April 13, 2023 4 min read
Hummingbirds are some of the most beautiful visitors to a North American yard or garden. These tiny birds only weigh around 3 grams and are roughly three inches from beak to tail. Their colorful, tiny bodies move incredibly fast from location to location. Every second, the hummingbird beats its wings 60 to 80 times. For a creature to move this fast, it must constantly feed themselves.
Fortunately, by having the right food and items in your yard, you, too, can attract these majestic birds. Here are twelve tips to having hummingbirds in your garden, year after year.
Trees and Shrubs are Important
Hummingbirds love to feel protected and shaded. Trees and shrubs offer protection from the elements and predators. Tree species that are tall and bushy give the birds enough space to hide out. They also provide a valuable place to nest.
Use the Right Feeders
Feeder size and shape make a difference for hummingbirds. Look for bright red feeders that have multiple feeding points. The best feeders are small enough not to attract other birds.
Another feature of the best hummingbird feeders is their ability to keep unwanted insects away. By using bee guards and ant moats around the feeding ports, these feeders keep unwanted insects out of the feeders and away from the nectar.
Keep Your Feeders Out Longer
Another important tactic is to keep your feeders hung in your yard before and after the hummingbird’s migration. By putting feeders up too late, you may miss the prime time for migration. By removing them too early, may discourage hummingbirds from sticking around and will harm your chances of repeat visitors the next year. By preparing your feeders early and taking them down late, you ensure that the birds will remember your yard as a dependable feeding ground.
Provide Enough Space
Unlike some other bird species, hummingbirds compete with each other. By hanging enough feeders spaced far enough apart, your hummingbirds will not fight for resources. If a hummingbird cannot see the other feeders, it will leave them to the other groups. As a result, this will attract more hummingbirds.
In colder climates, make sure you hang your feeders in the same space as the last season. Hummingbirds have an excellent memory, and if they like a feeding ground, they will return to it. By not moving the location of your feeders, you give them the chance to enjoy your yard again.
Red is Your Friend
Like most birds, hummingbirds have a favorite color. Red is often the most attractive color to hummingbirds. By hanging red throughout your garden, you will attract them. Some people choose to hang red cloth on trees or attach red strings on chairs and other garden objects. Another tip is to decorate your yard or garden with red ornaments.
Have a Good Water Source
Because hummingbirds are so active, they need lots of water. They also love to bathe. Water fountains and birdbaths can help satisfy the hummingbirds in your yard and attract others to the area. Birdbaths with misters and flowing water are especially attractive to these birds.
Make Nectar Without Dyes.
Add one part of simple white sugar for every four parts of water to make your own nectar. Hummingbirds need a lot of energy to charge their energetic little bodies. Even though hummingbirds love the color red, it’s important not to add any unnatural dyes or other substances to the nectar.
Change Your Nectar Frequently
Hummingbirds are picky when it comes to their food and habitats. By changing their nectar frequently, you also limit the amount of mold and dangerous bacteria that can build up. It’s recommended to clean and replace your nectar every three days.
To clean your feeders, use hot water and vinegar instead of dish soap or chemical detergents. Hummingbirds will be sensitive to the chemicals found in many household cleaners. Vinegar is harmless, inexpensive, and effective at cleaning.
Hummingbirds use spider webs to build their nests. Therefore, by encouraging them to make webs in your garden or yard, you are helping the hummingbirds with their nesting material. If there are spider webs, shady trees, and food in your space, then you have a high chance of getting hummingbirds to nest there.
Hummingbirds Love Insects too
Spiders don’t just provide nesting material for hummingbirds. Hummingbirds love eating spiders and other insects because they provide the birds with valuable protein. Insects are also attracted to flowering plants as well. Because of this, the more flowers you have, the more nutritious bugs will be in your yard.
Keep Your Garden Flowers Bright and Red
Hummingbirds will fall in love with your garden if you plant red flowers that bloom throughout the growing season. If you live in warm climates like California and Florida, there are plenty of native flowers and introduced red flowers that bloom all year. In warm climates like these, hummingbirds can be seen all year long.
Consider Native Plants
Native flowers like honeysuckle and cardinal flower do particularly well in most of the continental 48. These flowers have tubular shaped flowers and tend to produce more nectar. It’s important to plant flowers that do well in your climate zone so that they remain healthy and vibrant. Plant these flowers around your hummingbird feeders. Their irresistible color and smell will attract the hummingbirds and help them locate your feeders.
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