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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was given a hummingbird feeder. The little flower spouts are on the bottom (seems as though they are usually near the top of a flattish sort of feeder, but this one is tall and has those spouts on the bottom), so when I made the hummingbird food from a recipe that said 4 parts water to 1 part sugar, it all just ran out as soon as I opened the little spouts.

I did not let the food chill first, it was still warm. Maybe that was a mistake? Or maybe I need a recipe with a higher concentration of sugar?

Help!
 

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Chilling it might help; the 4 to 1 ratio is standard for feeding hummingbirds.  I'm trying to picture what feeder you're using...
 

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4 to 1 ratio is correct....sounds as though you have a damaged feeder.  Water should not run out of it at all.  I do use water that is heated when I mix it; sugar disolves better.
 

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Hmnnn.... I use 3-to-1. Either probably is fine.

I have several feeders. Most of mine have sort of a shallow bottom that can be split open for cleaning--maybe yours wasn't sealed shut? Or you said you "opened' the spigots...maybe you leave them closed and the bird beaks it open enough? I dunno...
 

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My hummers stay with me for 7-8 months.....I gave up on leaking, dripping feeders and have planted lots of hummer-happy flowers, bushes and trees. Salvia(s), butterfly bushes and Mimosa trees really make them happy. A fine spray from the hose or a mister gives them the opportunity for a cooling shower !!

Kool Kritters !


 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, everyone, at least I know I used the correct proportions. I'll try chilling the mixture next time.

The feeder is sort like a vase, with a cork on top and a hook to hang it up. Then at the sides of the bottom are where the little flower-spouts are. They have plugs, which I assume are to be used until you hang up the feeder (as otherwise the hummingbirds couldn't put their long beaks in there!), and then unplug them. When I unplugged it, that when the water/sugar mixture ran right out of the feeder. But, as I said, it was still warm, so maybe it needed to gel or something.

That, or this feeder is just not made right!  ???  I have to buy more sugar to make more food, as I used up the little I happened to have on hand. When I try again with chilled hummingbird food, I'll let you know if it works!
 

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Ann, practice with plain water first. The thickness or recipe for the syrup that goes into the feeder should not make any difference in how the hummingbird feeder works. Usually the hummingbird feeders work based on a vacuum forming to keep the liquid in. Either the cork at the top is not fitted well enough to make a vacuum or the lower plugs are meant to stay in. I suspect the cork at the top.

Can you post a photo of the feeder or a link to a page where it is sold?
 

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Here's what I do.

I put a half-cup of sugar in the feeder. Then I fill it up about half-way or a little more and cover the end with my hand. I shake it up until the sugar dissolves.

The birds love it. We have three or four flitting around the window right now. We have three feeders up.

I don't measure anything or have any idea what ratio I'm using. I used to make it a lot more complicated, but this works just fine. I love hummingbirds! They're amazing creatures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Annalog said:
Ann, practice with plain water first. The thickness or recipe for the syrup that goes into the feeder should not make any difference in how the hummingbird feeder works. Usually the hummingbird feeders work based on a vacuum forming to keep the liquid in. Either the cork at the top is not fitted well enough to make a vacuum or the lower plugs are meant to stay in. I suspect the cork at the top.

Can you post a photo of the feeder or a link to a page where it is sold?
It was a gift, bought at Fred Meyer, I think, but I can't find a picture of it. When I try again with the food, I'll make sure the cork is in tightly and see if that helps.
 

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Ann Herrick said:
It was a gift, bought at Fred Meyer, I think, but I can't find a picture of it. When I try again with the food, I'll make sure the cork is in tightly and see if that helps.
I forgot to say our feeders are 32 ounces. I use around a half cup of sugar to 16 or 20 ounces of water whatever that mix is. They seem to love it.

I think it's probably a bit stronger than it's supposed to be.
;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Doug DePew said:
I forgot to say our feeders are 32 ounces. I use around a half cup of sugar to 16 or 20 ounces of water whatever that mix is. They seem to love it.

I think it's probably a bit stronger than it's supposed to be.
;D
I'm sure the hummingbirds don't mind. :)
 

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Victorine said:
If you can't get it to not leak, don't use it because the sugar water will attract ants.
Ants eat out of ours and they don't leak at all. They climb into the little holes for the birds. I have a bunch of them inside every time I clean and re-fill. I've tried a bunch of things to keep them out, but none of them work. I just keep cleaning them out.

I saw a Japanese beetle eating out of one the other day! We also have orioles that sometimes eat out of them, too. That's funny because they're so big. One thing I've found that attracts many more hummingbirds more often is a perch. Our old feeders didn't have one, but the new ones have a perch all the way around the feeder. They like the ones with a perch much better. Sometimes three of four of them will perch at the same time and eat out of their own hole. They're out there all the time now.
 

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I found this one, I hope it helps.
Regards

The hummingbird food recipe is made up of 1 part white granulated table sugar and 4 parts of regular tap water. This 1 to 4 ratio of sugar to water will closely resemble the nectar that hummingbirds get from flower blossoms.
The hummingbird nectar recipe starts by stirring the white granulated table sugar into the tap water in a pan on your stove while bringing the mixture to a boil. The importance of boiling the solution is to remove chlorine from the water and to kill any mold spores or any yeast spores that might be in the granulated sugar.
Continue boiling the hummingbird food recipe for two minutes and then take it off the heat to cool. You don't need to boil the nectar any longer than 2 minutes or you will boil away enough of the water to change the ratio of sugar to water. A higher sugar concentration resulting from boiling too long, will be more likely to attract insects.
When your homemade hummingbird food has cooled you can add it to your feeder. You can store any excess hummingbird food recipe in the refrigerator (for 7 - 8 days) and use it later.
 
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