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Video Transcript: Nectar

(Description: Screen opens with John sitting outside at a table with various nectar products and feeders and Wild Birds Unlimited logo appears in upper right corner and is static throughout the video.)

[John:] Hi! I’m John Schaust, Chief Naturalist for Wild Birds Unlimited. Welcome to my yard.

(Description: “From Our Backyard with Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop” logo appears in upper right corner then fades. “How Do I Make My Own Nectar?” appears then fades.)

[John:] I’m pretty excited at this time of year. Spring is coming. Things are greening up; lots and lots of birds out singing every single day. New birds are showing up as they migrate in and of course, you can imagine the one I’m most excited that hopefully shows up in my backyard any day now, Yep! Hummingbirds.

(Description: Hummingbird is seen at a feeder.)

[John:] Everybody loves hummingbirds and everybody loves to feed hummingbirds, but it’s always funny. This time of year we get tons and tons of questions about hummingbirds, “How do I feed them? Where do I put the feeder? What type of nectar?” those types of things. So today, we’re going to talk nectar. Nectar is simply the mixture of water and sugar and that’s…what is that ratio and how many parts of water…how many parts of sugar? It always seems to be confusing so I’ve hopefully got a little demonstration here. I have four cups of water and one cup of sugar. That is the proper ratio for hummingbird nectar.

(Description: “4 Parts Water 1 Part Sugar” shows in lower left of screen appears and fades.)

[John:] It is five parts total, so that makes the concentration of the sugar in the nectar 20%, which is very, very, very close to what many of the nectar flowers that the hummingbirds feed from have – that level of concentration of 20% sugar. So this is as close as we can come. You do not want to…I hear a lot about, “What about natural sugars? What about organic sugars?” No, you really don’t want to do those.

(Description: “Only use regular table sugars, no alternatives” appears lower left screen then fades.)

[John:] Those are very high in iron and hummingbirds and iron, nah, they don’t get along very well, so you don’t want to use anything but common, everyday table sugar. So, mixing these together, you’ve got your nectar. Do you need to refrigerate it? How do I store it? Do I need to heat the water first when I do that? No.

(Description: “Regular tap water works just fine” appears lower left of screen then fades.)

[John:] The bottom line is, as long as you’re storing it in the refrigerator which is where any extra nectar should be stored, you’re in good shape. You don’t have to boil the water, unless you plan on storing it for, you know, long, long periods, which we wouldn’t recommend. Bottom line is, putting it in your refrigerator making sure that, you know, you take a look at it every time, you put it in fresh clean feeder every time you change the nectar, you’ll be in great shape. So, hummingbird nectar. Easy to make at home, or even easier if you just use a pre-measured packet of sugar and a marked bottle and you can make it at home very simply. And of course orioles! One of the other birds that we’re excited to see in our backyard here pretty soon will be our orioles

(Description: Photo of a Baltimore Oriole and “Baltimore Oriole” appears then fades.)

[John:] And those things are just gorgeous. They love nectar too and guess what! The nectar ratio is the same thing. We still have our 4 to 1, our 20% solution. So there you have it. Nectar for not only hummingbirds, but orioles too. Take care and thanks for joining me.

(Description: Hummingbird is shown lapping up nectar in a feeder then Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop logo appears and fades.)