This is my favorite time of year - I have flowers blooming everywhere, little seedlings are popping up in the garden and we have baby chicks brooding under a heat lamp in the garage. And, of course, the hummingbirds are returning from their winter migration!
We have several hummingbird feeders that we hang every spring. By midsummer, it's a veritable hummingbird buffet and we're refilling the feeders every couple of days. The little birds are fearless - they'll feed even if people are sitting on the porch a few feet from the feeders.
We love watching them - they swoop and dive and have epic battles over access to the feeders. A couple of years ago we even had a white hummingbird - she stayed for most of the summer, but hasn't returned since.
We make our own hummingbird solution using one cup of sugar to four cups of water. We don't use food coloring - the feeders attract the birds just fine without it, and some experts think the coloring might be harmful to the birds. Some websites advocate boiling the sugar solution, but we use well water, so it doesn't contain some of the impurities you might find in water from a municipal supply.
Last year things really got busy after the babies hatched - we had young birds and older birds visiting the feeders, and taking advantage of all the hummingbird-friendly plants I put in the flowerbeds. At one point I counted twenty birds at the various feeders and perching on the flowers. No wonder we were refilling those feeders so often!
I can't wait to see how many show up this year!
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