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GARDEN GATE: Episode 246 – Benefits of feeding the birds in the summer (July 29, 2022)

  Many people stop feeding the birds in the summer because they feel birds don’t need their help or that they’re worried the birds will become dependent on them. But this isn’t the case. Birds only take about 25% of their food from your backyard feeders. The rest of the time they’re out foraging and … Read more

Garden Gate: Episode 37 – Hummingbirds and Orioles

1_LF-4CHEX TV Air date: May 16th, 2014 Click link to watch this episode Hummingbirds and orioles are almost here. Visit to see where they have been spotted! On this episode of The Garden Gate I’ll help you choose a good quality hummingbird feeder that will last for many years.

I often have customers ask me, despite being diligent about filling their feeders,?why they don?t seem to get any hummingbirds. There could be a few reasons. Here are some tips to help you out.

-choose a quality feeder that has red colour on it -hummingbirds will not feed from feeders with insects in them, so ensure your feeder has an ant moat to keep out ants and bee guards to keep out the bees. -avoid feeders with yellow flowers as this attracts more bees -get your feeders out early (May 1st in our region) -fill with sugar solution of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Ensure the sugar is dissolved. It?s not necessary to boil the water as long as the sugar dissolves. -you may also consider a prepared mix as they often include extra?vitamins and nutrients?(like giving the birds orange juice vs. pop) -do not use food colouring -hang your feeder in a visble location but not the full sun -change the liquid weekly (more often in hot weather) -clean the feeder each time -hang a red scarf or red flag nearby initially to attract the bird. They are highly attracted to the red.

Hummingbirds love certain types of flowers. So include a wide variety whenever possible. Here are some of my favourites to attract the hummingbirds: Lantana, Butterfly bush, Lamium, Salvia, Trumpet vine, Morning glory, Columbine, Honeysuckle, Bee Balm, Fushia, Weigela, Petunia?s, Impatiens and even Scarlet runner beans!

Orioles orioleLike hummingbirds are attacted to red, Orioles are attracted to orange. They also drink nectar in the same concentration at the hummingbird.? So pick out a feeder similar to the one recommended above but in orange!? Orioles will also eat orange slices and grape jelly!? Feeders are available for both of these options.

Orioles are a little harder to attract and keep around. They don?t cruise through gardens as easily as the hummingbirds do.? They can be found where tall trees exist, at the edges of forests and along rivers. So not everyone can attract the oriole.

Orioles also tend to move with the bloom. So if flowers have finished blooming in your yard, the bird?may continue to move north to find more blooms to drink the nectar from.

I have been able to keep orioles in my garden but not after being very consistent about providing them with a food source. It took them about 4 years of feeding before they finally stayed for a longer period than normal. So far I have been unable to find a nest, but I have seen the young at my feeder.

windowalertbutAnd one more tip for this time of year. ?Put stickers on your windows to prevent bird strikes.

These Window Alert stickers are made of an ultraviolet product that the birds can see. It acts like a giant stop light for them, but you barely notice the stickers. So if you don’t like those big black bird stickers from years ago, these are for you!

There are 4 stickers in each package. Place them on the outside of your windows. The more you use the better! ?Replace annually.

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