Hummingbirds and Flowers – Your yard or patio needs to have flowers in it. Whether this is flowering shrubs that come up every year, or a lot of pots of annuals, either way there needs to be lots of bright colored flowers to attract them in the first place.
Just sticking a feeder out there is not going to be enough to really get them interested. You have seen how fast they fly right? Like a bullet, and they need to be “invited” to your yard.
If you own your property with a yard, then plant some flowering shrubs, have some that flower in the late spring after all danger of frost, (this of course depends on where you live) and have more that flower during the summer, they especially like flowering vines on a trellis.
Places to Hide and Rest – Don’t stick a feeder out in the middle of the yard without any place for the bird to hide or rest. They don’t need monster trees, but they do like a built up shrub or trellis where they can sit and clean or rest before hitting the feeder again for another filling!
They burn through a lot of calories, so they need a place to sit that is off the ground, even just the twigs in the bushes work well. So consider this when deciding where to place your feeder.
A great way to do this is to get one of those free standing garden hooks that you push into the ground, and place it between a few flowering bushes for protection and to attract them. Make sure it is at least 6 feet off the ground for protection from those ground critters such as cats!
Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe – this is the easiest recipe to make, and don’t be surprised when you see that it is not red like the commercial bought ones. From personal experience, I have found the homemade version attracts better. As long as the feeder itself is red and attractive, the food does not need to be red. So, don’t put food coloring in the food.
1 cup of water
¼ cup of plain white sugar (do not substitute) this must be regular sugar
Place both in saucepan and then bring to a boil while stirring.
Once it has boiled for at least 30 seconds, take off heat, put on lid and let it cool naturally.
Make sure the feeder has been cleaned well and rinsed well, then fill the feeder with this food, and hang outside.
In the warmer weather, make sure to replace this food at least twice a week. I found twice a week worked well in Ontario’s humid hot summers. By boiling it, you will help to prevent it going moldy and it stays mixed like a nectar.
If you want to make up an extra batch at same time, simply double the recipe, then keep the remaining batch in the fridge covered.
Sugar Water for Hummingbirds - This is a good sugar water combination for them, and I know in my backyard we have the feeder hanging on a garden hook between some flowering shrubs, close enough for us to watch and they go from the shrub to the feeder as if it was another flower and seem to really enjoy it.
When to Stop Feeding - If you live in an area where winter sets in, like I do in Ontario here, then slowly stop feeding them about the 2nd week of September, or simply watch the forecast for heavy frost, as they need to feed off flowers on their way south, so you don’t want to keep them in your yard longer than you should.
They are a beautiful little bird, and in Ontario (I live one hour north west of Toronto) we only have them here for a short time. They show up the end of May when spring flowers start to bloom and danger of frost has mostly passed, and are gone end of August or early September, so they are nice to watch. I always know fall is just around the corner when they are not busy at the feeders anymore.
Hummingbirds and flowers go together, so just think flowers when trying to attract them to your yard. If you only have a small space, you can still attract them by using planter boxes and containers filled with bright red and orange flowers and then place the feeder nearby.
Get a few feeders – Place them around your patio or deck or porch and just simply watching them in action is very relaxing!
Gorgeous Glass Hummingbird Feeder
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Red Hummingbird Feeders
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(price as of Apr 24, 2015)