The hummingbird is one of the world's most fascinating living creatures to watch. But don't blink or you might miss it. One way to get a good look is to attract hummingbirds to your yard.
Hummingbirds are fascinating to watch. For such tiny birds, they possess the largest brain, fastest wing beat and the heartiest of appetites. Each year they're known to migrate thousands of miles. In order to gear up for their extensive travels, they need an abundance of nectar.
Your backyard is a great place to find it. Not only can you hang a sugar water feeder, but you can also plant flowers to attract them. The natural nectar from flowers is the healthiest form they can receive, but the feeders are a nice supplement.
These tiny birds' high metabolism requires them to feed continuously, consuming about 50% of their body weight per day. A complete diet includes insects as well as nectar, another good reason for plantings. Here are a few ways to attract hummingbirds with plants.
Don't worry about leaving your feeder out too long and disrupting a hummingbird's migration schedule. Migration is not triggered by hte availability of food. They'll take flight as the days get shorter.
Choose plants that bloom at different times to supply nectar all season. Bloom times vary by planting zone. As an added advantage, many of the plants listed attract butterflies too.
Garden plants can provide both insects and nectar, but to really get the maximum birdwatching experience, most hummingbird watchers like to hang feeders.
Hummingbirds need time to find your new feeder. It could take hours or even weeks so be patient. However, once they've found it they're likely to return again and again.
Combine 4 parts hot water to 1 part white granulated sugar. Don't use honey. It will spoil quickly in the heat outdoors.
Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved.
Let the mixture cool completely before putting in the feeder.
Keep the extra in the refrigerator.
Red food coloring isn't recommended. It's not good for them. A little red color on the feeder itself is enough to attract hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds are susceptible to bacteria. Clean the feeder every three to four days when the weather is hot. Try using a vinegar / water solution (about 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water) rather than soap.
Insects (mostly bees and ants) can become pests at the feeder. Feeders and feeder accessories are available to reduce or eliminate insect pests. Hummingbirds are pesticide sensitive, so don't use chemicals near the feeder.