This week I hung my little hummingbird feeder up again. It’s facing in an awkward direction…I’ll have to fix that. I’ll insert a photo of it here. The gravel seems to indicate that I’m at ground level…in a sense I am, but on the 4th floor. What you see outside it is the edge of our “Green Roof”, which happens to be gravel.
I know the hummers are here because I see them going to the flowers planted in the pots scattered about on the green roof. I’m in the “patiently waiting” mode right now. I have filled the feeder with sugar syrup. I use 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. I combine those in a pot, and bring it to an easy boil, stirring until the sugar is totally dissolved. I then pour it into a little bottle which I keep in the ‘fridge, until it’s time to fill the feeder again. I certainly bring either cold or hot solution to room temperature before presenting it to the birds.
I am also careful to clean the feeder between uses. I usually have two feeders, so I can put the used one in the dishwasher, and fill the other one. If you have a feeder that can’t be put in the dishwasher…you do need to clean it by hand before putting it out again. Be sure to rinse it carefully after washing. Soap is NOT good for those little birds.
I also know that here at Horizon House we are not supposed to have bird feeders outside our units. I understand that. Birds are messy eaters, strewing seed and discarded hulls all over. This draws unwanted critters. It also creates a mess on windows and balcony’s below…because birds are not particular about where they “poop” or throw seed. So, NO REGULAR BIRD-FEEDERS at Horizon House!!! Not even on our garden decks.
I need to insert a disclaimer here. When we know (and we DO know) the exterior window washer person is due to clean our windows, these feeders MUST BE REMOVED to allow them to clean the windows without impediment! This is an easy task, and a small one to pay for the pleasure of watching these little natural wonders at our window!
But, then we come to hummingbirds. I dare you to find their “poop” on your windows. Occasionally a tiny remnant might be found on the feeder itself, but it is never larger than the head of a pin! They have no seeds to discard, and they are pretty efficient sippers. They don’t spill. Too bad my kids never learned that skill!
Hummingbirds are our constant winter companions here in the Seattle area. They are not as prolific as in the summer, but they are here. There are some flowers available for them, but the feeders provide extra nectar, for which they rejoice.