Create a hummingbird haven in your very own backyard! Hummers are delight to watch and are not too hard to attract. The first order of business would be to place a hummingbird feeder in your garden. Most hummingbird feeders are red, as red is notorious for attracting hummers. But if your feeder is not red you can tie a red ribbon at the top. You can also place your feeder near a hanging basket, or flower patch with red or brightly colored flowers nearby. You will find that hummingbirds are very territorial, and like to sit and defend their feeder and flowers. If you would like to attract more than one greedy hummer to your garden, try putting out more feeders. But be sure to place them out of site of each other. Otherwise as you know, hummingbirds are piggies, and will sit and guard all of the feeders, and chase the others birds away. You may want to consider placing a hummingbird swing near your feeder. They will enjoy perching and swinging while they watch over their food source.
As more flowers begin to bloom you will find that the hummingbirds will visit your feeder less. Not to worry, they are still around, but they would rather drink real nectar from flowers than the nectar in your feeder. Even if they aren’t sipping from your feeders you can keep these adorable creatures in your yard by planting flowers that hummingbirds like. True it seems hummingbirds favorite color is red, but you don’t have to plant all red flowers in your garden. They will drink from any flower that is rich in nectar. Hummingbirds have virtually no sense of smell, and the flowers that attract them often have very little fragrance. Here are a list of nectar rich flowers known to attract hummingbirds: Fuchsias, Bleeding hearts, Hollyhocks, Impatiens, Geraniums, Petunias, Salvias, Bee Balm, Butterfly Bush Buddleia Davidii, Columbine, Honeysuckles, and Viburnums, to just name a few. It would be good to note that cultivated flowers often produce a lot less nectar than the strains in the wild. Another way to add instant color, try adding a purple or red gazing ball or sculpture to your garden, this will also attract hummingbirds attention.
Be sure to remove faded flowers. Otherwise the hummingbirds will see the dried up flowers that have no more nectar, and will move on to a better feeding location. By dead heading and removing spent flowers, not only keeps the birds happy, it will also encourage new blooms to grow. Be very careful about pesticides or insecticides on the flowers used to attract the hummers. They not only kill bugs, but are harmful to birds, causing them to become sick and could kill them. The small bugs are also a food source for hummingbirds, providing them with the protein they rely on. Protein is very important to their diet especially as they start to fatten up to get ready for migration.
Some hummingbirds may not visit your feeder, but all birds need to drink water right? Hummingbirds are more attracted to moving water opposed to the still water in a birdbath. You may want to consider adding a mister, fountain, dripper, waterfall or sprinkler. They will enjoy flying through the moving water to cool off and may sit and bathe. It is very important that the water source remains fresh and clean, to prevent diseases from growing that cause them to get sick, and cause many to die a very unpleasant death.
Hummingbirds enjoy a place to rest and preen. And since they are very territorial they like to perch where they have a good view of their territories, and food sources. Provide perches such as wires, shrubbery (will also give the shelter), close lines, trellises, thin vines etc. This will encourage the little birds to stick around for awhile. Another way to create a hummingbird haven in you garden is to provide resources for them to build a nest. Suitable nesting materials would be, animal fur, fine lint, and small lengths of string. Hummingbirds don’t use nesting boxes or bird houses, like other birds. Instead they build their nests in trees and shrubs. Their nests are double lined, and cup shaped.
Try some of these tactics to attract hummingbirds to your garden. And once they are there, they will be encouraged to stick around for awhile. By understanding hummingbirds needs, you can provide a safe haven for these lovely entertaining creatures.