Letters to the Editor

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NATURE: Don’t stop feeding hummingbirds

Letter by Kathleen Murray, University Place on Dec. 19, 2013 at 11:57 am with No Comments »
December 19, 2013 12:02 pm

Many of us who have hummingbird feeders might assume the feeders can be ignored during bitter freezing weather. When the sugar solution freezes solid at night, we might assume the tiny birds didn’t stay around. They’re still here!

Our hummers don’t migrate to warmer climates for winter. They still stay in Washington even in higher elevations where it is colder than near Puget Sound.

Don’t change your recipe; continue with a 4:1 ratio of water and white sugar. Don’t add red dye, which is unnecessary and harmful. Don’t use honey or other substitutes for regular sugar. Continue to change and clean your feeder every week.

Hummers don’t feed at night, so you can bring your feeder in then, but get it back out early as they begin feeding at dawn. Or hang a trouble light near it at night, or a bundle of little Christmas lights on the feeder, to keep the solution just warm enough to avoid freezing on those really cold nights like we had last week.

Enjoy seeing these marvels who stay with us year-round, flitting across our snowy backyards!

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