Since I’ve been painting lots of hummingbirds, people often ask me how they can best care for the hummingbirds they see in their garden and keep them safe. Once you start truly noticing hummingbirds and enjoying their acrobatics, you can’t help but want to learn more about how to support these fascinating birds!
I’ve done a good amount of reading about hummingbirds and also share tips with fellow hummingbird fans in the Facebook group I manage for people living on the West Coast (if that’s you, please consider joining our fun group via this link).
For a quick list on how to care for hummingbirds and keep them safe, here are five noteworthy tips:
1. Provide a source of hummingbird food by filling a hummingbird feeder with a solution of four parts water to one part white granulated sugar. Don't use red dye or red food coloring in your nectar, as it could be harmful to hummingbirds. It’s really important that you clean the feeder regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth.*
2. Place the feeder in a location that is easily visible to hummingbirds but protected from the wind and direct sunlight. Keeping feeders in a shaded area helps to prevent the nectar from fermenting as quickly. If you have a front porch to your home or roof overhang, these areas might work really well.
Also, choose an area protected from predators such as cats. Hanging the feeder too low to the ground can make hummingbirds vulnerable to a predator attack.
3. Provide shelter and nesting sites by planting native plants that produce nectar-rich flowers. If you’d like more information on which plants might work well for your region, please visit https://www.pollinator.org/guides. I’m not affiliated with this website but have found it very helpful. You can enter your zip code to find the ecoregional planting guide specific to where you live.
4. Avoid using pesticides and herbicides in your garden, as these chemicals can harm hummingbirds, beneficial insects and other wildlife. Besides nectar from flowers, hummingbirds eat insects for protein so chemicals in your garden can impact the birds negatively.
5. Hummingbirds live year around in the Pacific Northwest (specifically the Anna’s hummingbird) so offering clean feeders filled with fresh food all year is an excellent way to support them. In other parts of the country, hummingbirds migrate at certain times of the year so being aware of the migration patterns is important as you’ll want to make sure even those last hummingbirds coming through will find food on their long trek.
* I wrote a little e-book all about the joy of hummingbirds that shares the recipe for making homemade hummingbird food and goes into more detail. You receive this e-book instantly when you join my email community via the form below.
I hope you find this post helpful in taking care of hummingbirds. If you enjoyed reading it, please share it via social media so others can find it more easily on the vast internet.
Also, I’d love to hear where you’re from! Do you have hummingbirds in your area? Please share in the comments.
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