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Home | Make a Hummingbird Feeder

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Make a Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds do eat insects, but they are better known for their nectar-sipping ways. The best source of carbohydrate-rich nectar is flowers, but you can supplement it when blossoms are scarce by making a feeder. Before launching the project, be sure you can commit to cleaning the jar every few days and refilling it with fresh "nectar." (If allowed to sit more than a few days, nectar can ferment, and this is harmful to hummingbirds!)

To make nectar, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan, and add 1/4 cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and allow it to cool.

While nectar is cooling, start working on the feeder. Remove the lid from the jar. Place it on a flat surface, and with the hammer and nail, make 3 to 4 small holes along one edge. Make sure no sharp edges are exposed.

Pour nectar into the jar until it is 3/4 full. Screw on the cap, and tie a long string around the neck of the jar with the knotted end opposite the holes in the cap. Refrigerate the remaining nectar for up to 2 weeks in a tightly-lidded container.

Hang the feeder from a branch, and nectar will lap up against the holes, where hummingbirds can reach it with their slender beaks and tongues.

Paint or attach bright "petals" to the jar lid as an added attraction. To convert this design to an oriole feeder, make the holes larger and use orange for your petal color.

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