I am a lover of all things bird. Crows, ravens, starlings, sparrows, chickens, Guinea hens (so far), emus; but - most especially - hummingbirds. They are miracles. They are true shining gems. I cannot get enough of them. And, apparently, I am killing them.
Good grief. I have been going merrily along, using my red nectar concentrate in my two feeders. Then I get the news: studies have found that red food coloring can damage their hard-working little hearts! As soon as I got home yesterday, I went out and retrieved both feeders and emptied them in my compost heap. Of course, as soon as I did that, I regretted it. Would some other critter think there's a great sweet snack in there and more damage would be done?
Of course, you may think I am being a little coy about this -- since I seem to think nothing of vanquishing rats and hornets by any means at my disposal. I have a startling announcement: I am not perfect. There. It's out. I choose to group all things living into two (three) categories -- One: Everything/One I Love. Two: Those Few Things/Ones I Hate. Three: Those Things/Ones I Fear. I am not apologizing for my wishy-washy-ness. I have enough trouble dealing with my recycling - and the onus of 'stuff' and 'too much stuff'.
Ooookay. Back to the subject. I thoroughly cleaned both feeders and put some simple syrup (extra light that I had made to can peaches) in them and trotted them outside. Then I worried that they would be too cold, as it had been stored in the fridge, so I brought them back in the house and let them sit on the counter until they reached room temperature. (Swatting a few flies in the process - Flies fall under Category Two). Then I decided that the older one wasn't bright enough (how could they FIND it?), so I hunted up a vibrant red ribbon (hoping that the dye wouldn't run off and into the feeder if it rained - lord help me), tied it on and put them back on their outside hangers.
Glinda (okay - it's a male Ruby-Throated Hummer, but the name has stuck) found the glammed-up old one and took a sip. He didn't fall from the sky.
I hope I can sleep after all this angst.