I place my feeders in as shady a location as possible so that the sugar-water won’t ferment as quickly. It’s important to maintain the feeder and change the solution at least every 2-3 days or anytime it looks cloudy. So as not to waste sugar, I only fill this feeder about a quarter of the way full – that’s more than enough for a day or two. Notice also that I don’t use red food coloring – it’s not needed so long as some part of the feeder is red to attract the birds.
We have a variety of flowers that are pretty and attractive to hummers; flowering maples (Abutilon) are a favorite and come in many colors. My husband and I try to grow them all. 😉 We have them in purple, peach, yellow and red this year. The first hummingbird I ever saw was nectaring at a red blooming maple that we had trained as a small tree outside the bedroom window. These aren’t hardy for us in NJ, so we bring them inside each fall and try not to kill them. We usually fail.
Killing stuff over the winter gives us an excuse to try something new the following summer. This flowering maple is a new one for us – it looks like the hummers might like it, but I’m not sure about the lantern-shaped flowers. I also grow pineapple sage for the hummers, but it usually blooms so late for me that the hummers are long gone when it finally comes into flower.
I have a collection of pretty glass hummingbird feeders like these that are really beautiful to look at, but are a nightmare to keep clean. My husband can’t resisit buying me a pretty new feeder each year for my birthday, but he’s not the one in charge of cleaning and filling them! I hardly ever use these ones because the ants always find them before anyone else.