Please Feed the Birds
Since our terrible forest fire here in the mountains above, and including parts of Santa Barbara, many of the birds who had just moved to the mountains for the summer have come back looking for food. As a result, I have at least twice as many birds as I ordinarily do. I have eleven feeders and two bird baths, and I have t work hard to keep them filled.
I am sure other bird feeders have experienced the same thing, and I urge those of you who have not fed them before to welcome them to your homes, especially if you can keep them relatively safe from cats.
I have a hummingbird feeder and an oriole feeder close to each other, and the birds eat the same food and move back and forth from one to the other. The hummingbirds are tiny, but ferocious when battling with each other to get to the food.
You do not need to buy oriole or hummingbird food. I will include below a recipe which is very easy to follow, and the birds do not need coloring.
Note: The feeders are emptying much faster than in the recipe indicates. Upon occasion, I have had to fill them twice a day.
HUMMINGBIRD FOOD WITH ALMOST NO MEASURING
Rule Number One: Do not buy ready- made mix. Homemade is safer and better.
Rule Number Two: Do not add red coloring. The color of the feeder itself attracts the birds, and the dye can be harmful.
Rule Number Three: Hang the feeder where it gets as much shade as possible, and is not reachable by cats.
A tea kettle for boiling water
A one-quart sauce pan with cover
A one-cup measuring cup
A spoon for mixing
A quart-sized plastic bottle with pourable lid for storage in the refrigerator
And very important, a funnel to pour from one container to another. The containers have small openings, and it is easy to spill.
Fill the teakettle with fresh water and bring to a boil, then set aside.
Fill the measuring cup with sugar and pour it into the saucepan, then pour in at least 2 cups (estimated) of boiled water, stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, and set aside to cool.
Refill the teakettle with fresh water, bring it to a boil again (to be sure it is purified), then set it aside to cool.
When the water has cooled, pour the sugar-water into the plastic container, then fill to the quart mark with the cooled water from the teakettle.
This means that the only measuring you had to do was measuring the sugar into the cup, and filling the remaining space in the refrigerator container to the quart mark.
Just be sure you shake the container a little each time you put new food into the clean hummingbird feeder to be sure it’s well mixed.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU PUT FRESH FOOD IN THE FEEDER EVERY SEVEN DAYS. WHEN YOU CLEAN IT, BE SURE TO FILL THE CENTER CUP WITH CLEAN WATER. THIS IS TO KEEP INSECTS FROM GETTING INSIDE TO THE FOOD. ALSO, CLEAN THE ENTIRE FEEDER WITH FRESH RUNNING WATER AND YOUR FINGERS, THEN CLEAN THE EATING HOLES WITH A CLEAN Q-TIP, BOTH FROM THE TOP AND THE BOTTOM.
Please Feed the Birds