As I sit down to write this blog, the air temperature in my yard is 94ºF and the heat index (feel like temperature) is 115ºF. When it is this hot day after day, hummingbird fanciers are beginning to wonder if the nectar they are serving the hummers visiting their backyards feeding station is too hot to the birds.
According to some researchers, hummingbird nectar can indeed get too hot. Their studies suggest that feeding sugar water heated to 102ºF can adversely affect the hummingbird’s delicate metabolic system.
With that in mind, some experts are recommending that during hot weather hummingbird food should be kept at or just below 100ºF. This can be difficult when each day we are faced with excessive heat. However, if you are concerned that the nectar in your feeders is too hot, you can do a few other things.
One approach is to use feeders that feature nectar reservoirs made of heavy glass. Since glass is an insulator, it will help keep nectar cooler than plastic feeders. Some folks even wrap their feeders in aluminum foil. Supposedly, aluminum foil will block UV rays and actually reflect 98% of the sun’s radiant heat and, therefore, keeps nectar from overheating.
If you have a shady spot in your yard, you can always hang your feeders there. If this prevents you from watching the feeding activities of the birds swarming around your feeders, you might prefer to employ one of the other options.
We do not know much about this supposed problem. With that in mind, let me know if you think the temperature of the nectar in your feeder poses to hummingbirds in your yard. Also, if you try one of these or other means to try to keep nectar cooler, please let me know.