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Sugar-Water Bird Feeders

Sugar-water feeders attract hummingbirds and other bird species, such as orioles.

Nikki Moustaki
Posted: April 4, 2013, 12:15 p.m. PDT

Sugar Water Feeder
Sugar-water feeders often use the color red to attract hummingbirds.
Excerpted from "Feeder Facts” in "Popular Birding Series: Backyard Birding,” published by publisher I-5 Publishing LLC.

While sugar-water bird feeders are designed to attract primarily hummingbirds, other bird species – such as orioles and woodpeckers – sometimes visit for a sugar fix. Created with the hummingbird brain in mind, sugar-water feeders often use the color red, which is known to attract hummingbirds.

Some hummingbird feeders mount to a window with suction cups, and others hang from a mount near a window or in the yard. To ensure the birds’ health, it’s critical to offer only fresh sugar-water and to keep the hummingbird feeder as clean as possible.

Clean your hummingbird feeder thoroughly every three days or more often in hot weather. Some sugar-water feeders might be dishwasher-safe.

One common formula for sugar-water is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar; some hummingbird aficionados say to add the sugar only after boiled water has cooled. Do not, under any circumstances, add dyes, honey or other additives to the hummingbird nectar, as they can be fatal to hummingbirds.

If ants and other insects become a problem at your hummingbird feeder, add an "ant trap,” which is a cup filled with water that prevents the ants from reaching your nectar feeder. Many hummingbird feeders offer this as a built-in option.

Some sugar-water feeders are designed specifically to attract orioles. The sugar-water recipe for orioles is 6 parts water to 1 part sugar.

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Posted: April 4, 2013, 12:15 p.m. PDT

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