As I sit down to write this article it is March 6, 2018 and it is snowing! Two days ago, 60° and I was putting my heated birdbaths away! But Nebraska is having a hard time making winter fade into spring this year. I’m looking out my window now and I see about 20 goldfinches, hairy downy and red bellied woodpecker, 12 dark eyed juncos, a chipping sparrow, a male and a female bluebird, a titmouse, a Chickadee and a white breasted nuthatch. What am I missing? I believe I am missing the Orioles and the Hummingbirds!!! It’s hard to believe that in just a month we will be preparing for them to come!!!
I always tell people Tax Day is the day to put your hummingbird and oriole feeders out. Sometimes I don’t see them until the beginning of May but it’s always a good idea to put them out early so that you get the very first hummers and Orioles that arrive that way you have a better chance of keeping them for the whole season if you get started early!!
So I go to my garage on April 15th and I dust off my oriole and hummingbird feeders in great anticipation!!! Then I mix 1-part sugar with four parts waters and bring it to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold. Then I let it cool and I fill my feeders. Extra sugar water I store in the refrigerator!! Contrary to what some people believe your water does not need to be red to attract your hummingbirds. Most hummingbird feeders have the right amount of color needed on the feeder itself to attract the hummingbirds. For the Orioles nectar can be made with six parts waters and one-part sugar. And replace the nectar once every 3 to 4 days and clean your feeder thoroughly. You can find pre-made nectar at the bird store along with a product called nectar defender that you can add to your nectar to prolong the life up to three times. I have tried this, and it works!! My oriole feeder has a place for grape jelly as well and an orange half!!! My Orioles love the buffet I provide for them!!!
Then the waiting begins. It’s usually the slowest two weeks of the year for me. But when it happens it is glorious!!! I put out a hummingbird swing and I have hummingbirds that sit there Every day from May 1st till September 15th!!
Writing this today while It is snowing makes me anticipate the upcoming spring more. I think I’m going to go do a “go away snow dance” and hope that means the spring will come faster!!
One last note. I have heard that some people quit feeding in the spring and the summer because there are natural food sources out there. I think I’m a little too selfish to do that. I’d like to see them come around all your long so where they may not eat as much I do still feed all my furry and feathered friends all year long. It brings me so much joy!!
Happy Birding Everyone!!