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It's time to put out the hummingbird feeders

Hummingbirds are showing signs that they're finished nesting and are expanding their range in search of food in the Wichita area, Nick Clausen of the Backyard Nature Center says.

"I have just started seeing females at the feeders in the last week or two," says Clausen, owner of the store just east of 21st and Rock Road, in the Shops at Tallgrass. "The next 60 days are the most active time at feeders in our area."

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, Clausen suggests doing a few things:

* Put the feeder where you can see it easily and often.

* Keep the nectar fresh, changing it every two to three days when it is this hot. You can make it yourself: Just mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and mix vigorously. Don't use food coloring. It's not needed and it's bad for the birds.

* Leave the feeders out until you no longer see activity at them for about two weeks, normally about the end of September.

* Have multiple feeders. You will see more hummingbirds, because around here it is rare to have more than one hummingbird at a time on a feeder.

—Annie Calovich

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