If your are on the hummingbirds flight path, a few simple things will lure them into your garden. I think most people would agree that hummingbirds are fascinating little creatures. Hummingbirds can hover over flowers, they can fly sideways, upside down and backwards and turn on a dime.
Of the 320 species reported most live in South America. For those of us in the North, we usually are lucky to have 2or 3 different species, the most common being Anna’s, rufous and ruby-throated. On average these little birds are 31/2 inches long and weigh about 1/9 ounce, yet can migrate over 2000 miles. Their nests are about the size of half a walnut shell, and their eggs are the size of a navy bean.
What do Hummingbirds eat?
Hummingbirds have two main sources of food, small insects and flower nectar. They are most attracted to bright red, pink and orange tubular flowers. The most important thing you can do to attract these birds into your garden is to plant flowering annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. Hummingbirds are also attracted to feeders stocked with sugar water. If you place these feeders close to your house and windows, you will be entertained for hours.
How to Make Hummingbird Sugar Solution:
The formula for hummingbird food is 1 part white granulated sugar to 4 parts water. Heat the water until the sugar dissolves, stirring well. Do not add any food colouring or use honey in your feeders. Allow the solution to cool before filling your feeders. Wash your hummingbird feeders each time before refilling, and keep them clean at all times. Do not allow your syrup to go stale, change every 4 to 5 days. If your feeders are attracting other insects apply vegetable oil or petroleum jelly on the wire that the feeder hangs from, and or on the feeder openings.
How to Plant Flowers to Attract Hummingbirds:
When you plant nectar providing flowers you also will attract tiny insects that are an important part of the hummingbird’s diet. For the best effect plant flowers in clusters rather than scattering them about. Try scarlet honeysuckle or trumpet vines on a trellis. Hummers can’t resist the colour red to the point that most flowers that depend on hummingbirds for pollination are red or orange-red. Some plants in the red tones to try are bee balm, columbines, canna, gladiolus, lilies, salvias and azaleas.
Try to plant flowers and plants with different blooming times, spring, early summer, late summer and fall. When attracting hummingbirds avoid the use of any chemicals in your garden, especially around any flowers you are selecting for the birds. As hummingbirds can be very territorial, plant your flowers throughout your garden to supply several feeding locations.
Best Plants for Attracting Hummingbirds
Annuals: Fuchsia, Impatients, Petunia, Salvia, Shrimp Plant, Snapdragon, Nicotiana
Perennials: Bee Balm, Canna, Coral Bells, Foxglove, Hosta, Columbine, Agastache, Penstemon, Crocosmia, Russian Sage
Vines: Scarlet Honeysuckle, Morning Glory, Scarlet Runner Bean, Trumpet Vine, Canary Creeper, Glory Vine
Shrubs: Quince, Weigelia, Butterfly Bush, Turks Cap
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(some photos from pixabay) (some links go to my affiliate Amazon account)