Division of Wildlife's website lists places you can go to view hummingbirds.

3 comments:

jeffgimar@bbqandgrill.com said...

When are Hummingbirds expected to visit Broomfield Colorado in 2008?

Samantha said...

According to "Birds of the Rocky Mountains" by Paul A. Johnsgard, there are three main species of hummingbirds that can be found in Colorado. The seasonality varies with each species. Caliopes have been seen from May 9 through August 9.; Broadtail hummingbird sightings have been recorded from April 27 to October 24; and Rufous hummingbirds migrate in Colorado mid-May to June 10, and then again in late July to mid or late September.

For more specific information, you may want to contact the Colorado Field Ornithologists. They report bird sightings in their journal "Colorado Birds."

swinn0021@yahoo.com said...

How late in the year do you feed hummers in the Gardner & Walsenburg area of Colorado or do hummers stay in the area year around?