After many years of service my hummingbird feeder finally gave out last week. I happen to be in one of my “spring cleaning” moments which I do about 2-3 times a year. My goal is to clear space, donate, sort and discard. I looked at purchase options, but didn’t like what was seeing and it is always hard to bring a new item into my place when I see the bags of outgoing items.
I wondered if I already had the makings of a hummingbird feeder that would meet the simple goals:
✔ Comfortable AND safe for the Hummingbirds
✔ Food Grade
✔ EASY to clean
✔ Allows me to see the level of the nectar at a distance and identify possible problems (mold, bugs..etc)
To spark my creative juices I opened cupboards, drawers and closets to jog my memory of all things glass and the color red within my four walls. I remembered the small rectangular Pyrex glass baking dish with its tight fitting red lid – the one I had never used. It came in a set of three and because I don’t ever cook single serving anything it was nesting in my kitchen cupboards waiting for a job to do.
What you need:
3c Pyrex dish with red tight fitting lid
Nail or drill bit
Heavy duty cord for hanging
First: I nailed a hole in each corner, cleaned up the holes and sanded both sides of the plastic because I didn’t want willing hummingbird volunteers to be injured from rough or sharp edges
I oriented the holes in each corner in different places because I wasn’t sure how important the placement of the hole was (doesn’t seem to be important, but I think the random totally imprecise haphazard fashion was a good idea. Gives the birds a choice.
Second: Prepared 1.5 cups of nectar which provides enough nectar for the hummingbirds to reach, but not so much that you make a mess while hanging.
3/4 cup of organic sugar with 1.5 cups boiling water poured on top. Stir to dissolve sugar. Do not boil sugar water.
Third: With two equal length cords I connected them in a square knot.
Fourth: Attached the cord at the top and hung it. I placed it in the same exact location as the previous feeder to capitalize on their feeding habits which I feel is why my new handmade hummingbird feeder was such an instant success.
I kept a random eye on the new feeder and an attentive ear to my cats whose behavior would indicate any activity. There were a lot of fly-bys. A few slowed down and seemed a bit perplexed by the new design and object. The more curious hovered, assessed, took in the new design from all angles (up, down, left, close up, farther away. The curious spent a lot of time as if calculating the potential risks and dangers while asking “Is this what I think it is?”. The first arrivals seemed to do the assessment, leave to think it over and return a few minutes later for a second look. Then I saw one touchdown, taste the quality while in flight then leave. Within the hour a hummingbird landed, perched on the rim of the lid (a marked sign of success in my opinion), looked around, drank, took a deep breath, drank again and hung out. I interpreted that as the official hummingbird gold ✫ star approval.
The best and most sincere of compliments…
To raise the level of the nectar I add a glass fermentation weight
When the nectar gets low,
I tilt the feeder down on the side where they typically feed
Now that the hummingbirds have unanimously turned my new experimental feeder into the Popular Drive-In Fly-In Fast Food joint I will work on designing a more eye appealing method for hanging it.