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Hummingbirds Return to Michigan Soon

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Lucky birdwatchers can see the ruby-throated hummingbird in their yard if they offer tempting nectar. Image by Bitslammer at www.flickr.com/photos/norrisc/3839005519/

Lucky birdwatchers can see the ruby-throated hummingbird in their yard if they offer tempting nectar.
Image by Bitslammer at http://www.flickr.com/photos/norrisc/3839005519/

The spring of 2013 is slow to normal in getting started. Birds and other animals seem to know when better conditions are just around the corner. Hummingbirds arrive in Michigan starting mid-April and into May, depending on the weather.

This is a good time to get ready and set out the feeders. You can buy nectar or you can make your own. The Smithsonian National Zoological Park offers this recipe for hummingbird nectar:

Directions for making safe hummingbird food:

  1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold present.
  2. Cool and fill feeder.
  3. Extra sugar water may be stored in a refrigerator.
  4. Red dye should not be added.

Also, start the season with a clean feeder. Wash the feeder with hot soapy water and then with a dilute water/bleach solution. Thoroughly rinse the feeder and allow it to dry before using.

The website How to Enjoy Hummingbirds offers this advice about how often the change the nectar (and wash the feeder).

High temperatures…………Change nectar after

71-75……………………………6 days

76-80……………………………5 days

81-84……………………………4 days

85-88……………………………3 days

89-92……………………………2 days

93+………………………………change daily

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