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As Hummingbirds Fly South, Getting Ready for Winter

Hummingbirds are migrating south for the winter. It’s time to prepare for cold weather and tidy things up for next spring.

Take down your hummingbird feeders and wash them in mild soap and hot (not boiling) water. You do want the feeders to be very clean so that they do not attract bugs while in storage and so that they do not grow virus, fungus or bacteria.

Use only a touch of a mild dish liquid like Ivory, and rinse repeatedly. Then rinse again.

Harsh detergents may not damage the feeders, but some detergents are hard to completely rinse off, and any residue could cause problems for hummingbirds. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

To prevent mold and mildew, let feeders completely dry before storing them for next year.

In the northern United States and Canada it’s getting cold. In most parts of Canada it’s already time for snow and time to be thinking of snow blowers and such. Winter has its own kind of beauty, but it certainly can be a lot of work, with snow tires and chains, storm windows, slush, and icy sidewalks to deal with.

But once you have finished winter preparations, it’s a good time to curl up with hummingbird books and videos, not only for their beauty but as part of getting ready for next hummingbird season—or just to dream of visiting the most exotic hummingbird species in their native habitats. South American jungles can sound pretty inviting when it’s snowing outside.

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