Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) females feeding on Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans), Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Hummingbirds are like flying jewels. They bring wonderful colors and interesting noises in the environment. This is why many people want to attract hummingbirds towards their surroundings.

Attracting Hummingbirds

According to scientists, at least 21 hummingbird species are showing up earlier, leaving later, and ranging more widely than they once did. Accordingly, this is the perfect time to attract hummingbirds towards your very own yard.

Here are some tips to attract hummingbirds to your gardens:

1) Hang a hummingbird feeder.

Preparing sugar water for the hummingbird feeder is easy to do. You just need to mix one part sugar to four parts boiling water. You should not use honey or any artificial sweetener, as these can cause fungal infection in the hummers. Also, while a red color can generally attract hummingbirds, this doesn’t mean that you should put a red dye on the feeders, especially because it can be potentially harmful to the birds. Instead, you can hang red or orange ribbons on the feeder to attract them. And if you have excess sugar water, you can store that in the refrigerator for as long as 2 weeks.

It’s important that you frequently replace the sugar water in the feeder, even if there are no visiting birds. The fast spoilage rate of the nectar turns off hummingbirds, despite being hungry. Ideally, you should replace the sugar water every 5 to 7 days during the cold season, and every 2 days for warmer months. Before you refill the feeder, rinse the feeder thoroughly without using soap. Moreover, clean the feeder once a month with a very mild, diluted bleach solution.

Also, you can hang several feeders in your garden so that you can prevent a territorial bird from owning a single feeder.

2) Put a lot of flowering plants into your garden.

The choice of the flowering plants that you put in your garden can affect the degree attraction of the hummingbirds into your place. It’s best to choose annuals and perennials with varying blooming periods. This strategy ensures that there will be a constant supply of flowers in your garden from early spring until fall. In places with warmer temperatures, some plants that flow during winter provide the hummers with a nectar source the entire year.

Aside from the blooming period, you also need to consider the color and shape of the flowers. As we all know, hummingbirds love brightly colored, tubular-shaped flowers. Their most favorite color is red, followed by pink and orange, and then purple, blue, and yellow. It has been learned that hummingbirds prefer nectar-rich flowers that only has a little fragrance.

Some of the plants that round up into this list are native honeysuckles, most varieties of sages or salvia, many types of columbine and perennial penstemons. Aside from that, they also love bee balm or wild bergamot, cardinal flower, trumpet creeper, ocotillo, lupines, scarlet monkey flower and fire pink. If you’re determined to attract hummingbirds into your yard, visit a local native plant society or nursery to know which of these native plants will grow best in your area.

3) Don’t use insecticides.

There is a good reason why you should avoid using insecticides. Aside from nectar, hummingbirds also feed on small insects as a protein source, not just for the proper development of their young, but also for their overall health. As such, it’s important that you avoid using products that kill insects. Indeed, some hummingbird lovers hang an overripe melon or banana near one of their feeders just to attract insects. Hummingbirds love surroundings that have everything that they need.

4) Place a constant water source in your yard.

It’s best to make your garden a hummingbird haven so that they won’t move to other areas looking for other necessities. In doing so, it’s important to provide a constant water supply for the birds. You can put a birdbath with a couple of flat rocks into your yard. You can also add a drip fountain attachment. Hummingbirds love running water so much and making sure that your garden has a constant water source is a must for attracting hummingbirds.

There are many other tips to attract hummingbirds, but if you diligently follow the tips above, you know your efforts will not go into waste. Hummingbirds will visit your garden in due time.