Those of us who have porches, or back yards with trees will know that sometimes you just want to sit out there when the weather is nice and relax.  Perhaps enjoy an iced tea or a cold beer, and just bird watch.  My family always had a bird bath and a bird feeder outside.  We liked seeing what species of birds would arrive and feed or bathe or drink.  We would see cardinals, blue jays, robins and an occasion pigeon.  But we never saw a hummingbird.  Well now that I am living in Missouri, I may get that chance.

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Apparently, hummingbirds are starting to arrive in Missouri.  The Missouri Department of Conservation encourages the public to learn more about these tiny fliers during their spring migration. Ruby-throated hummingbirds spend the winter in Mexico and Central American and begin their spring migration north as early as March. They generally start to appear in Missouri around mid-April.

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There are over 360 species of hummingbird. They are small birds, with most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length and are specialized for feeding on flower nectar, but all species also consume flying insects or spiders. So if you have some flowers that are blooming, this will also help. But the best way to attract them is with the nectar or sugar water in a feeder. To make your own sugar water, dissolve one part sugar with four parts boiling water. Cool the mixture before filling the feeder and replace sugar water before it gets cloudy. In hot weather, feeders should be emptied and cleaned twice per week with hot water and a weak vinegar solution. In cooler weather, feeders can be cleaned once per week.

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You can click HERE to get more info from the Missouri Department of Conservation and details on the species that will be migrating to our state.  They really are quite pretty and hopefully you can give them a nice place to feed this spring and summer.

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