Saturday, December 17, 2016
Question from a reader:
Is it a bad thing to use hummingbird nectar with red dye in it?
Christine Southwick responds:
|Perky Pets bird feeder|
with red nectar
Some studies SEEM to indicate that the red dye increases cancer in hummers. But the data / jury is still out.
Perky Pets (brand name), a major maker of hummingbird feeders, still sells ready-made red nectar.
The majority of birders, myself included, ask, "Why take a chance with the red food dye?" So instead we use feeders that have red parts, usually the feeder ports.
Most of us make our own nectar (1/4 cup of cane sugar to 1 cup of water. NOTE: do not use beet sugar -- the hummers can taste the difference).
Keep the feeders clean -- without soap.
During the cold times, I have at least two going (right now I have three), so that there is always food, even when I am cleaning one of them.
--Chris the Bird Lady