How To Attract Hummingbirds
Attract hummingbirds to your yard with a few simple steps. Once you’ve had these charming characters spend the summer with you, you will look forward to their arrival year after year.
- Hummingbird migration is one of the most anticipated events across the country. Hummingbirds arrive in Zone 5 as early as April, moving from the south to north. They are typically gone by the first frost.
- Place feeders outside for hummingbirds prior to their expected arrival. They usually arrive before there are a lot of nectar-producing flowers in bloom, so you want them to find your feeders for nourishment.
- Hummingbirds like to perch while feeding and between feedings. Sticks and small branches provide perches they can rest on. Even trellises or garden décor will be welcome structures to perch on.
- To make nectar use standard granulated white sugar, 1/3 cup to 1 cup cold tap water. Mix well until dissolved. Never use honey or sugar substitutes. There is no need to add red coloring nor is it recommended.
- Change nectar every few days, perhaps more often if the feeder is in direct sun. Change before the nectar turns cloudy. Use freshly-made nectar each time.
- Clean the feeders every time nectar is changed. Dis-assemble and use a bottle brush and toothpick to thoroughly clean crevices and ports.
- If mold growth develops, soak in diluted bleach water, clean off the mold, then rinse thoroughly before refilling with nectar. Clean the feeder more often to avoid mold growth.
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Do Hummingbird Feeders Have To Be Red?
You will see more red hummingbird feeders with yellow ports than any other color. It's long been the belief that this is the color combination that feeders should be to get the best attraction of hummingbirds, and in some cases it may be. In my experience, using different color feeders did not have an affect on which feeder was visited more often. As long as the feeder was kept clean and the nectar fresh, it was visited by hummingbirds. I would say the quality of the nectar is more important than the feeder color. I even have a dark blue one with white feeder ports that they visit consistently.
Do hummingbirds like blue feeders?
I have a dark blue feeder with white ports that the hummingbirds visit consistently. In my experience, different colored feeders do not matter. As long as the feeder was kept clean and the nectar was kept fresh, the blue feeder was visited by hummingbirds as often as the red ones. I typically have three or more feeders available at any given time.
How To Choose A Hummingbird Feeder
When choosing a hummingbird feeder, consider how easy (or hard) it will be to clean it.
Does it easily disassemble and assemble?
Feeders need to be cleaned often, especially during the heat of summer. If you have more than one, it can become a regular activity maintaining them.
Is the structure of quality to handle disassembly/assembly many many times?
Feeders that don't seal well because of poorly fitted threads or bottom base will leak.
When it is disassembled, can I reach all surfaces to clean them?
If the feeder is ball shaped or bulbous, consider how you will clean the inside surface. A large opening and straight walls makes it easier to clean the inside walls of the feeder.
The feeder ports and other intricate areas will also need to be cleaned, so look for easy access to those and the area around them. A soft baby bottle brush works well and often comes with a smaller one for narrow areas. Toothpicks will clean holes and intricate details.
Flowers that Attract Hummingbirds
To attract more hummingbirds, draw them with flowering trees, bushes, perennials and annuals.
Blooming flowers combined with feeders increases the chance of having more hummingbirds visit your area. They are often seen sampling flowers by selectively poking the tops of phlox or zinnias, or floating along the lengths of vines.
Hummingbirds are attracted to flowers that are red, orange, pink, purple and bright yellow. They look for flowers with tubular shapes or have tubular configurations in their shape.
Attracted to perennial and annual flowers, there are also many annual vines that hummingbirds are attracted to.
Perennial flowers such as Phlox looks like a flat flower, but the petals actually surround an extended tube, which is what the hummingbird feeds from.
Annual flowers such as Zinnia is not a tubular shaped flower, but the head of the zinnia often has bright yellow tubular shaped flowers that extend from it, which hummingbird’s love.
Favorite hummingbird flowers
Add these flowers to your garden and you will create a haven of nourishment for hummingbirds.
Group similar plants together and choose species with different blooming periods so that there will be a steady supply of flowers all season.
Start many of these seeds indoors before your last frost date to get a jump on earlier blooms.