Tips For Attracting And Feeding Hummingbirds
Provide Food, Water And Nesting Sites
Although migratory, hummingbirds will remember your garden location if you provide a consistent source of food.
Hummingbirds are extremely active with high calorie requirements. To maintain their rapid metabolic rate, they must feed often. Food is obtained from nectar rich flowers, feeders filled with a sugar water solution and protein in the form of tiny insects.
Plant A Hummingbird Garden
In addition to providing them a natural diet, a hummingbird garden is an excellent way to attract birds to your feeder. Hummingbirds’ inquisitive nature will quickly lead them to investigate any possible new food source. They follow regular routes and feed by sight, this process is called “traplining”. If you plan carefully and select a variety of plants that flower throughout the season, you will be rewarded with happy hummers. When designing your garden, remember that what is pleasing to our eye is also great for catching theirs. Arrange plants with variation in heights from shortest to tallest and group varieties and colors together for the biggest impact.
Supply "Liquid Love" In Hummingbird Feeders
Even the most nectar rich plants may not be able to fully deliver the amount of nectar required by hummers. Providing a sugar water solution in a special feeder can supply an unlimited food source. Hanging feeders will also bring these dazzling beauties into easy view from a window or deck. Hanging a red ribbon near the feeder early in the season will help attract hummingbirds until your flowers begin to bloom. (You do not need to add red food coloring to the sugar water solution. Doing so is potentially harmful to the health of the hummingbirds.)
Lay Off The Chemicals
Remember that hummingbirds eat insects. They need more than your nectar sources to survive. Do not use pesticides to wipe out the bugs in your yard. Tiny spiders and tiny flying insects might not appeal to you but they are “meat and potatoes” to a hummingbird. In addition, hummers might directly ingest pesticides sprayed onto flowers, which could sicken or kill the birds. If you are thinking about attracting hummingbirds to your backyard, your first step is to cease using chemicals.
Present A Place To Perch
Although hummingbirds appear to be active every minute of the day, they actually spend around 4/5ths of each day perched in trees or shrubs near nectar and other food sources. Plants with dense foliage offer protective shelter from weather and predators, providing a safe place to roost for the evening. If you are lucky enough, you may even encounter females incubating eggs on the nest they have built!