Feeding Hummingbirds






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How many of you have hummingbird feeders? What do you use in them? Have you ever considered the health of the bird? I can say that in the past this never crossed my mind. I had never heard of GMOs. I assumed that if food coloring was on my grocery shelf it was safe.


Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Feeding from Flower, USA
Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Feeding from Flower, USA

Photographic Print
Nussbaumer, Rolf
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Recently I learned that beet sugar contains GMOs and that GMO’s have been linked with infertility. This horrified me as I wondered how this would affect my hummingbirds. Could the use of GMO sugar cause the extinction of hummingbirds? It was something to think about. I now use only cane sugar in my homemade nectar.

A few years ago I had heard not to use food coloring in homemade nectar but never heard why. I just stopped using it as I didn’t want to take any chances. Now I know why. Food dyes have never been studied in regards to their effects on wild life. The three most widely used dyes are Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 and they are all contaminated with cancer-causing substances. Red 3 has been identified as a carcinogen by the FDA but is still commercially used. They don’t sound healthy for human consumption. What could they do to a bird as tiny as a hummingbird? Actually there really isn’t any reason to color the water as you can buy bright-colored glass feeders. I recently purchased two feeders on a mark down table. They are blown glass. One is a bright yellow and the other bright red. Beautiful! And my hummingbirds love them.


Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at Feeder, Illinois
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at Feeder, Illinois

Photographic Print
Imagery, Daybreak
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