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Hummingbirds spotted!

My first hummingbird of the year
My first hummingbird of the year

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures; you can watch them for hours as they try to dominate your feeders. They seem fearless to everything except each other. You can welcome these hungry travelers by putting out some food for them.  If you maintain your feeders correctly you’ll provide an important source of food and hummers will return year after year to raise their families near your home. I have postponed vacations because the hummers need me to change their food twice a day (four feeders with 2 cups of food in each). I was feeding at least 40 hummingbirds (how can you count them?) and their babies.

I saw my first hummingbird on Monday, April 13 and I told Marilyn and Beth Rachlin about it today. A few hours later Beth said they had put out a feeder and she saw a hummingbird at it.

Hummingbird food should be changed every 3-4 days so put out a little at first and change it often. You want to keep the mold from growing in the sugar. If you have hummingbirds and they are not eating your sugar water, there may be ants or mold in the water.

For the new arrivals who are really hungry and have traveled a long way I use ½ cup plain granulated sugar to 1 cup water; mix well. That’s pretty sugary. Use ¼ cup sugar to 1 cup water as the hummingbirds settle in. Don’t need red dye in the water. They will find your feeder. Use glass feeders if at all possible. Plastic is harder to clean and get mold out of.  Use only clear vinegar and water to clean your feeders (don’t use soap.  Use bleach to get out mold if you get any and then clean that out with vinegar and water thoroughly). 

Look on line for more information about hummingbirds. Some people boil their water first and then cool it down. In the summer I make pitchers of food at a time using the formula ¼ sugar to 1 water. I use a feeder that doesn’t allow the bees and wasps to feed.

Debbie Boen
Debbie Boen
Debbie and her family moved to Clarksville slightly after the tornado of 1999. Debbie founded the group, Clarksville Freethinkers for Peace and Civil Liberties, in 2004. She participated in Gathering to Save Our Democracy, a group dedicated to obtaining free and verifiable elections in Tennessee. She has supported groups including the NAACP, Nashville Peace Coalition, PFLAG, Friends of Dunbar Cave and the Mountain Top Removal Series of Films and speakers. She participated as an artist in the ARTZ gallery group in Clarksville and won Best of Show, First and 2 Second Place awards for four of her sculptures. She won a voter's choice award for a performance at the Roxy Regional Theatre. She is a wife, mother and cancer survivor. She is always amazed at the capabilities of the human spirit, and the wisdom to find humor when there is none.

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