Dear Sun Spots: I have a bird feeder in my backyard that draws many varieties of birds – one of which is a male Baltimore oriole along with his “wife.” They eat mostly the suet, but the male has started to drink from my hummingbird feeder, and his mate is trying to do the same. Is this normal? I have never seen any other bird drink this nectar except for the hummingbirds. Perhaps you know someone who can answer this for me. Thanks for your help. – B.B., Greene.

Answer: In addition to responses from readers, Sun Spots spoke with Maine Audubon staff naturalist Judy Walker, who says this is perfectly normal. Walker says people often put out orange slices for the orioles who, like hummingbirds, also like nectar. Walker says the orioles regularly come to the hummingbird feeders. However, it is often physically difficult for them to perch on them. There are oriole feeders out there, similar to the hummingbird feeders, but larger. Walker says be religious in ensuring there is nectar available for your hummingbirds. No red dye, please. It offers no nutrition to the birds. Walker shared the following hummingbird-feeder recipe, and Sun Spots would also like to share it with column readers who like to attract hummingbirds to their gardens. Hummingbird nectar: Use four parts of water to one part sugar. Combine. Boil until the sugar is dissolved. Once cooled, store in refrigerator. Walker says it’s important to keep the feeder clean and fresh. The nectar should be changed three times a week.

Dear Sun Spots: This is in response to the reader who was looking for an American Indian store for craft supplies and finished craft items:

You may wish to contact Nowetah Wirick at Nowetah’s American Indian Store & Museum, 2 Colegrove Road (Route 27), New Portland, ME 04961-3821, 628-4981, or on the Web at www.mainemuseums.org (click on American Indian). Wirick is the curator of the museum and a descendent of the St. Francis Abenaki and Paugussett Indians.

They have been in business for almost 38 years, and the store carries a large variety of genuine American Indian arts and crafts. Many of their items were handmade on the premises by Nowetah and her daughter Wahleyah. The sale of their art also supports the museum project. They receive no state or federal museum funding. The museum focuses on Maine’s early Abenaki and has an impressive collection of more than 400 early Maine Indian baskets. It is admission free and open all year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: Calvary Christian Academy is collecting the following items: box tops, Campbell soup labels, empty inkjet cartridges, empty laser cartridges and used cell phones. These items may be collected from family, friends, co-workers and your neighbors.

This fundraiser is ongoing; we collect items year-round. Please contact me at 225-3665 or [email protected] for pickup. I will pay postage if the distance is too far for items to be picked up.

I am collecting for my granddaughter, who is going into the second grade. They are raising funds for a new playground, and every little bit will help. Thank you. – Mary Crane, Turner.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at www.sunjournal.com in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]


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