Saturday, August 13, 2011

Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air

Hummingbirds are magical, enchanting, captivating; they have the grace and precision of a ballerina and give us only a fleeting glance before moving on.  To teach Ella about these remarkable birds, we hung several feeders in her outdoor kitchen area this summer.  We love to watch them float in, dine on nectar, and flee.  We wish they would stay longer, but understand they spend their lives in fast forward.

As a special birthday gift for Ella's "aunt" Chas, we purchased a hand-blown glass, butterfly-shaped hummingbird feeder with copper wings (she loves butterflies).  To complete the gift, Ella and I made the magical bird's favorite nectar food.  I can't remember exactly where I found the recipe (I've had it a while), but below are the instructions we followed...

Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
1 part sugar/4 parts water
Boil the water first, then measure and add sugar, 
at the rate of 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water.
Let cool and store excess in refrigerator until ready 
to use.  Do not add food coloring, honey (which 
ferments), or artificial sweetner, which has no 
nutritional value.
You will need to clean your feeder about once a week. According
to the National Audubon Society, this should be done by rinsing 
with one part white vinegar to four parts water. If the feeder is 
dirty, try adding a few grains of dry rice to the vinegar solution 
to help scrub it clean. Follow the vinegar wash by rinsing three 
times with clear, warm water before refilling with sugar solution.
Happy Birthday sweet Chas...we're passing the magic on to you!

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