Feeding hummingbirds…A simple syrup…a simple task…for simply wonderful bird watching…

It’s fun to watch the hummingbirds stab their delicate pointed beaks into the tiny holes of the feeder. See below for our easy recipe for the syrup.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

This is a brown recluse spider we found on the veranda near our bedroom. Yikes. This morning Tom found a can of spray and sprayed it around the doorway and bedroom. Most insects don’t bother us, but anything venomous like this makes us take action.

When we arrived in Atenas, Costa Rica, 44 days ago, we noticed a hummingbird feeder hanging from a hook under the veranda roof. We had a red plastic feeder hanging from a tree in our old lives, but it was often blown to the ground in the spring and summer winds and storms.

Besides, no sooner than I’d make the sweet solution and refill the container, it was empty. Our lives were action-packed with work and responsibilities, and keeping this up was hardly a priority.

It’s rare to see more than one bird feeding at a time. They noisily fight with one another for dominance.

When we contemplated filling the feeder here in Atenas over these past weeks, we decided we’d give this a try and see if we could attract hummingbirds after spotting many beautiful and unique birds. 

At this point in our lives, we certainly can’t say we don’t have time, especially when we don’t have a rental car every other week during which we spend most of our time at the villa.

I looked up my old simple hummingbird feeder recipe to find this easy to make the concoction which the birds always seemed to love:

Hummingbird Feeder Syrup
4 cups water
1 cup granulated white sugar

Place water and sugar in a saucepan. Stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Cool thoroughly.  Pour into the feeder. Any leftovers may be kept in a glass jar in the refrigerator for a week.

Soon, I’ll get a better photo.  Some of these hummingbirds are colorful.

Since neither Tom nor I consume any sugar, finding a good-sized container in the cupboard for guests to use certainly was an inspiration. In the past week, we’ve made three batches. Now for the first time in years, granulated sugar is on our grocery list app on my phone.

As we watched the feeder, which is in plain view as we’re seated on the veranda most days, until the rain and the wind make it impossible in the late afternoon, we’ve been thrilled to see dozens of hummingbird hits a day. They love it.

Over the first few days of filling the container, Tom stood on a wooden chair from the outdoor dining table, carefully reaching up to avoid dropping the feeder and maintaining sturdy footing on the chair. 

Yesterday, (duh) we decided he could avoid the risk of standing on the chair. As it turned out, the feeder is hanging from a hook attached to an outdoor rolling shade. 

If he rolls down the shade to eye level, he can avoid standing on the chair to take the feeder down to refill it over the sink in the kitchen. His fact is a huge motivator in keeping us interested in keeping up this refilling process. The below photo illustrates what we mean by lowering the rolling shade.

Tom was rolling down the veranda shade for easy access to the hummingbird feeder.

Speaking of photos, I’ve yet to take a decent photo of the hummingbirds partaking of the sugary syrup. The timing is crucial, and each time I attempt to take a photo, I’m either in the wrong spot with too bright a background or too dark and rainy. I’ll continue to work on this.

Over these past few days, something was baffling us. We could see a slight reduction in the amount of syrup in the feeder at the end of each day, perhaps down an inch or so, but most, if not all, of the syrup was gone in the mornings. Again, we’d make a new batch and refill the container, only to awaken the next day for the same scenario.

Last night, we decided to keep watch in the dark to see precisely what was happening. Much to our surprise, about a dozen hummingbirds were swarming around the feeder, fighting with one another for dominance and access to the sugar water. We laughed. Who knew they’d come at night in the dark.

At this point, we decided we’d bring the feeder inside at night to return it to its usual spot first thing in the morning. After all, isn’t the feeder intended to satisfy our greedy observation…as well as provide sustenance for the birds? This way, it’s a win-win.

The bright background makes photo-taking tricky.  I’ll keep trying.

This makes us laugh. “Just think,” I told Tom yesterday while we kept a watchful eye on the feeder while we lounged in the pool, “In only five months, we’ll be busy dropping pellets in the bush to attract 350 pounds (159 kg) warthogs to stop by for a visit.

From a tiny hummingbird to a giant pig…hmm…life is good.

Photo from one year ago today, September 13, 2016:

Upon further inspection at this restroom stop on the five-hour harrowing drive in Bali, we realized the narrow trough was the toilet. The bucket of water and scoop was for tidying up, not washing hands. Luckily, we always keep antibacterial wipes on hand. This facility was clean compared to others we encountered.  For more details, please click here.