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I've noticed two out of three of my small hummingbird feeders go cloudy, and I'm curious why they all don't .


I use the common recipe of 4:1 water to plain white sugar with no additives. I usually make a gallon at a time by boiling the water, turning off the heat and adding the sugar. Nothing fancy.

The feeders are all about 10 oz. They hang in close proximity with no difference in shade or exposure.  The only difference I can see is that the two cloudy ones do NOT have any ants in them.  One has a trap, and the other just does not seem to get any ants in it.  It's not a huge deal. There does not seem to be any difference in traffic. If anything, the clear one with the ants gets a little more traffic.

I'm tempted to get all sciency about it---thinking maybe something in the decomposing ants is acting like an antibiotic and preventing some microbe from growing---in which case I should sterilize the others... or put some ants in em.  :)

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Just couldn't stand it!  :)

I took down the non-cloudy feeder with all the ants in it because it was just disgusting looking.

I also took down the triple barrel finch feeder and stored the seed for next spring.  Haven't seen a finch in about a week now.

I replaced the finch feeder (Cam 2) with one of the songbird-mix feeders from the stack feeder (Cam 1)

I left the hummingbird feeder you see on the left (Cam 2) with the cloudy nectar, and filled the one on the right with fresh made.   I've already noticed a pick up in hummingbird traffic, and I think a new species is moving in.  Haven't made out exactly which species yet.

Still really slow, but hey... SQUIRREL!

 

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I saw a hummingbird drinking out of the cloudy one just now. Have you ever tried using that Nectar Defender? I use it in mine and it keeps the nectar fresh longer. I use store bought nectar though, I dont make DIY like you. Might be worth a try?

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You said you had 10 oz. feeders.  How long does it take them to empty a feeder?  When you make a gallon, how long does it last (assuming you fill all three feeders before you put the rest in the fridge?  I'm just wondering if it's going stale?

Have you tried cleaning the two feeders that get cloudy with a weak bleach mixture (say, 1 part bleach to 10 parts water) and then washing them thoroughly?  Don't forget the bee guards if you use those.  A toothbrush is good for the small parts, and some newer models are dishwasher safe.

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