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Hummingbird food

July 16 2017 at 5:24 PM

Mary  (Login Cuyamaca)
Hummingbird Lover 2017

How long can I keep hummingbird food in the freezer. I'm trying to get ahead of the game, I'm feeding a gallon of nectar a day.

 
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Ken
(Login 5strings)
Hummingbirder 2010

Re: Hummingbird food

July 16 2017, 5:57 PM 

A gallon a day, wow! Lucky to use an ounce a day here.

Why freeze? Why not just make a gallon of sugar water a day?

Ken
Central NJ
USDA Zone 6
:c)

 
 
Marilyn Gruber
(Login MarilynGruber)
Hummingbird Lover 2015

Hummingbird food

July 16 2017, 8:11 PM 

Oh my!! I can not even imagine how any hummingbirds you are feeding. I know you can make it up in advance and store for a week (for sure) in the refrigerator. Although I cannot even imagine finding space for 7 gallons of sugar water in my refrigerator. Hope for better answers for you, why you must be spending all your time making sugar water and cleaning feeders.

Marilyn
Marilyn Gruber
Wisconsin
Zone 5

 
 

Cathy P (Downers Grove, IL Zone 5b)
(Login Bazuhi)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Hummingbird food

July 17 2017, 1:00 AM 

Wow!!
I would think it would depend on if you have
a self defrosting freezer and non defrosting
and how long you plan on leaving it.
Me I would just boil enought for two days, fill
as you go.
Cathy P
A Hummingbird Fan in Downers Grove, Illinois
Zone 5a
bazuhi@sbcglobal.net
See My Hummingbird Gardens and Plants
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Astrid
(Login FlyingJewels)
Hummingbird Lover 2017

Re: Hummingbird food

July 17 2017, 12:02 PM 

Holy cow!! Where in the world do you live?? I want to move there! So how many hummers do you approx. have?
I usually make two cups and keep them in the fridge for about 2 weeks. I only need a very small amount (which I change every 3 days).

 
 

Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Hummingbird food

July 17 2017, 1:43 PM 

Mary,
Quite a few hummers your feeding (upwards of 4-500) a day. Can only guess where your located?

I've never had the thought of freezing my solution but don't see why it wouldn't work, sugar solution probably freezes at a lower temp. than regular water. Be careful of the container you use if you do freeze the solution, glass will crack for sure!
We only have the good fortune of using about 1 1/2 qt. a day so 2 pt. size bottles are kept in the fridge at the ready and making up a couple or three pt. a day is no great hardship or very time consuming.

Happy Humming birding,




Joe M.
Lakeland, FL

 
 

Mary
(Login Cuyamaca)
Hummingbird Lover 2017

How many birds

July 17 2017, 3:43 PM 

I live in the country and I am probably the only hummingbird feeders around for miles. When I lived closer to town I only had one maybe two hummingbirds.
I thought when I put up more 32oz hummingbird feeders I wouldn't have to fill them so often---WRONG, the more feeders I put up (six 32 oz. and two smaller feeders) the more hummingbirds I have.
I make 16 cups of nectar a day, sometimes twice that a day. I am going through probably 10 lbs. of sugar a week or more.
Come February before they come back, I want to have a good supply in our freezer in the garage so I don't have to scramble to make a lot. I know the number of birds will come slowly but by next summer I will be overwhelmed with birds.
Are my calculations on number of birds correct?
1 oz. = 29.5735 grams x 32 oz. = 946.35 per feeder x 4 feeders = 3,785.408 grams divided by 5 grams (each bird eats a day) = 757 birds. That seems WAY to high.


    
This message has been edited by Cuyamaca on Jul 17, 2017 4:41 PM


 
 

Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Hummingbird food

July 17 2017, 4:21 PM 

Mary,
Again you didn't mention where in the US you live ("in the country") is a bit vague.
Here is a link to the most logical article I have read that uses volume as an estimate of the number of hummingbirds using the feeders.
https://fieldguidetohummingbirds.wordpress.com/2008/01/12/running-the-hummer-numbers/

The numbers are based on consumption research of Black-chinned hummingbirds and would be abut the same for Ruby-throated hummingbirds. I suspect your location is in the western US, with larger birds that consume more solution a day per bird and why I offered a 4-500 number.

Your estimate does seem a bit high but very possible. I question the need to freeze solution over the winter months since at the start of the season, as you mention, your numbers start low and as the days go by the numbers increase.
Same experience here in MA with a much smaller population of Ruby-throats. I start with 16 oz. and a few feeders but never have used 32 oz. feeders. I gauge my need to put up more or larger volume feeders by how quickly the least used feeder is depleted, If the least used is not depleted in 3 days I reduce the number of feeder, if its depleted in less than 3 days I add a feeder.
Cheers,





Joe M.
Lakeland, FL


    
This message has been edited by flhummer on Jul 17, 2017 4:22 PM


 
 

Mary
(Login Cuyamaca)
Hummingbird Lover 2017

Number of birds

July 17 2017, 4:30 PM 

I live in Southern California, Julian to be exact. Didn't even know they would have hummingbirds out here. I live at 4800' elevation, so we get a little snow in the winter.
The first time I knew there were hummers is when I was sitting on our steps when we had just moved in and a hummer literally came right up to my face and looked at me like it was saying "You going to feed me?" I ran inside and immediately made some hummingbird food, it's gone up hill from there.


    
This message has been edited by Cuyamaca on Jul 17, 2017 4:31 PM


 
 

Joe M.
(Login flhummer)
Hummingbirder 2012

Re: Hummingbird food

July 17 2017, 5:20 PM 

Thanks for the info regarding your location and elevation.
Without a doubt you have hoards of Anna's Hummingbirds using your feeders, with a few Costa and Black-chinned in the mix.
The Anna's make life miserable for the other but they do get in to use feeders regardless, since with so many birds using the feeders it's hard for any of the birds to exert a real ability to keep other birds from using the feeders.

Your location, and knowing which species is predominate would seem to validate my estimate with a fair amount of inaccuracy. More likely its closer to 500 than 700 hummers.

Must be a real circus watching the activity around your feeders.
Joe M.
Lakeland, FL

 
 
Alex
(Login Sweeper13)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Hummingbird food

July 18 2017, 1:27 PM 

WOW...I make 2 cups every 3 days and toss most of it. Can you post a video?

Alex
Northlake, Il.
Click for Forecast for 60164 from weatherUSA

 
 
Dan
(Login hawkeye_wx)
Hummingbird lover 2009

Re: Hummingbird food

July 18 2017, 1:49 PM 

I make 4 ounces every 2 days and even most of that little bit gets thrown out.
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a

 
 
Pete
(Login Sundodger)
Hummingbirders 2010

Re: Hummingbird food

July 18 2017, 2:24 PM 

Hi Mary. I've frozen pre-made nectar, but in much smaller amounts. I used ice cube trays and then stored the cubes in freezer bags so that I could take out only what I needed at the time.

You could probably use pint containers or larger and then store in the larger freezer bags.

The frozen nectar will remain somewhat syrupy to the touch. At least in my freezer on my fridge it did. I should have tried freezing it in my upright freezer that is set much lower than my fridge/freezer.

In the bags I saw no sign of the cubes degrading like a cube left out in the freezer would from the air moving around, it tends to take the moisture out of it and the cube shrinks in size.

Good luck! Let us know how it turns out.
Click for Forecast for 54304 from weatherUSA
Green Bay, WI
Plant Zone 5

 
 

Mary
(Login Cuyamaca)
Hummingbird Lover 2017

Video

July 18 2017, 5:05 PM 

I took a video of my birds, but can't figure out how to post it. I have tried uploading to Photobucket, but it's more trouble then it's worth. I have tried just to "copy" and "paste" but that doesn't work. Any suggestions?

 
 

Mary
(Login Cuyamaca)
Hummingbird Lover 2017

Video

July 18 2017, 5:37 PM 

https://www.flickr.com/gp/152784174@N07/5Sj161

Sorry about it being sideways, but I don't know how to rotate it on Flickr.

 
 
Alex
(Login Sweeper13)
Hummingbird Lover 2014

Re: Hummingbird food

July 18 2017, 11:12 PM 

Nice......Only warning<<<>>>>> viewer will have tilt head or turn your monitor..lol


Thanks for posting
Alex
Northlake, Il.
Click for Forecast for 60164 from weatherUSA

 
 

Nathan
(Login nmotz06)
Hummingbird lover 2013

Re: Hummingbird food

July 19 2017, 12:09 PM 

Awesome, gotta love California. Hummingbirds certainly do! I was always amazed by how well hummingbirds have adapted to the entirety of that state. Mountains, coast, desert, valley, whatever, hummingbirds love that whole state.
Nathan Motz
Deridder, Louisiana

 
 
Ken
(Login 5strings)
Hummingbirder 2010

Re: Hummingbird food

July 19 2017, 2:13 PM 

Amazing sight! If they were that common here I wonder if I would get as excited about hummingbirds. Probably would. Lol

I used to make a quart of sugar water to stick in my fridge as it was hard to make a few ounces of the mix. I found that I was not able to go a week in the fridge as that is about where I started seeing small fuzzy black circles floating around, so I just mix new every couple of days. Never thought of freezing it.

Since you go through so much sugar water I am not sure just how much you would gain by freezing. Unless you have a big commercial type setup you will probably still have to mix it at the same quantities as you are now, a gallon at a time? If you could mix more at once why not mix a few days worth and store the next day or two in the fridge? Are you going to freeze a months supply, 30 gallons? Is your freezer that big? It is also expensive to run a freezer. In many situations ice cubes take on a funny smell and taste in some freezers, especially over time. Someone mentioned above that sugar water stays thick when it defrosts, if so is it really the same as when it was first frozen? Finally, are you going to take it out a day or two before it is needed or are you going to heat it up? Seems like extra work.

Why not pre-measure the sugar and store the correct amount of dry sugar in baggies. The day you need sugar water pour the baggie FIRST into a known container that has a mark where the proper ratio is achieved when water and sugar are mixed, add water to that line and shake... done. Seems that with premeasured sugar it should only take a few minutes. Perhaps have 2 containers and mix it a day before you need it so that time will disolve the sugar. Just a thought.

Ken
Central NJ
USDA Zone 6
:c)


    
This message has been edited by 5strings on Jul 20, 2017 12:43 AM


 
 
Marilyn Gruber
(Login MarilynGruber)
Hummingbird Lover 2015

Hummingbird food

July 19 2017, 3:25 PM 

Mary,

I think I will make a visit to your place with a net and catch a few to bring home to my yard, you have plenty to share!! Just a "joke" of course, but you sure do have a bunch. Enjoyed your video and thanks for sharing. Especially since I am lucky if I see four together in my yard at one time.

Marilyn
Marilyn Gruber
Wisconsin
Zone 5

 
 

Kathi and Michael Rock
(Login kathirock)
Hummingbird Member 2006

Re: Hummingbird food

July 20 2017, 12:21 AM 

That is quite amazing to see so many hummingbirds at the feeder at the same time. In my next life, I'm going to live in California or Arizona so that I can experience this for myself.

I like the idea of pre-measuring the sugar in baggies ahead of time. It would also help to have a special gallon-sized container and big spoon that you use only for hummingbird nectar and then it would be very easy to mix up. I think freezing sounds like a lot of extra work.
Michael and Kathi Rock
Madison, WI
Zone 5

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