Do you want to see a collection of hummingbirds flitting in and out of your yard? Silly question. Of course you do! Today, I have some ideas on how to make your yard a paradise for these unique and mysterious little birds.
How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Backyard
You've probably seen hummingbird feeders hanging over the patios or from the trees around your neighbors' homes. This is the easiest way to attract hummingbirds. You can purchase basic feeders in the garden section of your local home improvement store and make your own hummingbird nectar. Hummingbirds are especially attracted to the color red, which is why so many feeders are that color. It won't take the birds long to take notice of your feeder, whether you hang it near a window at the front of your house or hang it from an eave of your backyard garden shed.
Roll out the red carpet for hummingbirds by planting flowers they're attracted to. Bee balm is one example of a flower these birds really love. These flowers need to be planted in a spot with full sun and well-draining soil. They can be found in pink, white, and, of course, bright red.
Another good flower to plant is salvia. Salvia is drought-tolerant, fragrant, and attractive to hummingbirds. You can find this flower in many colors, including purple, red, pink, yellow, and orange. The butterflies and bees will appreciate your salvia, too. I love to see these colorful, tubular flowers waving in the breeze!
Other flowers beloved by hummingbirds include:
- Carpet bugle
- Cardinal flowers
Do's and Don'ts of Feeding Hummingbirds
- Do offer hummingbirds a variety of feeding options. This means planting flowers and putting up feeders with homemade nectar.
- Do hang up your feeder at least five feet away from a window to prevent hummingbirds from flying into the screens or glass.
- Do get a feeder with an insect guard to reduce the number of flies and bees crowding the area.
- Don't use sugar substitutes in your hummingbird nectar recipe.
- Don't hang up just one hummingbird feeder. It's best to hang up two or more because these little birds are very territorial. Having only one feeder is likely to cause a hummingbird ruckus in your yard!
- Don't take down your hummingbird feeder too soon. Leave your feeder out through the fall so you can give these birds nourishment for the long migration to their winter home.
Tips on How to Keep Your Feeder Full and Clean
It's best to clean your hummingbird feeder once a week. This keeps bacteria from forming and prevents clogs. If you have humid weather in your area, it's a good idea to clean it twice a week.
First, empty the feeder of all of its nectar. Next, take the feeder apart and soak the parts in a mixture of mild dish soap and warm water for about an hour. Then, thoroughly rinse each part and allow them all to air-dry before you refill the feeder with fresh hummingbird nectar.
Be sure to use real sugar in your homemade nectar. Using sugar substitutes can clog your feeder.
When Should You Put Out Your Feeders?
Hummingbirds migrate north at different times. Many hummingbirds show up in the southern states in February, while states located further north see them later in the spring. Putting a hummingbird feeder out in mid-March is a good idea. That way, you're likely to catch some early arrivals.
Once you get a glimpse of a hummingbird or two at your feeder, you'll be hooked! Thanks for reading. - Alan