Brrr! It’s December and it’s cold here in the Pacific Northwest. This week the sun is shining but the temperature is ranging between the 30s in the day and the teens (F) at night. I know there are colder places but this is plenty cold enough for me.
Our little feathered friends seem to winter over well enough, some smart enough to head south to warmer climes. Well I would too! To keep them coming back I offer a smorgasbord of their favorites. In addition to the plant seed heads I leave intact in the winter garden, I stock birdfeeders with seed, and hummingbird feeders with syrup year round. Feeding them not only provides a helping hand with their survival, it also brings more of them into my garden where they eat bugs, helping me keep down insect destruction. It’s definitely win-win.
Our region has a hummingbird species that stay all year, opting out of the trip south. For them, I make my own syrup of sugar/water, as the boxed stuff with red dye is not only unnecessary color but the dye is reportedly harmful to them. The feeder tube has enough red plastic to attract them. In a one cup measure I put ½ cup sugar and fill to the 1 cup mark with boiling water. Stir to dissolve and cool. Boiling the water first keeps the syrup from spoiling a little longer. They come to sip 365 day of the year. And since more than half their diet is comprised of bug eating, that’s a lot less bugs eating my plants. In this freezing weather, even the sugar water can freeze, but wrapping the bottle with bubble wrap helps keep it thawed longer. And have you ever noticed the chickadees steal a sip of syrup from the hummers feeder? They do! They must have a sweet