I've heard you're not supposed to add red food coloring to the sugar-water mixture for hummingbirds. Is this true?
—Florence Neilson, Duchesne, Utah
George: One of the older red food colorings was found to be toxic to birds, but with the new formulations, I don't believe that's still true. However, it isn't necessary to dye sugar water for hummingbirds. The feeders usually have red or orange parts, which provide enough color to attract hummingbirds or orioles. Clear sugar water (1 part sugar to 4 parts water) will work just fine.