Journey 252: A Hummingbird Feeder in the Garden

I’ve never had a feeder up for hummingbirds before. Because I have cats, I’m cautious about attracting birds to the garden. So I’ve refrained from installing feeders or bird baths. However, the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed hummingbirds flitting about the garden. These fast moving birds are not easy targets for the cats. 

This is the time of year that hummingbirds migrate south, ahead of falling temperatures. These colorful, tiny birds, so named because of the humming sound made by their rapidly moving wings, pack on weight in preparation for their long trip. Their final destination for the winter is a region   located between southern Mexico and Central America. That’s quite a journey for such a small creature. 

Because they have such a high metabolism, they must eat frequently. I knew hummingbirds consumed large quantities of nectar, preferring a high sugar content.  I learned today that they also eat insects and spiders, making them great allies for my garden. The feeder supplies a high sugar artificial nectar. I can make my own, which is simply one part sugar to four parts water. Red coloring isn’t necessary. 
I’m excited about having a feeder, which I’ll continue to use next year. It’s hanging from the metal archway in the backyard garden. I can watch for hummingbirds from the brickio or from my chair indoors, in my creative space. I was concerned whether feeding the birds as they pass through would cause them to linger too long in the area. They can’t survive our cold winters. But the research I did today assured me that these little birds have the instinct to fatten up and keep flying south. I am happy to assist them in their journey.