Useful Tips

What to feed a hummingbird


Hummingbird These sophisticated creatures do not cause trouble on the part of feeding, but some time passes and it is becoming increasingly difficult to provide them with the necessary nutrition. In addition to flower nectar, they eat a myriad of insects. Somehow, we had to take out in captivity a female ruby-throated hummingbird with a fragmented wing. She dwelt in the old desk, which was turned into a cage. A heater was installed in one drawer, the central box and others were left without heating. Thus, the bird had the opportunity to warm up on cool days and move to unheated areas when she wanted to.

Inside the cells are fixed small bottles for food and drink. Until the bird can fly, we simply attach special poles and branches to the cage floor. The bottom of the cell is covered with paper napkins, which are spread over the entire surface of the bottom. Hummingbirds are very quickly tamed, but always with curiosity follow those who enter the room. As usual, the bird extends its neck to its full length, trying to discern what is happening behind the wire fence.

Chicks should be fed every 15-20 minutes. If these short intervals are not observed, the chicks will not survive. Once we left one such baby without food for some 40 minutes, and when we returned, we found him completely weakened. Their metabolism is so high that they need to be fed often and regularly. So I had to take the chicks with me, even going to the dentist's appointment. To do this, it was necessary to build a special transportation device. It is best to use plastic boxes in which a sufficient number of holes are made for ventilation, and on top all this is covered with a net. Inside, place small twigs so that each chick sits in its place and they can not injure each other while moving. This way you can take any trip. Well, if you can get cells made from very light bamboo, which also do not rattle at all. For small birds, we recommend that you enclose the cage inside with a mesh so that they do not stick their heads out of the holes. Never transport a bird or animal in a cardboard box or cage without covering the bottom with something that allows you to cling. Cleaning these cells is not difficult.

Hummingbirds sleep at night. If you touch them at this time, they may make a faint squeak, but they won’t move.

Sugar, honey in combination with water can be offered as temporary food for hummingbirds, but such a diet is not suitable for a long time. According to some ornithologists, honey is still a very dubious substitute for essential foods, as it can cause the development of harmful mold. It’s better to give sugar to the bird. Sometimes it is necessary to forcefully open her mouth to her in order to pre-instill the liquid before feeding. This must be done very carefully so that she does not choke. Having instilled water, make sure that the bird swallows it, and only after that continue to instill.

Hummingbirds should always have food. The nutrient mixture must be prepared daily again and stored in small bottles so that it does not stagnate and does not deteriorate. Almost any glass bottle is suitable for this. The nutritional composition can be prepared using the following ingredients: 30 g of boiled milk, 30 g of water, half a teaspoon of sugar, a tablespoon of meat broth, three drops of syrup. We also recommend such a recipe for a concentrate specially prepared for hummingbirds. The meat broth is prepared from lean beef in a tightly closed vessel, which is placed in hot water and held there until a fat is formed. You can cook the broth this way about twice a week, but be sure to keep it in the refrigerator. You can add lean slices of beef to the mixture, slightly flavored with garlic sauce, but in this case it is better to abandon the broth. When the bird is well enough and gets stronger, you can begin to attract any midge into the cage. For this purpose, peach bones, banana peels, cells scattered on the floor serve well. When the flies appear in the cage, it will not be difficult for birds to catch and peck them.

Small hummingbirds love to bask in the sun and clean their feathers, so part of the cage should be placed so that the sun's rays fall into it. At the same time, a sufficiently shady place should remain in the cage where the bird can hide from the sun. However, this applies to all birds and animals contained in the cage.

Hummingbird wings are designed to allow the bird to hover in the air, spin, fly backward and lean forward. Wingspan is made with amazing speed: 50-70 strokes per second. During migrations, hummingbirds can fly without landing at distances up to 800 km.

Unfortunately, hummingbirds are rapidly dying out due to the active use of pesticides. The insects on which they hunt, the flowers from which they collect nectar, are pollinated in large quantities by poisons. Apparently, the one who does this simply does not know about the destructive effect of these poisons on wildlife.

Hickman M., Guy M. Care for wild birds and furry. - M.: Forest. industry - 87 s.

Hummingbird Diet

Hummingbirds - inert and insectivorous - both nectar and insects make up a large and important part of their diets. Nectar has a high sucrose content, which provides the necessary energy for these birds, as well as the water that they must drink.

Insects, on the other hand, are their main source of protein and other nutrients important for healthy growth, especially for chicks and young birds that are still growing. A varied diet ensures that birds can maintain healthy muscles and feathers and have enough energy to feed, raise young ones, migrate and perform other tasks that guarantee their survival. In addition to these two main sources of nutrition, hummingbirds can also try other foods, such as fruits, juice, or sand, all of which add more food to their diets and all that you can offer in the backyard.

Hummingbird Feeding Products

Offering a diverse hummingbird diet in the backyard, you can not only keep these birds healthier, but also attract a wider range of hummingbirds to visit feeders. Different birds have different food preferences, and the more products you offer, and the more ways you offer, the more birds you will attract.

Because hummingbirds eat a lot of things, there are several different foods you can offer your backyard feeders to entice these little birds to eat.

  • Nectar : Hummingbird Nectar is the most popular food offering hummingbirds, and even if that's all you have in the backyard, you can feed hummingbirds successfully. A 4: 1 ratio of water to sugar is the best home-made solution of nectar because it most closely mimics the natural sucrose found in flowers that prefer hummingbirds and are easiest to digest birds effectively. A 3: 1 ratio proposal can also be successful, especially during hummingbird migration or in cold weather, when additional energy is most desired. In addition to hummingbird feeders, choose hummingbird flowers, which can be a natural source of nectar for feeding hummingbirds.
  • Insects : Hummingbirds will not accept mealworms from backyard feeders, but promoting natural insects is a great way to offer this important food source for hummingbirds. Minimize the use of insecticides or pesticides and allow the grass to grow longer to stimulate more insects for hummingbirds. Leaving large spider webs can also provide food for hummingbirds as they collect insects caught on the Net, but take care that the birds do not get tangled . If a hummingbird is caught, an aggressive spider can eat a bird!
  • Fruits : A piece of fruit placed on a tree or next to a hummingbird feeder can induce hummingbirds to take a sip of sweet juice. More importantly, however, the fruit will attract fruit flies and other mosquitoes, which are an important source of insects for birds. For an even more efficient feeder, choose fruits with red or pink flesh, such as oranges, watermelons or ruby ​​red grapefruits. Red is more attractive to hummingbirds, and they will notice an unusual food source faster.
  • Sap : When other food sources are scarce, hummingbirds will spit out of the wells that woodpeckers drill to reach tree sap. While they are not fly agaric by nature, by taking steps to attract woodpeckers to your backyard, you can encourage this additional source of food to hummingbirds in need.
  • Grit : Hummingbirds require a very small amount of grain in their diet to help them digest their food, especially insects, and they also absorb a small amount of other important minerals from grit. Ashes, fine sand or fine gravel are all good potential sources of sand, and birds will pick the bits that are best suited to their needs. Offering grain in a small dish or a pile near the feed zones is the best way to provide this material, and other birds will also take advantage of its availability.

What not to feed hummingbirds

Although it may be tempting to offer hummingbirds a wide selection of different products, some items should never be available for these tiny birds, because they can be dangerous, even deadly. Avoid offering these products to your young youngsters:

  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Soda
  • Sweet drinks or juices
  • Corn syrup
  • Sugar Substitutes
  • Spoiled nectar

These materials should never be used to create hummingbird nectar: ​​they often contain a wide range of processed chemicals and dyes that can harm birds. In addition, decay in these items can lead to fungi and mold, which can be harmful, even fatal, to hummingbirds.

Learn More Hummingbird Feeding Tips

Even if you offer a range of good hummingbird products, it may take some time for the birds to find feeders and visit them regularly. To invite more strollers to your backyard sideboard:

  • Use several different feeders and feeder styles to place more birds without territorial problems and let the birds choose how they are most comfortable to feed.
  • Place the hummingbird feeding stations separate from other bird feeding stations so that small hummingbirds are not disturbed or disturbed by other feeding birds.
  • Take measures to fight off wild cats and other hummingbird predators to make your feeding area as safe and secure as possible.
  • Use the colors in your yard to catch the hummingbird's attention and take advantage of their natural curiosity to bring them to your backyard, suitable for a hummer.

Patience and perseverance, offering a variety of hummingbird products, will be a rewarding experience as you watch these tiny birds taste different dishes in your hummingbird buffet.