Ranger Rick, Ranger Rick Jr

Invite Hummingbirds to Your Yard: Make a Hummingbird Feeder from Recycled Items

Want to attract hummingbirds to your yard? Then make your own hummer feeder using one of these ideas.

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Average Rating:
Participant Age: 7 to 12, 12 and up
Approximate Cost: Under $10
Duration: 1 to 60 minutes
Difficulty:
Physical Challenge:
  • Glue
  • Jar or bottle or frisbee
  • Nail
  • Paint
  • Straw
  • String
  • Sugar water
  • Tape
  • Wire

Want to invite hummingbirds to visit your yard, window, or balcony?


PLANT A HUMMINGBIRD GARDEN

Hummingbirds go for red, orange, and purple tube-shaped flowers with lots of nectar in them. No need for a landing pad (they hover) or odor (they don't have a strong sense of smell). Fill a flower pot, window box, or garden patch with their favorites to bring them flocking. Examples are: fuschia, nasturtium, scarlet runner bean, cardinal flower. You can also ask at a garden center what kinds of plants are best for where you live. 


HANG A HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER:


Option 1: Make a hummingbird feeder from a baby food jar

Use a nail to poke a 1/8-inch (3-mm) hole in the lid of a clean baby food jar. (Ask an adult to help.) Fill the jar with sugar water and screw on the lid. Add red paint or tape around the hole to attract the birds' attention. Attach wire around the lid to hang the feeder.

Option 2: Make a hummingbird feeder from a plastic bottle
In a clean plastic bottle, make a hole about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the cap. Push a plastic straw through the hole. Fill the bottle with water, turn it upside down, and adjust the straw until water fills it up without spilling out. Empty the bottle and glue the straw in place with waterproof glue. Tie a string around the bottle to hang it, and add a circle of red cardboard or plastic around the straw.
Option 3: Make a hummingbird feeder from a frisbee
Turn a red Frisbee upside down and fill it with sugar water. Simply set it on a table, or poke holes at the top of the rim and attach wire to hang it.
Place your hummingbird feeder in a shady area
Look for a place with trees or bushes nearby to give hummers somewhere to hide and rest between visits.
Change the hummingbird nectar often in summer

To make hummingbird nectar, mix ½ cup of sugar with 1 cup of hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Add 1 cup of cold water.

Sugar water spoils quickly in summer heat. Every few days, be sure to scrub your feeder clean, rinse it thoroughly, and refill it. You can keep extra sugar water in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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