Feeder help!

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by MDgreenery MDgreenery 5 months ago.

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  • #5156308 Report Abuse

    crockett21
    Participant

    I live in Henderson, NV, where of course, temperatures reach into the 100′s regularly.  I have 4 hummingbird feeders and tons of hummers who fight and enjoy!   Does anyone know how to prevent ending up with rock candy in the feeders, other than changing the food every day?  I spent an hour boiling the reservoirs today and still had to dig most of the hardened sugar out.   Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Feeders are hung in protected areas but even in the shade it is super hot!!  Thanks!


    #5156309 Report Abuse
    CatsBirds
    CatsBirds
    Participant

    In the heat it would be hard to keep them from doing that… even in the shade… other than changing daily… not much too do.

    Bring them in at night though…and set them in a sink.. let them stay cool overnight.. that might help…

    Another idea… don’t fill them all the way up.. fill them half full…. that way you can fill again….might take a bit more work but you won’t be losing so much juice.


    Sharon, Catsbirds, Community Team Member
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    #5156329 Report Abuse
    Gayle
    Gayle
    Participant

    Hmm.  I’ve never had the sugar harden in mine no matter hot it got.  What causes that, I wonder?


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    #5156341 Report Abuse

    Gismapper
    Participant

    Catsbirds, I was thinking the opposite…If you fill them all the way up, leaving no room for air, the water will have nowhere to evaporate to. Of course, then you’d have to be topping them off all day long, if you’ve got that much traffic. Or am I over thinking it?

    Could be an interesting experiment!


    #5156342 Report Abuse

    JSong
    Participant

    I used to live in NV, but closer to Lake Tahoe.  It is the low humidity & cooling at night that causes the crystallization.  If you bring in the feeders use a warm humidifier.  I used to do this for all of us.  Nosebleeds.

    Nowadays, there are liquid white cane sugar available w/out preservatives (the kind served in restaurants & used by pastry chefs).

    If you can’t find it then use superfine sugar, distilled water & do NOT boil.  Just mix & let it dissolve.  It keeps in fridge for up to 1 week.  (I would assume that Henderson, NV has heavy tap water – thus use bottled water).

    You can warm up water, mix, let it slowly & completely dissolve.

    I would also consider changing the type of feeder so crystals won’t clog up small ports.  Consider any open top containers.  Use water moats underneath containers if you have ants.

    If none of the above works, grow LOTS of nectar producing perennials.  If there is no water ration, use misters to attract them.

    Good luck!


    #5156343 Report Abuse

    JSong
    Participant

    Oh, I said “no boiling,” because it is so easy to lower water concentration – thereby increasing sugar concentration.  But you can add more water.  Measure carefully before & after boiling.

    Here’s another thing you might consider:  Use less sugar.  But the hummers may not like your feeders as much.


    #5156482 Report Abuse
    mmarnee
    mmarnee
    Participant

    Hi, if it’s 100 degrees there from all that I have read you would need to change the hummingbird food daily.

    I found this general guide line for how often to change hummingbird food and it’s what I have been following for years. We have Anna’s Hummingbirds year round and for a few days last winter when the nectar froze I changed off feeders ever hour to hour and a half. I was happy when the freezing weather changed back to normal.

    Here is a general guide line I found to help determine how long your homemade hummingbird food formula might last before needing changed.

    Every time I change the homemade hummingbird food formula, I rinse out the feeder with hot water. I also clean the feeder no less than once a week.

    Hope this helps.


    #5156537 Report Abuse

    JSong
    Participant

    I’m going to keep Mmarnee’s chart for my area as we will be hitting the 90+ temps soon.  Thanks, Mmarnee!:)  But the sugar is going to cost me, yikes! LOL

    Crockett21 – Is your original question:

    “Does anyone know how to prevent ending up with rock candy in the feeders, other than changing the food every day?”

    Crockett21 – You don’t get mold in the feeders there, do you?  I never got mold or rust anywhere.  It was so dry where I lived in NV.  I was also at around 6,000 ft above sea level.


    #5156543 Report Abuse

    crockett21
    Participant

    I sometimes get mold in late winter, early spring when there is some humidity (haha) and the temps are in the 60′s.  Then the feeders come down and get a good bleach soak and run thru the dishwasher.   I am blessed with hummers year round and enjoy their antics.  Its just such a pain to change the feeders daily, even then I still have some sugar hardened and I have to scrape it out.


    #5156554 Report Abuse

    JSong
    Participant

    Wow, I never got mold or rust indoors/outdoors.  But I lived ~6,000 feet altitude.

    No humidity to speak of.   Good thing the tap water tasted the best in this country!

    Housework was so easy as I never had to battle mold/rust in the kitchen or bathrooms.

    Always a good hair day – EVERYDAY.  No frizz & bouncy!  LOL

    Yes, it is a full time job to feed hummingbirds anywhere you live, I believe!  But when they’re gone, I feel miserable, LOL!

     


    #5156657 Report Abuse
    MDgreenery
    MDgreenery
    Participant

    Hi Crockett,

    I also would suggest using a bit less sugar so the concentration is not as sweet (it might seem counter intuitive but I believe some sugar water is better than no sugar water…especially in the desert).

    You  might also consider buying a solid ceramic feeder. They sell some really pretty ones now.  A solid color feeder would prevent the sunlight from constantly shining on the nectar which may contribute to the sunlight through a magnifying glass effect at present?

    One last thing I will suggest (we don’t get nearly as hot for as long as you do there but I have tried this method). I often move our HF’s with the plant growth &/or shift of sunlight throughout the season. If we have a plant that is really tall & full ~and hummers like the flower~ then I will place a Shepherds Hook somewhere alongside/inside the plant. Even if the hummingbirds only have access to one or two ports, they will visit. I often hang the feeders under shrub or tree branches so the sunlight does not penetrate or is not as intense. If you have a fence or wall that’s even better to protect the feeder & hummingbirds.

    Good luck.


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