How do you make a hummingbird feeder?
Fay from United States, CA
I live in Arizona really close to the Mexican border and every year we have about 100 Humming Birds coming through going back to other states. I had 7 large feeders out and they were emptied in a half day. Honestly, my husband and I were kept busy filling them up.
So, one day I found a couple of Folger"s plastic coffee cans and cut them about 2 inches up from the bottom, making a bowl. I then used some of the wire on my planter pots (the kind where 3 strands are twisted together) and make a hook at the top. I took an ice pick and heated it over the stove burner and made 3 holes near the rim of the bowl opposite each other, to attach the wire.
Then I filled them with sugar water. I hung them on a branch of the tree and had about 6 little birds feeding at the same time. Some of the song birds were eating sugar water too.
Humming birds like red - that's why many people add the coloring. It's not needed if you use a red container! They actually like all bright colors but they enjoy RED the best, as that's proven to be the tastiest overall "shrug", or so I've read. I'd be leary of using just a bowl of sugar water though, at least in Michigan, as it'll also attract bees. While bees are good, too many in a single location is likely not.
I found this on a site:
"Please, do not put honey, Jell-O, brown sugar, fruit, or red food coloring in your feeder! Honey ferments rapidly when diluted with water and can kill hummingbirds. The effects of red dye have not been scientifically tested, and it is not necessary to color the water to attract birds to your feeder. Further, there are unverified reports that red dye can cause tumors in hummingbirds; this may or may not be true, but why take the chance?"
Here are a few links to "make" a feeder yourself.
Though as an alternative to the bowl feeder mentioned below, they sell water feeders for small animals that have a "trough" at the bottom and house the liquid in a larger upside down bottle. Figure out a way to hang it and it'll serve the same purpose, but last longer.
Best of luck! (03/03/2006)
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