Hummingbirds are a mysterious and elusive bird – hardly bigger than your thumb. They fly at speeds of 25– 30 miles per hour, and their nests are the size of a quarter. They sound like buzzing bees while they’re flying and are quite territorial feeders. Learn how you can create your own hummingbird garden and tips on attracting them.
Follow steps to create a flower garden and plant suggested nectar-rich flowers, or add these nectar-rich plants to existing beds. Below is a list of flowering plants that hummingbirds will visit. Be sure to choose a variety of plants that bloom at different times of the year so the hummers will keep visiting.
- Trumpet vine
- Red petunias
- Red ivy geranium
- Morning glory
- Butterfly bush
The quickest way to attract hummingbirds to your garden is by providing a feeder filled with sugar water. The formula is one part sugar and four parts water. Boil water first, then add the sugar. The boiling water helps the formula stay fresher longer and retards fermentation. Don’t try different variations of this formula, because it could adversely affect the health of a hummingbird.
Never add red food coloring to your formula. The red feeder ports are enough to attract the birds. Also, don’t try to use honey because it ferments and a deadly fungus will result, which will kill a hummingbird. If you don’t want to make your own sugar water then purchase it at your local garden supply store or any store that carries bird supplies.
Keep your feeder clean or hummingbirds won’t visit it. They can be a picky bird and are only attracted to a well-kept feeder. Soap and water work fine and a good tool to use is an old toothbrush to scrub the hard-to-reach areas of the feeder ports. Change the sugar water every week, unless the temperature is consistently above 60 degrees. Then, change every two to three days. If your feeder is popular, however, you may find that it’s empty anyway!
Hummingbirds are very territorial, so if you’re using feeders then provide two to three and different heights. One species of hummingbird may like to dine at two to three feet above the ground near the flowers while another prefers something higher. This will also discourage the hummers from competing for feeders. Make sure there is adequate cover for the bird so he can rest between feedings.
Remember that ants and wasps will try and infiltrate those feeders. Try smearing vaseline on the pole that supports your feeder to discourage ants. To keep wasps and bees from getting too bothersome, keep feeders extra clean. Spilled or dripping nectar will attract them. Use the heavier glass feeders instead of plastic for a more stable feeder.
You may have never seen it, but hummingbirds do bathe and they love water. They don’t visit regular birdbaths, however. Their typical bath is usually in a leaf misted with water. They also love misting water. You can buy water misters at stores that carry bird supplies. Place the mister near your nectar plants and have fun watching these flying jewels.
Hummingbirds build their nests out of lichen, spider webs, moss, and downy materials from eucalyptus or willow trees. Provide these sources in your yard and you may encourage female hummers to nest near your garden. You may even get lucky enough to watch baby hummingbirds at your feeders and flowers.