practical tips and tricks for attracting hummingbirds

How to Attract Hummingbirds: Practical Tips and Tricks

Having hummingbirds in your yard is a feast that doesn’t come easy. There are no two opinions hummingbirds will not visit you uninvited. You need to create a suitable habitat and wait for them to come to your yard. And when they come, it’s a moment of celebration for sure! 

In this blog post, we’ll cover all the methods that should answer your query “how to attract hummingbirds” comprehensively. This guide is equally useful for experienced and naive birdwatchers. 

Hummingbird feeders

It’s crucial to install hummingbird feeders to attract hummingbirds in your yard. As a bird-lover, you might know that hummingbirds have a high metabolism and they need a lot of nectar. They eat every 15 minutes. The hummingbird's tongues are so designed by nature that they make 15 to 20 slurps per second

So the deal here is to attract hummingbirds by providing them with the nectar they search for so much in the day. You can fill the feeders with sugar water (artificial nectar) and the hummingbirds must find that sugar water nourishing.

What is a hummingbird feeder?

A hummingbird feeder is a specially designed container that is used to provide a supplemental food source for hummingbirds. 

Hummingbird feeders typically consist of a container, often made of plastic or glass, with a series of feeding ports and a hanging mechanism. The container is filled with a nectar solution that is made of sugar and water and mimics the natural nectar found in flowers that hummingbirds feed on. The feeding ports are usually red in color as colors attract these exquisite creatures.   

How to fill hummingbird feeder

Filling a hummingbird feeder is a simple task that requires only a few steps:

  • Prepare the nectar solution: Mix four parts of water with one part of white granulated sugar in a pot on the stove. The next step is to boil this mixture and stir until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool before filling the feeder.
  • Clean the feeder: Before filling the feeder, it's important to clean it thoroughly to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. Use hot water and a bottle brush to scrub the container and feeding ports, then rinse thoroughly.
  • Fill the feeder: Pour the cooled nectar solution into the feeder, being careful not to overfill it. To avoid spills you should leave some space at the top. 
  • Hang the feeder: Choose a location to hang the feeder that is easily visible to hummingbirds and within your line of sight. Hang it from a tree branch, hook, or pole. Make sure it's sturdy and won't swing or tip over.
  • Monitor and refill: Check the feeder regularly to make sure it's clean and filled with fresh nectar. Hummingbirds have high metabolisms and need to feed frequently, so you may need to refill the feeder every few days.

An important thing to note here is that you should use a nectar solution that is made of only sugar and water, as other ingredients such as honey or artificial sweeteners can be harmful to hummingbirds. Additionally, avoid using red food coloring as it can be harmful and unnecessary, as the red color of the feeder itself is enough to attract hummingbirds. 

Why you should have multiple hummingbird feeders 

Having multiple hummingbird feeders can help avoid male dominance at the feeders because male hummingbirds can become very territorial and aggressive when defending a food source.

Male hummingbirds typically have brighter and more colorful plumage than females, and they often arrive earlier in the season to establish a feeding territory. Once they have staked out their territory, they will aggressively defend it against other hummingbirds, including other males and females.

If you only have one hummingbird feeder, the dominant male may chase away all the other hummingbirds and prevent them from accessing the food. 

Therefore, having multiple hummingbird feeders spaced out around your yard can help reduce the risk of male dominance. This is because the dominant male will not be able to effectively defend all of the feeders at once, and the other birds will have more opportunities to feed without fear of aggression.

Additionally, having multiple feeders allows more birds to feed at once, reducing competition and making it easier for everyone to get the sustenance they need. So, having multiple hummingbird feeders is not only beneficial for the birds, but it can also provide a more enjoyable and peaceful birdwatching experience for humans.

How to attract hummingbirds with flowers

Attracting hummingbirds with flowers is a natural and beautiful way to encourage these fascinating birds to visit your yard. Here are some tips that could be useful to you for selecting and planting the right flowers to attract hummingbirds:

  • Choose brightly colored flowers: Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored flowers, especially those that are red, orange, or pink.
  • Select tubular-shaped flowers: Hummingbirds have long, thin beaks that are perfectly suited for sipping nectar from tubular-shaped flowers like honeysuckle, bee balm, and cardinal flower.
  • Plant flowers in clusters: Hummingbirds are attracted to areas with high nectar concentrations, so planting flowers in clusters can help draw them in.
  • Provide flowers throughout the season: Plant a variety of flowers that bloom at different times throughout the season to provide a consistent food source for hummingbirds.

Some of the best flowers for attracting hummingbirds include, among others, Bee balm, Cardinal flower, Coral bells, Fuchsia, Honeysuckle, Impatiens, Petunias, Salvia, and Trumpet vine.

Remember to avoid using pesticides on your flowers, as they can be harmful to hummingbirds and other beneficial insects. By selecting the right flowers and providing a clean water source, you can create a welcoming habitat for hummingbirds in your own backyard.

How to encourage hummingbirds to nest in your garden 

One way to encourage hummingbirds to nest in your garden is to provide a suitable habitat. Hummingbirds prefer to nest in sheltered areas, such as trees or shrubs and often choose spots that are concealed by leaves or branches. You can create a suitable habitat by planting a variety of trees and shrubs in your garden, including evergreens, which provide year-round cover. 

Another way to encourage nesting is to provide materials for building nests. Hummingbirds often use spider webs and moss to construct their nests, so leaving some areas of your garden undisturbed can provide the necessary materials. You can also offer nesting materials by hanging a small basket filled with materials such as cotton or pet hair in a sheltered area of your garden.

Additionally, providing a reliable food source can encourage hummingbirds to nest in your garden. By planting a variety of flowers that bloom throughout the season, you can provide a consistent source of nectar for these birds. This, in turn, can increase the likelihood that they will choose to nest in your garden, as they will have a nearby food source.

Following these steps increase the likelihood that hummingbirds will nest in your garden. An important thing to mention here is that hummingbirds' nests are protected by federal law and it’s illegal to remove and disturb them. 

Note: Don’t forget to check out nesting pods, hummingbird home, and bubbler fountain by Quackups that help you achieve your birdwatching goals. 

Final words

Creating a suitable habitat for hummingbirds is the key to attracting them to your yard or garden. The maintenance of the habitat is as important as its installation. And all the efforts put into the cause are worth it.

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