HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- If you aren't prepared you might just have a few hummingbirds camped out on your deck or patio anxiously looking for a handout.
You might think that it's a little early for hummingbirds to be coming back to our area. But with the warmer than usual weather all along their flight path from Central America to here, expect them in your landscape even as you read this segment. Just like they lose more than 3/4 of their weight after their exit flight in September, when they arrive here during the next couple weeks, they will be just about skin and bones or should I say feathers and bones.
I've always said that the sooner you can hang a feeder out before their arrival, the more success you will have in keeping them coming to your landscape. Red is their color of choice although I've tried blue with good success. In most cases, if the feeder is red, there is no need to color the water. However if your feeder isn't red and you don't want to use food color, try hanging strips of red ribbon very near the feeder. Actually I've read several reports that indicate that the red food color isn't harmful to the hummingbirds but some homeowners would rather go natural.
Now, when you do put up your feeder, make sure you use the correct sugar to water ratio. That would be 4 parts water and 1 part sugar. Just make sure the sugar is dissolved. I like to warm the water first. That way it makes the sugar easier to be dissolved.
One last hint would be to have lots of natural flowering plants near the feeder and you will be more successful in attracting these tiny birds to your landscape.