Are Hummingbirds really migrating earlier than usual? There is controversy on this subject as to whether this fascinating little bird is really flying into our backyards a week or two early.
The only way for the backyard gardener and bird watcher to know for certain is to hang a feeder and keep a close watch as to whether you observe a hummingbird for yourself. In the Florence, South Carolina area hangers are hung the end of March or the first week of April. That seems to be when the hummingbird scouts come to scope out the landscape.
Hummingbird feeders need to be clean and filled with nectar consisting of a 4 part water/1 part sugar mixture. Making sure the sugar is completely dissolved. There is no need to add red coloring to the water even though the coloring may not be harmful to the hummingbird. The colors on the feeder and where you place it in your landscape will entice them to come and feed.
There are other feathered friends that will drink from a hummingbird feeder like the Baltimore oriole and several different finches. The more common house finch and its cousin the purple finch are two birds that will drink from a hummingbird feeder. A less desirable critter is the squirrel. Often they will learn to tip the feeder in order to drink the sweet nectar.