How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Hummingbirds are found all over the Americas including the Caribbean. Well-known for their ability to hover and their unique ability to fly backwards, hummingbirds can hover by continuously flapping their wings at high speeds up to 80 times a second.

The smallest bird in the world is the Bee Hummingbird at only 1.8 grams in weight and two inches long. The Giant Hummingbird is the largest hummingbird at around eight inches long and weighing about 25 grams. They have the highest metabolism of any birds and to sustain this they must consume their own weight and more in food daily. In order to do this they must visit five hundred or more flowers daily to collect the nectar. They possess extended tongues and beaks so they can reach right into flowers. They are able to decrease their metabolisms when at rest, in contrast to nearly all other high metabolism animals. This extends their lifespan, which has been reported as long as sixteen years.

How to Make A Hummingbird Friendly Garden

To draw hummingbirds to your garden plant brightly coloured flowers and bushes. Hummingbirds have a poor sense of smell but they can be attracted by intense colours. Placing a hummingbird feeder in your backyard or on your terrace will catch the attention of these lovely birds. Some annuals to plant include salvia, petunia, impatiens, firespike and jewelweed. Some perennial plants include hummingbird mint, canna, columbine, lupine, hota, yucca and bee balm. For shrubs and trees plant azalea, buddleia, cape honeysuckle, mimosa, weigela, flame acanthus, lantana, red buckeye and tree tobacco.

Don’t use insecticides in your garden as you will kill insects and bugs that hummingbirds eat. They also leave deposits on the flowers which the hummingbirds may ingest. Also provide plenty of places to rest as they will spend about 80% of the time resting on twigs, clothes lines etc. Make available plants that will provide materials for nesting to attract the females. Hummingbirds prefer downy nesting material from trees like eucalyptus and willow and from mosses, lichens and ferns.

Hanging vibrantly colored, speciality feeders in your backyard will attract the hummingbirds. An excellent plan is to fix red streamers that blow all around the feeder. It is also beneficial to provide feeders at different heights as hummingbird species all have different preferences. Species that prefer plants that are low growing will go to a feeder positioned lower whilst species that feed on taller shrubs and plants will prefer to go to a feeder sited higher. Hummingbirds are also very territorial and an individual hummingbird may well guard a particular feeder and stop others from feeding. Place at least three feeders at assorted heights around your garden.

Hummingbirds love to bathe in the mist on plants so you could set a mister near to some broadleaved vegetation to give them a bathing place.

A Method of Making Hummingbird Nectar

A sweet nectar can be made by mixing together a cup of sugar and 4 cups of water that has been boiled. Allow the mixture to cool then store in the refrigerator. Nectar that is unused can safely be stored for about 7 days. Scrupulously wash hummingbird feeders every week by rinsing with a solution of one cup of vinegar in 4 cups of water and then rinsing out with clean water. Fill up with the nectar and hang up in the shade. Don’t use synthetic sweeteners or food colouring. Also do not use honey as it will ferment and create a fungus that is harmful. Change the nectar in the feeder at least every three days or more often in hot, summer weather.

Conclusion

It’s easy to make a garden to attract these beautiful birds. Give them the food they like and a comfortable setting and hummingbirds will pay a visit your garden frequently.

See more about feeding wild birds and some cheap bird feeders to buy at Garden Bird Feeders orĀ Garden Garden Bird Feeders UK

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