How to Help Hummingbirds!

Posted June 10, 2020 by Vindi Sekhon

Hummingbirds need to feed almost continuously. It may surprise you that such a small animal, who weighs about the size of a loonie, has a high demand for food. Hummingbirds can consume half their weight every day. Nectar fuels hummingbird’s metabolism – the highest of an endothermic animal on earth. It’s best to provide flowering plants that produce nectar in the spring and summer. If flowers aren’t an option, then a feeder can be supportive. Here is an easy-to-follow recipe for your hummers!

Ingredients: Refined white sugar and Water

Directions for making safe hummingbird food:

  1. Mix 1part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) boil until the sugar is dissolved, removing fluoride.
  2. Do not add red dye such as food colouring
  3. Allow mixture to cool completely
  4. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside
  5. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator for 5 days
  6. Change feeders every other day and thoroughly clean them each time to prevent harmful mold growth

What to do if you find Hummingbirds in Distress – four areas of concern:

  • Passing Out – The bird lands on the feeder, then after eating, it passes out from the cold and falls in the snow. We have advised the public to use a towel to pick up the bird and place in a box with air holes and place the feeder in the box with them, close it, and bring indoors, to a warm dark or dim, QUIET place where they will not be disturbed for the night.
  • Hummingbird is in my house – If the hummingbird is in your house, you can lure it towards an exit with a hummingbird feeder or play sounds of a hummingbird from your phone drawing it to the door. This will require patience and commitment.
  • Hummingbird struck my window – Use a towel to pick up the bird, place in a box with air holes, and bring to Wildlife Rescue as soon as possible. Window strikes can cause non-visible injuries, so we need to do a health check.

With spring babies, predator attacks, and depleted food sources you may find hummingbirds or other animals in distress. Call the Wildlife Rescue Support Centre at 604.526.7275, option 1. Wildlife Rescue Support Centre will share best practices for the safety and survival of the animal. For additional information, visit our website here.

Some signs to watch for in the bird species are on the ground, weak, confused, soiled, tongue sticking out, visible injuries, or unable to fly. Please bring it to Wildlife Rescue as soon as possible.

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