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Thread: Hummingbird feeder

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    Hummingbird feeder

    I bought a humming bird feeder a few weeks ago, and the feeder has been sitting out with no birds to drink it. The hummingbirds have just arrived and the liquid smells really rancid. How do you suggest I clean it? Soap and water or bleach solution? How often should I change the nectar?

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    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    Here is some hummingbird feeder info 101, from the top.

    Only fill your feeders with enough sugar solution to last, at the most, two or three days. There is no sense in throwing most of the sugar water away when it goes bad before the hummingbirds drink all or most of it.
    Your feeding solution is very rancid if you have not changed it. move quickly as it is now a bird health hazard.
    Sugar solutions last about three to five days under normal outdoor conditions, longer in the cold and less in extreme heat. Feeders should be emptied and cleaned as soon as the sugar solution starts to appear cloudy (which can be in only a day or two if it is very hot or the feeder is in a sunny location, or if your feeder or solution is contaminated). There are a few different ways to clean and sanitize your feeder; no matter your choice, always rinse your feeders thoroughly after washing. Rinse, rinse, rinse; and when you think you've rinsed enough, rinse one last time.


    Various cleaning methods include washing in warm water and mild dish soap; in boiling water only or with boiling water and a mild dish detergent; or washing with vinegar and water. Rinse well if you use anything in addition to plain water.


    Feeders washed with warm water or warm water and soap can then be sanitized by soaking them in a mild bleach solution (in a 1:10 ratio = one part bleach, ten parts water; I usually go for one small "glug" of bleach per sink-full of water) for an hour, followed by lots and lots of rinsing.


    Remember: rinse well!


    There is no need to dry your feeders before refilling them.
    that makes no logic

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    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    Hmmm.. I change the fluid in mine only when its empty which is usually about a week or so. I have hummingbirds at the feeder constantly so I question the comment about it being a "bird health hazzard" after 3 days.

    I have never "cleaned", or "sanitized" it in the 15+ years I have had it, only a good rinsing between fillings.

    Hummingbird feeder soloution = 1 cup of table sugar to 4 cups of water. The excess can be stored in a covered container in the fridge untill ready for use.

    Cheers
    Steve
    There are only 2 infinite things... the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not too sure about the universe.

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    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    It is a health hazard. Sugar is a ready source of energy and is quickly fouled by mould and such. A quick google search of “mould hummingbird feeder” http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...ingbird+feeder will tell you all you need to know.

    Of course some people seem to think that almost anything in the world will kill them, but...

    here are some info from the first 2 pages of the google search
    Unlike bird seed which, contained in shells, can last many weeks or longer if the birds do not eat it right away, hummingbird sugar solution is a liquid and is highly susceptible to mold, harmful bacteria, or fermentation. If you let this happen, you could be risking the health and possibly the lives of the hummingbirds that use your feeder. We can not emphasize enough how important it is to take feeder maintenance seriously.
    When the temperature is over 80 degrees (F), clean and refill every three or four days. Over 90F, it might spoil in two days.
    Your hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned, and nectar changed every 3-4 days--more often in hotter weather. If you see black spots inside your feeder this is mold and you will need to scrub it out with a good bottle brush, but if you can't reach it with a bottle brush you can add some sand with water and shake the feeder to remove the mold. You should never use harsh detergent to clean your feeder. Rinse out each time you change your nectar with hot water, and if you do this on a regular basis you should not have a problem with mold inside the feeder. Don't fill the feeder more than half full, because they won't be able to drink it all before it will need to be changed.
    Because sugar water quickly grows mold that can sicken hummingbirds, feeders MUST be cleaned frequently during the heat of summer, preferably twice a week
    It is extremely important to clean your humming bird feeder on a regualar basis and eliminate all mould
    Your hummingbird feeder should be cleaned every 3 or 4 days and more often in hot weather.
    Wash feeders out in very hot water every 2 to 3 days. You may add some vinegar to the hot water to remove mold, or, for really tough cleaning jobs, use a tiny amount of Clorox, making sure to rinse the feeder out thoroughly when you are through.If you should find it necessary, scrub hard-to-reach spots with a bottle brush or pipe cleaner.
    that makes no logic

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    VFT and Drosera lover vft guy in SJ's Avatar
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    Well if you say so.. if I havent killed them off in the last 15 years I doubt it will happen now.
    There are only 2 infinite things... the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not too sure about the universe.

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    Whats it to ya? Finch's Avatar
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    Ok. Its possible to be fine and not do any of it, thats true. Most athorities suggest that, and i am not one, so I myself would do it...

    but

    I do know a elderly lady who can keep some cp's on her window edge and whatever she does, water with tap (our water is pertty hard) and the wrong soil mix, its still alive and fine after many years. Things you think are delicate can surprise you, there is no doubt about that


    EDIT: and i dont clean my wild birdfeeders as often as they reccomend, either
    that makes no logic

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    It's been one of dem days BigCarnivourKid's Avatar
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    My method is between both of yours. I leave it out until it begins to get cloudy or shows other signs of contamination. Then I rinse it thoroughly. Every couple of rinses I use chlorine and soapy water to disinfect the feeder. I also do this if I find mold attached to any of the internal parts of the feeder. I also don't use any food coloring in my sugar solution.
    ---Steve Allinger---

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    Quote Originally Posted by vft guy in SJ View Post
    Well if you say so.. if I havent killed them off in the last 15 years I doubt it will happen now.
    ... but how would you know? Especially if a weaker h-bird got a systemic mold infection from your feeder? With a large population of humingbirds in the area, I doubt that you'd notice:
    - a reduction in the overall population (unless you managed to have botulism in the feeder)
    - a weak bird fall down & die 200 yds from your place in the brush

    It's unlikely that any damaged birds would do you the favor of croaking at your feeder for you to witness. So, the absence of having witnessed bad things happening isn't necessarily proof that it really hasn't occurred ....
    All the best,
    Ron
    You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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