You may notice your hummingbirds being less social and active in hot summer months. This is because they’re having a hard time regulating their temperature and are very exhausted.
Their wellbeing, energy, emotions, and even their reproduction is negatively impacted. You can imagine the plants they use for shade getting all dry and withered, their water sources declining, and their habitats heating up because of the scorching heat.
When temperatures reach more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, birds tend to lose their appetite which means that they’re not only in danger of perishing from over fatigue but of starvation too.
Helping them out in the hot weather is more than important.
Make Your Yard Hummingbird-friendly
Provide Sufficient Water In Your Yard
It’s summertime, what else would any living thing need more than a fresh supply of clean water?
Hummingbirds are more prone to experiencing dehydration sooner than any other animal because they don’t sweat at all. What they do is remove their excess body heat through their respiratory system. This means that they experience increased respiration rates and too much panting.
They need water to regulate their body’s temperature, replace the fluids they lost, and to calm their respiratory system.
Consider A Hummingbird Bath
This is probably the best way to help their wellbeing and happiness in the extremes of summer. Hummingbirds tend to be perfectionists when it comes to cleaning themselves and they need a continuous supply of drinking water for their survival too.
Birdbaths act as a safe and relaxing space for them to rest, cool down, and increase their energy and alertness. However, these can spread illnesses or worsen their condition too if not properly maintained. A birdbath needs to be regularly scrubbed, refilled, and replaced with cool fresh water once heated up by the sun.
Water Your Garden Regularly
The flowers in your garden shouldn’t only be rich in nectar, but fully hydrated too. When you frequently water them, you’re basically guaranteeing an abundant production of nectar and supply of freshwater droplets.
It may sound silly, but the water droplets on your plants help and attract hummingbirds, it is literally gentle hydration for them as they brush up against the plants or fly through the mist.
Better Your Feeder
It’s important for your feeder to be able to attract them so that you can successfully help them survive.
Your feeder’s position matters as much as the nectar inside it doesn’t, so you shouldn’t just hang them wherever. Feeders should be placed in the shade, but should also capture a bit of sunlight.
When you place them in this position, the fermentation process of the nectar slows down, this also lets the hummingbird rest while feeding and decreases their risk of a heat stroke.
And since hummingbirds are probably the most territorial and aggressive birds, buying a big feeder with a lot of feeding stations isn’t a good idea. You need to keep them well fed by buying a lot of small feeders with fewer ports (3-4) instead. This is ideal because you’ll be needing to refill and clean them frequently since they’ll empty quickly, which will benefit your hummingbirds’ safety against the spread of diseases.
Always Clean Your Feeders
A sick bird is definitely not a happy bird.
Cleaning and inspecting their feeders should be a daily task, not something you do when you remember. You should also be replacing their nectar every three days. Which makes it a good idea to not fill up the whole feeder so that you won’t waste nectar.
These tasks should be done rigorously in the summer, the heat creates a wide breeding ground for bacteria and mold which can cause extreme illnesses such as Candidiasis, Avail Poxvirus, Aspergillosis, and Salmonella.
Those illnesses will cause fungal infections on their tongue, tumor growths on their beaks, intestinal spores, difficulty in digesting, and diarrhea which you definitely don’t want to cause them.
Sustain Them Proper And Enough Food
Make Summer Type Nectar
In the hot weather, these tiny birds get easily dehydrated, which obviously means that they need all the water they could get. And if your nectar has too much sugar, this will exhaust and dehydrate them instead of making them feel more active.
So in the summer, you should be reducing the amount of sugar there is in your nectar, a ratio of 1 part sugar and 5 parts water would be ideal. More water in their nectar does not lessen their interest, in fact, it provides them the nutrients and energy while hydrating them too.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t add anything to their homemade nectar. Things like honey, artificial sweeteners, or even red food coloring for attraction can cause them severe health problems.
Flower nectar is the best food for hummingbirds, nectar feeders may supplement them but it does not provide them a balanced diet at all. So you should offer your hummingbirds nectar-full flowers every once in a while.
And since these birds rely on their sight, it is a good idea to only plant tubular shaped and brightly colored (especially red) flowers. Those types of flowers are not only easy for them to spot but they also hold the most nectar.
You should also fully hydrate these flowers in order to add moisture to their diet and sustain their blood sugar levels.
Don’t Eliminate Insects
Arthropods may be unpleasant to the sight, but they are actually crucial for your pet’s diet. These tiny creatures have enough fat and protein to keep hummingbirds active, fit, and happy.
You should never use insecticides or pesticides to eliminate them because these chemicals can harm or even kill your precious hummingbirds. It can also make them sick if they eat a poisoned insect.
It is a good idea to sustain a continuous supply of insects to your birds by planting insect-pollinated flowers, displaying native plants, and leaving overripe fruits near their cage.