Post by Steve Backes on Sept 18, 2009 16:01:26 GMT -5
It may be true that the more red that is offered in a yard the more likely a hummingbird will find it but the small area of the feeder does not matter.
I know some have painted houses and driveways red and have changed the roof color to red in hopes of attracting hummingbirds. Others hang red strips of fabric or florescent red tape hoping to catch the eye of passing hummingbirds. Any "patch" of red may attract a hummingbird. In general, the larger the better. A large patch of red flowering plants is probably better than the other alternatives since it also offers food but we make do with what we have. Once they've been attracted to the yard, many of the flowers that they feed on are just small flashes of red in a sea of green leaves.
When it comes to the red in the sugar solution, it's like the small red flowers in a sea of green leaves. All they need is a little red to say "there's food here". They'll find the port whether the solution is red or not.
There is a lot of controversy as to whether or not red dye is bad for the birds. I don't believe anything has been proven either way but why use something that isn't needed, especially if there is any possibility that it could harm the birds.
Post by Steve Backes on Apr 6, 2015 19:57:05 GMT -5
If you're boiling 4 cups of water, you should be adding one cup of sugar. That's considered a 4:1 ratio or a 20% solution. A 25% solution, or a 3:1 ratio, made by adding 1/3 cups sugar per cup of water (1 1/3 cup sugar to 4 cups water in your example) is okay, especially in weather where it may freeze. The increased sugar will slightly lower the freezing temperature of the solution.
Four cups water with 2 cups of sugar, a 2:1 ratio, is a 33% sugar solution is a higher concentration than most flowers offer. It's not considered ideal for the hummingbird and may be harmful if too much is consumed.