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1) It’s natural for hawks to1) It’s natural for hawks to become attracted to birds at the feeder. Even though it is a hard thing to see a hawk kill a bird, it is doing what it needs to in order to survive, and will not catch more than it needs. Often, it will catch the weak, old, or sick birds rather than the healthy ones. To protect the songbirds, try the following: Place feeders under an opaque cover, if it doesn’t have one already, so that birds aren’t easily seen by air. Locate your feeder within 10 feet of shelter for songbirds, such as shrubs, brush piles, or thickly leaved trees (but not so close that a ground predator might have access to pounce on birds at the feeder). Remove any birdfeeder in the area for 10 to 14 days. The songbirds will move off for a while, and the hawk may move on to another territory. Replace the feeder afterward. (Repeat as needed.) Eliminate dead branches of tall trees, which are perch sites for the hawks. Hawks are protected by state and federal laws, and should not be harmed; contact a licensed professional if you need further help. 2) Yes, hummingbird water can have too much sugar in it. Not only would that not mimic flower nectar, it might cause harm to the birds. Pay close attention to the proportions mentioned in a hummingbird food recipe. Also, do not add red food coloring, artificial sweeteners, or honey to the liquid. Use four parts water to one part white sugar; boil (do not microwave) it for 1 to 2 minutes. Let it cool before adding to the feeder. Any cloudy liquid in the feeder should be replaced immediately; the feeder cleaned before adding the new food. In hot weather, you should change the food daily; otherwise, if the liquid stays clear, every 2 or 3 days should be OK.

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