Give your Hummingbirds a Helping Hand

Soon your tiniest feathered friends will be making the long trip south for the winter. The end of summer is the time of year hummingbirds fatten up on nectar for the long flight. They can increase their body weight by up to 50% so they can travel up to 23 miles a day. They can even fly up to 600 miles without refueling. Since many of them winter in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, they must fly across the 525-mile Gulf of Mexico.

What can you do? Here’s a list of 5 things you can do to help your hummingbirds:

1) Put out extra hummingbird feeders.

2) Refresh hummingbird nectar every 2 days.

3) If you use a mix to make your nectar, make it a little stronger (with a higher sugar content) than normal. It can be made in advance and stored in your refrigerator ready for use.

4) Leave feeders out after your last sighting of a hummer in case of stragglers passing through.

5) Plant flowers with a high nectar content like bee balm, coral honeysuckle, butterfly bush, butterfly weed, trumpet vine and red morning glory.

Remember, in the spring hummingbirds make this same trip in reverse and will welcome any refreshments on their journey!

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