5 ways to make your yard hummingbird-friendly
With their gorgeous plumage, voracious appetites and acrobatic flying skills, hummingbirds make a great addition to any yard. However, attracting these exciting birds can be a tricky process if you don't do your homework. Here are 5 tips to make your yard attractive to hummingbirds.
Buy the right plants
The life of a hummingbird is shaped by its relationship with flowering plants. It is only through consuming huge amounts of nectar--up to half of their body weight per day--that hummingbirds are able to sustain their rapid metabolism. If you're looking to create a hummingbird-friendly yard or garden, it's key that you include plants or flowers that hummingbirds typically feed on.
Of course, the difficulty comes in picking the right plants. Hummingbirds typically go after plants with high concentrations of nectar, but the list of plants they are attracted to is huge. One of the best ways to find out what plants hummingbirds in your area prefer is to observe them in their natural environment. Walk around your neighborhood, ask your neighbors, or even inquire at your local plant nursery or Audubon Society.
Buy bird baths
Everyone likes to take a dip on a hot day, including hummingbirds. Bird baths are an excellent way to make your yard or garden friendly to all birds, including hummingbirds. Bird baths with dripping water are great, as are circulating pools. If you don't have either, even a sprinkler can work.
Find the right kind of feeder and use it correctly!
There are dozens of variations of hummingbird feeders out there, but make sure that you get a bird feeder that's easy to clean and doesn't have any unreachable nooks and crannies where algae, mold and bacteria can congregate. You also want to place your bird feeder in the shade, as the sun can cause nectar to ferment.
When placing multiple birdfeeders, it's a good idea to keep them apart from each other. Hummingbirds can be very aggressive and you want to avoid having one hummingbird dominate multiple feeders. Lastly, if you are in a cold climate, make sure to keep your nectar warm enough so it doesn't freeze. One creative way to keep your hummingbird warm is to wrap a sock around it. You can also try putting a drop of glycerin in your bird feeder.
Make sure your hummingbird solution is correct
If you are making you own nectar, the mixture should be 4 parts water for each part sugar. Also make sure to keep your nectar fresh, replacing it every five to seven days. And if there are spills, make sure you clean them promptly.
Concentrate and Innovate
The key to attracting hummingbirds is being conscious to their desires. If the plants your using don't seem to appeal to hummingbirds, add a few different kinds. If your hummingbird feeder is unpopular, consider changing its location or adding a second feeder somewhere else.
If you stay steadfast in your commitment to attracting hummingbirds, they'll eventually flock to your garden, providing you with enjoyment for years to come.
Want to learn more about hummingbirds? Check out the articles:
- Hummingbird Species Overview
- What do hummingbirds look like?
- Hummingbird Species of North America
- Hummingbird Nesting and Mating
- Attracting Hummingbirds
- Video - Bird Man Mel's Attracting Hummingbirds