This July, a TikToker posted vital advice for bird lovers that could potentially save a hummingbird’s life.
Hummingbird feeders are a popular way to bring these fascinating animals into your home’s yard. But according to TikTok user Karishma (@karishmaclimategirl), “You may be putting the little birds in danger!”
@karishmaclimategirl PSA Do not put out hummingbird feeders! You may be putting the little birds in danger 🌺 plant hummingbird friendly flowers instead 🌟 #hummingbird #hummingbirdfeeder ♬ original sound – Karishma | Climate Girl
Karishma’s recent PSA quickly gained hundreds of comments from concerned wildlife lovers. “Do not put out hummingbird feeders!” she said in the title.
In the video itself, she elaborates, “There’s a fungus that can develop in the feeder solution which infects the hummingbirds and causes their tongues to swell so they can’t retract their tongues back into their mouths.”
According to Karishma, the infected birds can starve to death due to this condition.
Karishma goes on to explain that there is a safe way to maintain a hummingbird feeder in your yard.
“The solution has to be changed every few days so it doesn’t breed any sort of fungus,” she says. “The feeder itself also has to be cleaned every week.”
The type of solution you put in the feeder is also important.
“To make the solution, water has to be boiled for two minutes,” Karishma says. “Then you have to mix one part white sugar to four parts water. It has to be white sugar, because this is closest to what they eat in nature.”
None of these steps are temporary, either. “You’ve got to make sure you keep this up throughout the winter, because the hummingbirds come to rely on it,” Karishma explains.
Skip any of these steps, and you may do more harm than good, resulting in fewer hummingbirds gracing your garden next year — not to mention the impact on local flowers that rely on the birds to pollinate them.
“If you can’t commit to this, I recommend you don’t put a hummingbird feeder out,” says Karishma.
But that’s not to say you can’t do anything for the little birds. “The easier solution is to plant hummingbird-friendly flowers. Some of them are really easy to grow,” Karishma says. She goes on to recommend bee balm and zinnias.
“Thank you for sharing this!” said one commenter. “I was contemplating getting one and had no idea it could potentially be harmful.”
“You might have saved my hummingbird friends!” said another grateful user.
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