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Migrant Hummingbirds returning to Georgia

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POSTED: April 29, 2008 5:00 a.m.
FORSYTH — Hang up your feeders and they will come. Ruby-throated hummingbirds and other avian acrobats are returning to Georgia from their wintering grounds to the south.
Ruby-throated “hummers” may travel more than 600 miles from Mexico to Georgia.
Hummingbird enthusiasts can provide rich food sources for these travel-weary visitors by planting coral honeysuckle, columbine, bee balm and other native plants, as well as by putting up hummingbird feeders.
Periodically clean feeders, making sure that all molds and bacteria are removed. But do not use harsh cleaning agents. Feeders can be easily cleaned in dishwasher or with mild soap and warm water.
Refill hummingbird feeders every few days with a simple mix of one part sugar to four parts water. For best results, bring the water to a boil before adding the sugar and then continue to boil three to four minutes, allowing the mixture to cool before filling your feeder. Refrigerate unused portions.
Homeowners who seem to enjoy the greatest success in attracting hummingbirds combine the use of feeders with planting flowers that produce an abundance of nectar. When planting flowers for hummingbirds, incorporate flowers that bloom from early spring through fall. Flower gardens will also attract a variety of other enjoyable nectar-feeders, such as butterflies.
Occasionally, “lost” migrant hummingbirds not considered native to this region are seen at feeders. To report unusual hummingbirds in your backyard, please contact Wildlife Resources’ Nongame Conservation Section at (478) 994-1438. Information sheets on Georgia’s hummingbirds can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com.
 

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