Vacation and feeders

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by MDgreenery MDgreenery 1 month, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #5269710 Report Abuse

    Gismapper
    Participant

    OK hummer pros, this is my first successful year feeding hummingbirds and in a couple weeks I’ll be taking a week-long vacation. Any suggestions what to do with the feeders while I’m gone? I might not be able to have someone clean them. Is it better to just take them down? Leave them up but empty? Fill them right before we leave and hope for the best? I have some decent flowers around for them to feed on, but they’re not really enough to replace the feeders. My biggest concern is for their safety. After a week, those feeders will probably be nasty. It would also be a shame for them to get out of the habit of visiting my yard, but I don’t think a few days would bring that on. So…what do you all think? I’m hoping I can get someone reliable to do it, but what should I do if I can’t?


    #5269733 Report Abuse
    CatsBirds
    CatsBirds
    Participant

    If you go on vacation or miss a week putting out feeders, don’t feel sorry for the birds; Ruby-throated Hummingbirds know other food sources for at least a mile in all directions. And if they are emptying them then they will be fine and when you come back, clean them out and refill..


    Sharon, Catsbirds, Community Team Member
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    #5269767 Report Abuse
    ili Z.9
    ili Z.9
    Participant

    I have same problem and usually do what Sharon says


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    #5269956 Report Abuse

    Gismapper
    Participant

    Thank you for the advice! @sharon…haha..I wasn’t feeling bad for them, I was worried they’d get get tired of seeing an empty feeder and never come back! They’ve never come close to emptying my feeders so I’m figuring after a week, the leftover food would be quite unhealthy for them. I guess I’ll just empty the feeders before we head out. Does that sound reasonable?


    #5270040 Report Abuse
    MDgreenery
    MDgreenery
    Participant

    Not sure how hot you get there or what kind of weather you may be experiencing on a regular basis but by now you probably have a good feel/estimation for how long it takes your hummers to drink  X  amount of  sugar water?

    If so, then I would fill up just enough for 3 days worth of hummer juice just before leaving. You can adjust this according to how often you clean & provide fresh juice for your hummers (mine is 3 days max but your weather may be more intense?). At the 3 day point the feeders usually need refilling for us. I try to estimate the amount of sugar water  so there is no waste with an equally low chance of harmful contamination/growth for this amount of time.

    Filling it to the point of cleaning day should eliminate some of your worries. The empty feeders will still be there (hopefully) when you return, so my guess is the hummers will continue to return to your feeders (just to see if  “their flowers” produced new nectar while they were out gallivanting;-).


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