It's no fun when birds dig through seed, dump it on the ground while digging for the sunflower seeds, and then you end up with a bunch of stuff you don't want sprouting all around the feeder. We learned years ago to just buy the bags of 100% sunflower seeds. That way the birds aren't rifling through everything else to find them. Sure, they do still occasionally drop a seed or two but what's the worst thing that can happen if a sunflower sprouts?
I took a screen out of one window so I could get some bird photos. These are really blurry but here are a few of the birds we see regularly...
|Hummingbird...This feeder is actually in the back yard on our deck, but we see several hummingbirds a day at both feeders. Every night around 6 or 7 pm there are two birds who fight over this feeder!
|Oriole on the oriole feeder
|The prettiest oriole I've seen this year...so bright!! Can't seem to lure him onto the feeder yet...he keeps his distance.
So anyway, the point of this post...I've been making my own food for years for my hummingbird feeders and oriole feeder and I thought I'd share because it's super easy.
Oriole Food: 5 parts water, 1 part sugar, red + yellow food coloring (orange)
Hummingbird Food: 4 parts water, 1 part sugar, red food coloring
Directions: Bring water to a boil. Add sugar, stir until dissolved. Add food coloring and cool. Store extra food in the frig.
That's it. You really don't have to buy any special mix. This is the only thing I've used, and we get birds several times a day! Be sure to empty, wash out, and refill your feeders often, especially if it's been really hot. A good clue that you may have waited too long would be if the color has faded to clear, you see dead ants floating in it, or any other gross stuff floating in it. (You can't blame a bird for not eating that)
I like to store mine in these coffee creamer containers. They have a great little spout for pouring into the small opening on your feeder. I just recently made little labels for each one, and I took the liberty of uploading my labels for you to print for free! Download them here! I printed mine on sticky-back paper, but put a piece of mailing tape over it to help protect it. Of course if you print them on an inkjet and get it wet, it will run. But, hey, the printable is free so you can always make another. There's a little reminder on the label to help you remember the recipe for refills!
Happy bird watching!