Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our Little Backyard Feathered Friends

It has been an eventful is so very hard to believe that the schools in our area will be back in session on August 9 (that is only three weeks away). In my 40 year old mind, it seems like summer just began. I remember when I was in primary school and really even college, we did not go back until after Labor Day.

But even though the girls are not going to school everyday, it has not stopped one project that has been taking place in our home. We have been studying one animal a week. The studies have included going to the library and picking books to bring home and read, doing art/craft projects based upon the animal, making special treats in the kitchen and just all around exploring and visiting places in our city to learn more about the animal chosen. Such animals have included hummingbirds, toucans, parrots, dogs, cats, butterflies, frogs, pandas, and koalas. Last night my daughters asked with so much excitement if we could continue an animal week... all the way til 2012! I think we can handle that!

There is one feathered friend that was our first animal we studied, the hummingbird, that has been our all time favorite exploration (next to the butterfly)! To help kick off our summer project we placed a hummingbird feeder outside our kitchen window so that we could watch them as we walked through the kitchen into the family room,  into the laundry, at dinner and the sunroom where we have been creating. My personal goal has a been a little different in that I have been trying to get just the right photograph of them enjoying their food but to be honest, I have been unsuccessful in capturing it. Maybe someday soon, I am crossing my fingers.

We wanted to share with you our recipe for hummingbird food. I have seen different mixtures about what to add or not to add, but this recipe has seemed to be successful for us. 

Hummingbird Food
The hummingbird syrup is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.  Bring the water to a boil and then add the sugar. Stir the water and sugar together so that the sugar "melts" and allows the mixture to cool. Then add the food to your feeder. The remaining food can be stored in the refrigerator for later use, just allow it to warm up from the refrigerator a little before pouring into the hummingbird feeder outside.

We have discovered that it is very important to rinse (no soap) the bird feeder so that it does not get clogged, but also so that mold does not appear. Each week, change the hummingbird food.  

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