When flowers and trees begin to bloom and migrating birds like warblers arrive, it’s time to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Here’s how.
It’s enchanting watching hummingbirds – named for the humming sound of their fast-flapping wings. Their tiny size and speed make them natural wonders. Hummingbirds can fly 25-30 miles per hour, flapping their wings an estimated 70 times per second. They fly in every direction, even backwards (which only hummingbirds can do) and float majestically in midair.
Hummingbirds get their brilliant color from the iridescence in the arrangement of their feathers, not color pigment.
They have the fastest metabolism of any animal on Earth, burning 1-2 times their body weight in food daily. Hummingbirds draw nectar from its source into their mouths, lapping it up almost 12 times per second.
Here some simple tips to attract hummingbirds to your yard from Cole’s Wild Bird.
Be conscious of beneficial insects.
Hummingbirds rely on insects, which provide essential protein, to complement the nectar they crave. To attract insects, try placing rotting fruit near feeders and leave it until insects arrive for the hummingbirds to eat.
Leave spiderwebs alone.
Hummingbirds use spiderwebs as construction material to hold their nests together and pluck insects caught in the webbing.
Offer a water mister.
Hummingbirds adore bathing; a mister gives them the fine spray they prefer.
There are solar misters* that float in a bird bath, pond or even pool.
There are misters* that you can use to cool off your patio and water your plants as well as attract hummingbirds to your yard.
Once soaked, the hummingbirds are off to find a preening perch.
Provide tiny perches.
Leave small, sturdy, bare branches for hummingbirds, to perch on for rest, preening and hunting. Perches provide vantage points to see danger and launching pads to swiftly pounce on insects. Once hummingbirds find a favorite perch, they’ll use it repeatedly.
Trumpet honeysuckle, bee balm and sage plants are particularly attractive to hummingbirds and provide rich nectar. Hummingbirds consume 1 1/2 times their body weight daily, eating every 10-15 minutes and visiting 1,000-2,000 flowers per day.
Hang hummingbird feeders.
Feeders are one of the most effective ways to consistently entice and encourage hummingbirds to come visit.
Hummingbirds are territorial and not likely to share feeders, so hang multiple feeders far enough apart to attract more birds. To ensure a steady stream of birds, hang feeders in the shade to avoid fermentation of sugar-based liquids, check feeders bi-weekly to keep food fresh and clean feeders as needed with one part white vinegar to four parts water.
Not all feeders are made the same. The hummingbird feeder above* allows the birds to perch high so they can see around themselves for safety, and so you can see them too. (Because they always feed on the side away from you, don’t they?)
It also has a built in ant moat. They travel down the hook to a water-filled cavity so ants don’t keep the hummingbirds away. Since birds will also drink from the moat, never use any repellents or additives.
It is drip and leak-proof so wasps aren’t attract to the feeder. The raised flowers divert the rain so it doesn’t water-down the nectar.
This feeder comes apart very easily for cleaning. (Which is one of the difficulties with most hummingbird feeders.)
Don’t forget, hummingbirds have memories like elephants. Once they discover your hummingbird friendly habitat, they’ll come back every year if there’s a reliable food source.
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