From Xplor for Kids
April 2011 Issue

Xplor More: Make Hummingbird Nectar

Publish Date

Apr 01, 2011

When it comes to food, hummingbirds definitely have a sweet beak. Although they eat plenty of insects, the sugary nectar from flowers provides the energy that keeps them humming. Lucky for us, hungry hummers like sugar water just as well. Mix 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Get an adult to help you boil the mixture on the stove. Let the nectar cool before filling your feeder. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. There’s no need to add red coloring to your nectar. As long as part of your feeder is red, hummingbirds will come in swarms.

gather these materials

  • Small glass jar with a screw-on cap (baby-food jars work well)
  • Hammer and small nail
  • Red and yellow paint
  • Heavy string or cord
  • Scissors

follow these instructions

  1. Wash and dry the jar and lid.
  2. Use the hammer and nail to punch a 1/8-inch wide hole between the center and edge of the lid. Hammer down the sharp metal points around the hole.
  3. Paint the lid red. After the lid has dried, paint a small yellow flower around the nail hole.
  4. Tie a length of string tightly around the jar’s neck.
  5. Fill the jar almost full with hummingbird nectar and screw on the lid.
  6. Hang the feeder outside a window and watch for hummingbirds!

To keep its tiny wings aflutter, a ruby-throated hummingbird must eat nearly half its weight in insects and nectar every day. You’d have to drink nearly 160 cans of soda to do the same—what a sugar rush! To help ruby-throats refuel, make a hummingbird feeder. It’s easy, just follow these steps.

Also in this issue

Photos With Nop and Dave: Reeling in a Rainbow

Last fall, Dave was photographing fly fishermen on the North Fork of the White River. The rainbow trout were putting up a fight.

You Discover

Nature wakes up in April and May. Birds sing, mushrooms pop from the ground, and fish get hungry enough to take your bait. With so much going on, sometimes it’s hard to decide what's for you to discover.

Wild Jobs: Alligator Gar Wrangler Chris Kennedy

Chris Kennedy is part fisherman, part explorer and part dinosaur hunter. lately he’s been on the lookout for a living legend — alligator gar.

My Outdoor Adventure

On a muggy May evening, Rachel tied a pink plastic frog to her fishing line. The moment the lure hit water, a huge bass lunged for it.

Nature's Recyclers

In an Ozark forest, a pile of dead leaves no bigger than this magazine is home to nearly 6,000 tiny creatures.

Turkey Hunting School

Donʼt worry kids. This school is COOL!

This Issue's Staff:

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White
Kipp Woods

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