Time to Put up Hummingbird Feeders
The main purpose of this weeks article is to remind you its time to put up your hummingbird feeders. The remainder of this weeks article comes to us from the Hummingbirds.net page. The proper mixture for your feeder according to this website is:
One part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water.
It’s not necessary to boil the water. The microorganisms that cause fermentation don’t come from the water; they are transported to the feeder on hummingbird bills.
Store unused syrup in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Hummingbirds get the energy they need to maintain their astonishing metabolism primarily from flower nectar and the sugar water they find at feeders. For protein and other nutrients, they also eat soft-bodied insects and spiders; I like Bob Sargent’s perspective: “Hummers need nectar to power the bug eating machine that they are.” Think of them as miniature flycatchers, and sugar is just the fuel for getting their real nourishment. You might try setting out some overripe fruit--banana peels are good--to attract flies for your hummers.
A Little History...
The device pictured with this article is an example of the first commercially-available hummingbird feeder. It was designed by Laurence J. Webster of Boston for his wife, who had read a 1928 National Geographic story about feeding hummers from small glass bottles. Sometime between 1929 and 1935, Webster had his design produced by an MIT lab glassblower (possibly James Ryan). In 1947, National Geographic ran an article by Harold Edgerton about his newly-invented strobe flash, which included photos of hummingbirds at Webster’s feeder. Interest was aroused, and in 1950 the Webster feeder was offered for sale by the Audubon Novelty Company of Medina, NY.