I love hummingbirds. A few years ago I was lucky enough to see a nest in one of the trees in our back yard. The food is easy to make (one part sugar to four parts water) so why buy it?
Hummers aren’t the only creatures that like the sweet syrup. So do ants. They serve a purpose in the big scheme of things but I’m not a fan of ants. On my hummingbird feeders.
I’ve used this natural ant repellent for several years and it works great. Plus it’s cheap. And harmless.
These tiny, syrup, sucking insects don’t like ground cinnamon. So I mix cinnamon (use the cheap stuff) with some petroleum jelly and slather it on the pole about 12-16 inches close to the ground.
Then I throw/shake extra cinnamon on the mixture on and around the base the pole just so they know it’s there.
I also sprinkle it on the top of my feeder. The cinnamon/petroleum jelly mixture can also be applied to the top if your feeder is different.
No more ants on my feeder.
Of course I replenish the cinnamon as needed when I refill the feeder or if we’ve had a lot of rain or wind.
Remember to replace the hummingbird food and thoroughly wash the feeder at least once a week even if there is still food in it. Heat will sour the mixture in a few days. I usually fill my feeder about half way so I don’t waste much food. I’d rather refill it more often than have sour, cloudy food for those amazing little birds.
Clean, full feeders make happy hummers.
My view from the breakfast table of a small part of our backyard provides me with a variety of happenings in nature.
Most mornings one or two rabbits who live under our deck nibble on grass. At least one chipmunk scampers across the deck. Various birds such as robins, wrens, woodpeckers and the occasional blue bird peck at the ground and surrounding trees for bugs and worms. No fewer than four squirrels defy gravity with their aerial antics as they jump from branch to branch, tree to tree.
This morning a hummingbird frequented the hummingbird feeder and several squirrels ran helter-skelter across the ground. A large hawk swooped down several times towards the squirrels. Was he successful? I’m not sure but the backyard became a ghost town rather quickly though the hummingbird (circled in the photo below) seemed oblivious to the drama. I could hear other song birds in the trees.
But all the small furry creatures where nowhere to be found.
This weekend during our Memorial Day celebrations, we witnessed something truly amazing. Well, it was amazing for us.
Can you see it? It’s only two inches across.
It’s a hummingbird nest.
She’s right above our deck.
We had never seen a hummingbird nest before and had no idea she was there until we heard her chirping when we opened our umbrella over the table. I was lucky to get these few pictures before she flew off the nest again.
We can’t see inside the nest to know if she has any eggs but it’s fun just knowing she’s there.
Our feeder is about ten feet from her nest. I will be very diligent in keeping it filled with fresh food.