Also known as hummingbirds, hummingbirds are found throughout the Western Hemisphere. Birds nest anywhere that offers them shelter and a good source of water and food. Being small and flying acrobatic maneuvers, they are super fun to watch. To attract hummingbirds and make them nest in your backyard, create a colorful environment with a drinking fountain and flowers.
Part 1 of 3: Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden
Step 1. Plant a hummingbird garden
To attract hummingbirds in the natural fashion, plant a garden with flowers that attract them. Fill your house with azaleas, monardas, budleys, colombinas, foxgloves, hostas and morning glories. In addition to being bright and colorful, the flowers also have delicious nectar. Choose varieties that don't have a lot of smell, but are very visible and produce a lot of nectar.
- You can plant evergreen or deciduous trees, vines, shrubs and flowers. The above suggestions are just a few from a long list. Options also include honeysuckle, garden skeletons, heucheras and maidenhair ferns.
- Tubular flowers contain the most nectar. This makes them the most attractive to hummingbirds.
Step 2. Plan planting according to the flowering season
Each plant or flower blooms at a specific time, during summer or spring. So that there are always flowers in your garden, plant some that bloom early, some that bloom mid-season, and some that take longer to bloom.
Remove seeds from flowers to make them bloom longer. As soon as the buds wither, cut away the part that holds the seeds so the seedlings think they still need to flower. The method doesn't do any harm to the plants, it just makes them bloom a second time
Step 3. Do not use pesticides on hummingbird plants
Birds can end up ingesting the product and getting sick or even dying. In addition, they also feed on the insects that the pesticide is designed to kill. You will end up eliminating the pets' protein source! Leave pesticides aside. Hummingbirds will take care of the insects for you.
In order not to take risks, always opt for the natural. Do not use pesticides and avoid putting artificial sweeteners in your nectar. Hummingbirds are sensitive and can only eat safe, natural foods
Step 4. Prepare hummingbird perches such as trees and plant stands
Hummingbirds also need to rest. When they're not flapping their wings at high speed, they need a place to perch. Fill your garden with branches and supports for when they need a break.
The male hummingbird is super-territorial and protects its own space and food source with tooth and nail. Typically, he chooses to perch in places from which he can observe the fountain and scare off the competition
Part 2 of 3: Hanging drinking fountains
Step 1. Make your own nectar
Many people claim that hummingbirds respond more quickly and consistently to homemade nectar. Prepare enough nectar to fill all drinking fountains halfway. Otherwise, the nectar will age and gather mold quickly. Here's the recipe:
- Combine one part sugar with four part water.
- Boil for one to two minutes.
- Allow to cool and store the liquid in a closed container in the refrigerator.
Do not use red food coloring, honey or sweetener. These products are bad for hummingbirds
Step 2. Hang several red drinking fountains around the house when it's hot
So that hummingbirds are attracted to drinking fountains and do not need to fight over nectar, make several drinking fountains with shades of red. Color is the favorite of hummingbirds. If drinkers are not red enough, tie ribbons around them to make them more visible.
- The heat part depends on where you live. In some places, the weather starts to heat up in January. In others, in May. Regardless of when summer is in your corner of the world, hang your drinking fountains at the start of the season, some five to ten days before the birds arrive, so they can spend a lot of time in your backyard.
- Do not remove the drinking fountains when summer is over. Even if your birds go away, it's possible that your house serves as a stopover for migrating hummingbirds.
Step 3. Choose different places so the birds don't fight
Drinkers should be well away from each other and positioned so that they are not visible to a single male. Male hummingbirds are super territorial. Spacing will increase the number of birds in your yard, giving other males, females and chicks a chance to feed without being attacked by a dominant hummingbird.
- Hide one or two drinking fountains in the garden, hang one from a tree, and try putting one or two on the front porch, where they're sure not to be seen by the birds in the back.
- Choose places with plenty of shade, at least for most of the day. The shade will prevent the growth of fungus that scares away hummingbirds.
- Some people prefer to hang all the drinking fountains in one place. Thus, no bird can take control of the territory and scare the others away.
Step 4. Buy an ant guard
Most drinking fountains come with a protector attached. If yours is different, buy an outside protector. You can also dab a little Vaseline around the edges to keep the ants away from the nectar, but this requires you to clean the water cooler every other day.
Bees are a little harder to scare away. It's best to invest in a bee-proof drinking fountain, but they don't always work. If you find nectar residues on the edges of the trough (dropped by birds, for example), clean it immediately to keep the bees away
Step 5. Change the nectar every three or four days
Do this even if it doesn't finish. Otherwise it will gather mold, especially if the weather is hot. This is also why you should only fill your drinking fountains halfway.
- Wash the drinking fountain with hot water at each change. Do not use detergent. If you find black spots or other signs of mold, scrub the drinking fountain or fill it with sand and shake it until the residue is free.
- Hummingbirds prefer clean drinking fountains and leave out those that look abandoned. To keep your birds happy, always clean your drinking fountains.
Part 3 of 3: Attracting Hummingbirds to the Backyard
Step 1. Decorate the yard with shades of red
Fill it with figurines, pennants and red furniture, as well as natural decorations like flowers. In the search for nectar-producing flowers, hungry hummingbirds are particularly attracted to the color red. You can also fill your yard with bows, ribbons, and other red decorative items to make it a real point for hummingbirds.
If any part fades or peels, repaint it. Use nail polish if you only need to fix a small area. It's cheaper and works perfectly
Step 2. Use orange or red reflective demarcation tape
The ribbon is not only colored, it reflects ultraviolet rays, to which hummingbirds are sensitive. It can be found in building supply stores and is not usually expensive.
Step 3. Install a shallow fountain with a soft fountain or sprinkler
Because they are small, hummingbirds usually quench their thirst with water from the dew accumulated on the leaves. However, they need frequent baths to get rid of sticky nectar. That's why they love jets of water, which keep them clean and fresh.
- Place the fountain within sight of the drinking fountain. The main sense of hummingbirds is sight. So the more visible something is, the faster they'll find it.
- Don't let the fountain dry! If the source is in the sun, it is possible for the water to evaporate very quickly. Check it every two days to make sure the water is at the right level and has not been contaminated by other animals.
- Never use honey or artificial sweeteners to make homemade nectar. The birds will eat the mixture, but they won't be able to digest it.
- Avoid using pesticides in your garden for hummingbirds. In addition to nectar, birds need to eat small, protein-filled insects to survive. And the pesticide not only kills hummingbirds' food, it penetrates the nectar and can make them sick!