Sunday, May 17, 2009

No Red Dye for Hummingbirds

Spring is here and summer is coming soon. I love to feed the birds in my backyard and I have a hummingbird feeder as well. I wrote a blog last year on July 8th about the dangers of using red food color in the hummingbird feeder. It is totally unnessesary to color the water red to attract the birds.

The Red Dye # 40 is made from coal tar and has been reported to cause tumors on the bills and liver of hummingbirds. The purchased nectar also contains preservatives that can harm the birds.

A simple recipe for your hummingbird feeder is to mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 cups of water (or 1 part sugar to 4 parts water). Mix in a sauce pan and warm it until the sugar dissolves. Put in feeder when cool. Change once a week or more often if you see mold forming.

I use bottled water because I don't want the birds to have fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceutical drugs, lead and other contaminants that are in the tap water.

If Red Dye #40 is harmful to the birds, it is just as harmful to our kids and adults as well.