Male Ruby Throat Hummingbird
One of our favorite aspects of living at the lake during the summer is the hummingbird activity. In our section of the lake, we and our neighbors feed the hummingbirds so there are groups that come and live among us every summer, raising families. They make tiny nests in the tall red oaks above our decks.
Guarding the feed above
Guests frequently ask us what we feed them and how to make hummingbird food, so I thought I'd post how we do it. There is some controversy as to whether or not to dye the food red. Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, that's why it is done. In fact, if you are wearing red clothing, especially a red hat, our hummingbirds will come right up to your face, thinking you are an extra large feeder or flower.
After doing research for this post, we will stop putting the food coloring in their food. It doesn't seem necessary. Our feeders are red, and there is a possibility that red dye may be harmful to the birds over time.
There is no need to buy commercially made food. Here's the basic formula:
4 parts water
1 part sugar
red food coloring (not necessary)
Keep your feeders clean to keep the birds healthy. Be sure to wash them at the beginning of the season and in between if you see any development of bacteria.