Keeping Hummingbird Feeders Clean
Hummingbirds entertain us with their fighter-jet like maneuvers as they dart in and out of trees and zip by at lightning speed! Hummingbirds are one of the most widely recognized birds and some of the most popular birds to attract to a backyard feeder. There is one hidden danger: Are you potentially causing more harm than good?
Because Hummingbird feeders can contain large amounts of nectar, there can be a temptation to let the feeder sit there until it is completely empty. Depending on where you live and how much activity your feeders see, it could take 2-3 weeks to empty out a feeder. The problem is that during that amount of time mold and bacteria can develop, especially in hot weather, which can be very harmful to a Hummingbird’s health.
Even though a feeder can still have a large amount of nectar in it, you should get in a habit of replacing the nectar every 2-4 days. During this time, it is also a great opportunity to wipe down the feeder and clean the bee guards if your feeder is able to be pulled a part. When you refill the feeder, do not save and reuse the nectar that was already in there as it has more than likely spoiled or will very soon! It is always best practice to make a fresh batch of nectar each time you fill the feeder with one part sugar to four parts water.
Hummingbird feeders can also go through a more thorough and deep cleaning, preferably once a month. Fill the feeder with one part vinegar to two parts water and let it soak for a few hours. Rinsing thoroughly is very important as any residual smell or taste from the cleaning solution being used can be a deterrent to the Hummingbirds.
Following these guidelines will help your Hummingbirds enjoy a sweet drink while putting a smile on your face!