Cambridge IELTS

IELTS Reading Exercise 39

Choose no more than ONE WORD from the reading passage for each answer.

Attracting Hummingbirds To Your Garden

In order to attract hummingbirds to your garden you must provide them the nectar producing flowers that they desire. There are quite a variety of blooming plants and you will want ones specific to where you live so do a little research for "hummingbird flowers" in your area and most likely your local nursery will offer them. As a final touch add a couple of pretty hummingbird feeders and you are set. Interestingly, the combination of people planting winter flower gardens and providing hummingbird feeders has encouraged more hummingbirds to make North America their year-around homes in the temperate areas along the Gulf and Pacific coasts.

You will want to be very selective when picking a hummingbird feeder as many models simply do not do this beautiful bird justice. The fact is that many hummingbird feeders force the hummingbirds to compete with bees, wasps, ants, orioles, woodpeckers, and other animals for access to the sugar water. Bees, wasps and ants can get trapped in some types of feeders and die inside which of course ruins the nectar.

Protecting The Health Of Your Hummingbirds

Studies have shown the best formula for sugar water to be one cup of white granulated sugar only to four cups of water, mixed and placed into the feeder. The feeder should be emptied and washed with dish soap and hot water at least once per week, to prevent harmful bacteria build-up or soured sugar water. For the health of your neighborhood hummingbirds, you should never use any raw sugars, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, or any additives in your sugar water mix. All contain other elements that will be to the detriment of any hummingbirds consuming these products.

Commercial hummingbird food products have not been studied at length, but early studies with laboratory animals indicate that preservatives, artificial flavours, and food colouring cause disease and premature mortality, when it is consumed in large amounts. So, it is strongly recommended that you do not add red food colouring to your sugar water mix. Scientists also recommend that you do not need to buy any hummingbird food that has additional nutrients in it, because hummingbirds get all of the nutrients that they need in the insects that they eat.

Selecting A Good Hummingbird Feeder

There are a number of companies providing hummingbird feeders in the marketplace. But for the benefit of your neighbourhood birds, you should try to keep an eye to finding a feeder that has certain features and benefits. Remember, your local birds are competing with bees, wasps and ants for access to the food in your feeder. So, it is advantageous when you can find a feeder that is designed to restrict these insects from gaining access to the sugar water mix.

Most feeders have some red or orange colourations, because these colours attract hummingbirds. But, make sure that the feeders you buy do not have any yellow parts on the feeder itself, because bees are attracted to the color yellow. Even if you can block the bees from gaining access to the feeder, the yellow will attract the bees to the feeder, and the bees will frequently drive away the hummingbirds.

Make sure that any feeder you own does not leak sugar water onto the ground or the outside of the unit, because once again, you should desire to keep bees, wasps and other pests away from your feeders. The point of a feeder is to attract the right kind of visitors, not the wrong kinds. If your hummingbird feeder attracts the wrong kind of visitor, the birds will have their feeding experience ruined, and you may be finding yourself wrestling with too many pests in your environment too.

Source: ArticleSet

  1. Suitable flowers that can attract hummingbirds can be bought from a .
  2. Milder, areas along the coasts of the southern states of the US have become permanent homes to many hummingbirds.
  3. Feeders should be thoroughly cleaned on a weekly basis to prevent an increase in .
  4. Do everything you can to prevent insects from getting to the hummingbird feeder.
  5. Do all you can to ensure that the feeder doesn't sugar water on the ground as this attracts insects.

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