Backyard hummingbird feeders across Missouri, filled with mixtures of one part sugar to four parts water, are attracting thousands of the tiny birds as they make a long journey from points as far north as Canada all the way to Central America. That trip includes one non-stop stretch of 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. Julie Lundsted, an amateur bird-watcher in Jefferson City says the sugar water in the feeders gives them energy to catch what they need to bulk up for the long journey – tiny bugs such as gnats. But Lundsted says it seems to her the hummingbirds use a lot of their energy chasing away other birds from the feeders they believe are put out exclusively for them. She says you’d be surprised how ferocious they can be. Lundsted says the sugar water should not have color added to it. The feeders can be any color – as long as it’s red.