Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Southwestern Deserts

June, 2009
Regional Report

Web Finds

Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory
The non-profit Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory offers fun and educational birding events, such as Hawk Walks, Owl Prowls, and Hummingbird Banding near the bird-rich San Pedro River/Huachuca Mountains area. Check their calendar and activities pages for details. The site also contains brief news updates related to the birding area (results of bird counts, fire closures), local birding hotspots, travel planning advice, lists of local bird-friendly businesses and lots of hummingbird info. They operate from a rustic cabin known as the Banning Creek Field Station near Bisbee. Photos of some of its bird visitors and directions to the cabin are on the site.

Clever Gardening Technique

Protect Hummingbirds
If you hang hummingbird feeders containing sugar water, it's imperative to clean them regularly. Sugar water quickly turns into yeasty brew filled with bacteria and mold that can kill hummingbirds. (Remember: they are so tiny that it doesn't take much to negatively impact them.) The following recommendations are from Wild Bird Shop (wildbirdshop.com). When purchasing a feeder, choose a style that comes apart so that all parts can be cleaned. With each fill, clean the feeder with very hot water. If the sugar water goes bad, sterilize the feeder with a mild bleach solution and rinse very thoroughly. Cleaning schedule guideline: If temperature (degrees F) is 71-75, change nectar after 6 days; 76-80, 5 days; 81-84, 4 days; 85-88, 3 days; 89-92, 2 days; 93 and above, change daily. If nectar contains white strings or black spocks, or becomes milky, clean more frequently.

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