Hummingbirds thrive in North and South America, and have many unique habitats that they enjoy living in. Just like their personalities, they all want different qualities in the places that they live and lay territorial stakes in. Whether you’re a gardener who wants to create the perfect place to attract hummingbirds, or you’re just curious about what hummers look for when choosing a location, here are a few of your questions answered about hummingbird habitats.
What hummingbirds like in a habitat
There are a few key elements that a hummingbird will require in their natural habitat. Many people think that nectar is the only food source that the hummingbird needs, however, nectar is what gives them the fuel to eat the insects and spiders that give them the meat they crave in their diets. If they don’t have a habitat that supplies them with both nectar and insects, they probably won’t stay too long.
Hummingbirds can enjoy a range of habitats from forests, cities, neighborhoods, meadows, and much more. They can live in many different climates, so the most important things to them are food, protection, and mates for reproducing. The reason they migrate is because the insects die off and the flowers stop blooming. If they had a plentiful food source and their mate, they probably wouldn’t have much of a need to leave. Hummingbirds are very intelligent and know when the nectar in a flower has stopped the reproductive process, and that means it is time to move on.
Hummingbirds will also make a point to ensure they are in an area that offers protection while they go into their hibernation-like sleep and when they nest. They will check for predators in the area. If they feel it is a dangerous environment to live in, they will move on. However, they are not afraid of people, so you won’t be considered a threat to them. Cats, snakes, larger birds, and even ants can cause dangerous situations for the little hummers.
How to create your own hummingbird habitat
If you want to see more hummingbirds come to your location, you can create a hummingbird habitat that is as extravagant or humble as you like. Here are a few simple steps to get started.
#1: Research regional flowers. Each region will be different in the flowers that thrive in your area, but some good rules of thumb is to plant honeysuckle, herbs such as lavender and sage, and find red flowers with tube-like petals. Find flowers that will be very nectar rich. Be sure to plant different flowers, so you have blooming periods all spring, summer, and fall.
#2: Keep the insects alive. It can be easy to want to use pesticide to get rid of all of the bugs and spiders in your lawn, but keep everything as natural as possible. Hummingbirds love to dine on bugs and spiders, and they use the spider’s silk as an adhesive when building their nests.
#3: Provide your hummingbirds with additional nectar via hummingbird feeders. Place this strategically in around you lawn, so hummers that are feeding from them don’t see one another. The more food they have and the less they have to see each other when eating, the less aggressive and territorial they’ll be towards one another. Keep feeders clean and full, and change the nectar out at least three times a week in hot weather.
#4: Have a water source. Hummingbirds love to bath and don’t necessarily require a birdbath that they will have to share with larger birds. They are happy with nice mists of water or an area that has a continual drip of water for cleaning.
#5: Have nesting locations. If you already have plenty of tall trees, you might not have to worry about buying a hummingbird nest. A female will look for a safe place to nest before deciding on a permanent location. If you don’t have a nesting space near the food sources, you should provide one. Don’t be surprised if they don’t take it right away, but you’ll have a better chance of keeping hummingbirds near if you do have nesting solutions for them.
#6: Offer perches. You can subtly hide perches in the trees and around your home. Because of the way hummingbirds sleep they will want a safe place to go into Torpor. These perches will also give them a hidden view of their territory, so they are alert to dangers.
Building a hummingbird habitat is a rewarding and exciting experience. You can get the whole family involved, or you can ask your neighborhood to take part in it. The more people who are involved in your area, they more hummingbirds you’ll see come to your habitat.