by Leslie Cox; Monday; January 4, 2021

Anna's hummingbird - femaleIf you have hummingbirds overwintering in your garden or neighbourhood, be sure to keep the hummingbird feeders cleaned and filled. There is not much nectar flowing at this time of year for them.

Be sure to wash the feeder in warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly before re-filling. Even in winter, there is a possibility of mold forming in the tiny feeding tubes. Mold is harmful to the tiny birds. A pipe cleaner works well for this purpose and a stiff bottle brush works for scrubbing the bottle part of the feeder.

Boy, it is cold outsideWe have four feeders but only put two out at a time…one in the front and one in the back. The other two are the ‘standbys’, ready to go out when an outside one is empty…or if it has frozen solid overnight.

If you do not have a spare feeder on standby, a hair dryer works well in thawing a frozen feeder quickly. But be sure you place the feeder on a plate or in a container before you start thawing it. As the syrup warms up, it tends to leak out a bit.

It also helps to have some syrup made up and stored in a jar in the fridge for quick access. But only keep the refrigerated syrup for 3 – 4 days.