4.11.2014

Secrets To Attracting Hummingbirds To Your Yard


It is time to get your hummingbird feeders out...the hummingbirds  will be out looking for food sources and if they like your garden they may stay.  Today, I am sharing a few secrets to attract more hummers.
How to attract hummingbirds to your yard 1
First of all it is important that you not use the packets of instant nectar with the red food coloring in it.  The food coloring is not very healthy for the birds.  I promise if you hang the feeder and care for it properly then the hummers will come.  If they get bad nectar then they may not come back during the season.

I know it seems really cheap and easy at $1 a packet but you can make your own and keep it ready made in the refrigerator even cheaper and much healthier.  Here is the recipe:
How To attract hummingbirds to your garden GIF
Hummingbird Nectar

4 C Water
1 C Sugar

In Saucepan, heat this mixture until dissolved. Boil the mixture 1 - 2 minutes.  Cool and fill your feeder.  Store extra in Refrigerator.  This recipe can be doubled or even tripled without any problems.  
 Be sure to mark the container so no one decides to drink it.  I forgot to mark mine and before I could say a word, my son poured some and took a huge gulp. LoL.

Change out the nectar according to the chart below:

71-75.................................6 days

76-80.................................5 days

81-84.................................4 days

85-88.................................3 days

89-92.................................2 days

     93+.............................Change daily 

The high heat causes the nectar to ferment and so the birds will not eat it and may not be back this season if you allow that to happen.

If your feeder nectar gets mold growth or milky looking then clean your feeder with bleach water.    Otherwise dish soap works fine.  Be sure to rinse well so you don't poison the hummers regardless of which solution you use to clean your feeder. Using bleach water once a month will ensure that your feeder stays clean.

Hummingbirds love running water.  I have a waterfall over my pond and the hummers love it.  If you can't have a waterfall then even a small water fountain will give them a water source.  Be sure to keep fresh water in the fountain if you go that way.  I have found that a few copper pennies in the bottom of my birdbaths help keep the water clear.  
How to attract hummingbirds to your garden 2
Hummingbirds also love tubular flowers, especially the red ones.  Don't worry if you don't have red flowers because they will come to the other colors too.  I try to keep pots of petunias on my patio near my feeder and I also have many tubular flowers planted in my garden.  The hummers love buzzing about the flowers and I get the benefit of them pollinating my garden flowers and watching them flit about my garden in all their beautiful and colorful splendor.

Here is a very short list of a few flowers you can try in your garden to attract hummingbirds:

Petunias
Salvias
Columbine
Impatiens
Morning Glory
Foxglove
Snapdragons
Honeysuckle
Trumpet Vine
Fuschia
Monarda
Lilies 
Zinnias
Phlox
Lilac
Yucca

Hummingbirds also eat insects (Yay! Free mosquito catchers!) In the interest of not harming the birds you may want to lay off the insecticides.  The hummingbirds may stay away if you use them.  They are not good for any of the birds or bees and we need both.  Did you know that birdsong causes our plants to grow and will help people who struggle with depression?

Take your hummingbird feeder down about 2 weeks after your regular hummers have gone.  That will allow any immature hummers who were affected by storm systems or such to have a layover spot.  This can be  life or death for some, so tarrying in taking the feeder down is actually a good thing.  Hummingbirds will migrate when they are ready.  They migrate because the days become shorter so a source of food will not stop that.  There is no need to worry about them staying too long.  

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2 comments:

Michelle said...

I use this recipe and always have success with it. I think I do need a small fountain :)

Debra Howard said...

I love to watch the hummers getting a drink from my waterfall. They seem to really love it.