On May 7, the Maine Sunday Telegram published a nice photo of a Baltimore oriole perched on a sugar water feeder on Page C7. Not so nice was the red dye in the water.

Experts tell us that red dye is harmful to orioles and hummingbirds. The red plastic of the feeder itself is enough to attract the birds. Stores keep selling the red dye, and newspaper photos like last Sunday’s make well-intentioned people think they should add dye to their feeder water. Not so – keeping it simple is best for the birds.

A solution of four parts boiling water to one part sugar, changed every few days to avoid spoilage, is just right for bringing these marvelous creatures to our backyards. Wildlife lovers, please help the birds and don’t feed them dye. Newspapers, please don’t run any more photos of feeder water dyed red. Thank you.

Karen Herold

Cumberland Center