February 23, 2012

Feed the Birds

Last year I obsessed about getting a humming bird feeder. It happened after a strange encounter in my garden with a little green hummingbird. I was watering my plants with a big hose and the tiny bird (we'll call him Ruby since I believe he was a Ruby-Throated hummingbird) flew under the hose and stared at the water for a while. Ruby was literally hovering about five inches below my hand. I didn't know what to do so I just kept the hose where it was. He eventually flew up and stared at me eye to eye. He stayed there for another 20 seconds and then promptly flew away. I felt a little like Cinderella (she had bird friends) and then I decided he was trying to deliver a message "I need some nectar and these plants aren't working for me!"

So I bought a cute little feeder and have been mother to a variety of hummingbirds since. I did my research and found that the red hummingbird food they sell everywhere is not good for their digestive tracts; no one likes red dye #40. The Lovely Lady Baker would have it no other way than to make some food from scratch each week. It's incredibly simple and I know I'm not going to kill any birds. Now, if I could just get rid of those pigeons...

Hummingbird Nectar
1 part sugar to 4 parts water

I started making 1/2 C sugar and 2 C water so that I could store it in my fridge and not have to make it as frequently.

Pour sugar and water into a heavy bottom small saucepan. Turn the heat on medium-high. If you have a gas stove, a good rule of thumb is to turn the fire up enough so that the flames are as wide as the pot but don't go up the sides. Bring to a light boil and continue to boil for 2 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge for one week. Replace as needed.

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