With summer conditions already upon us, our smallest birds are busy enjoying the bounty of fresh nectar-bearing flowers with even more to come in the next few months.
While nature provides amply for their needs, gardeners can add to their menu with the selection of the right flowers. Once bee balms, hollyhocks, daylilies and lupines are in flower, they will be at them on a regular basis. They even have favourite colours, with orange, red, yellow and purple topping the list.
You can supplement their meals in a hummingbird feeder with sugared water (four parts water to one part sugar). Make sure it is fully dissolved and replace every few days when the weather is hot so it doesn’t go bad. While honey is an excellent substitute for sugar in our diet, never give it to your birds. There are several reasons why but the bottom line is that they can be harmed by it. Stick to plain white sugar when preparing your mixture.
By Brian Morin
Publisher of Ontario Birding News