Have you ever been in your garden and suddenly spotted a hummingbird zipping past? Did it instantly capture your attention? Did you marvel at the amazing speed and beauty of this bird?
I’ve certainly been there! As the weather warms up, we tend to spend more time outdoors. I think many of us would agree that it’s easy to lose track of time sitting in the garden on a warm spring day sipping your favorite beverage and enjoying the simple pleasure of watching hummingbirds dart from flower to flower. These tiny birds are truly magical, aren’t they?
You might be wondering if you can do anything to attract hummingbirds to your garden if you live in an area where these birds live year around or migrate through.
The answer is yes and you might find these tips helpful in attracting more hummingbirds to your garden, or even patio or balcony.
1. Plant native tubular shaped flowers
Hummingbirds have long beaks well suited for drinking nectar from tubular flowers. While they lack a well developed sense of smell, their eyesight makes up for it! Scientists have discovered that hummingbirds see a wider range of colors than we do. They’re especially attracted to red, pink, and orange but will feed on different colored flowers as well.
Planting native flowers is preferred to non-native varieties as they are best adapted to your local area and tend to thrive with less watering. Also try to choose flowering plants with different blooming seasons. Large clusters of flowers will help your garden stand out and be more easily noticed by the hummingbirds.
2. Offer perches
When a hummingbird is not feeding to satisfy its astounding metabolism, it rests by perching. Hummingbirds may not be able to walk or hop like some other birds, but they do spend a good deal of time perching. They might perch to oversee and protect a food source in your garden (they’re territorial!), or preen their feathers.
Perches with a clear, broad view to quickly spot both predators and competitors during the day time are most preferred. In our garden, I’ve seen hummingbirds sit on the very top of a thin branch overseeing the area. They also spend the night this way, often perched on a branch in a nearby tree, giving them cover from leaves and protection.
So offering them a place to hang out in the form of a bush or tree that’s high enough from the ground to stay safe from predators would be much appreciated by your local hummingbirds.
3. Don't use pesticides
Besides feeding nectar from flowers, hummingbirds also eat insects. They are champs at catching tiny insects like mosquitoes and fruit flies out of air with acrobatic precision! Using pesticides is harmful for many reasons but this is something to be especially aware of, if you’re hoping to attract hummingbirds. On the flip side, hanging a small piece of overripe fruit near a feeder will attract fruit flies providing a welcome protein snack to your local hummingbirds.
4. Provide water for bathing
Hummingbirds need clean water to bathe but with such itty bitty bodies, many regular bird baths are just too big! They especially like small water fountains and misters so if you really want to make your garden a luxury spa for hummingbirds, consider adding one of these special features!
I hope you find these tips helpful in attracting hummingbirds to your garden. If you don’t have a garden, no worries! You can most definitely attract these amazing birds to your patio, deck or balcony with hanging pots as well.
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What has been your experience attracting hummingbirds to your garden? Do you live in an area that is frequented by hummingbirds? Do you have any tips for attracting hummingbirds?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!