Whether you’re attracting hummingbirds for the first time or just need a refresher, here’s a quick guide on how to attract hummers to your yard. When you’re attracting a new bird species, remember it takes time for them to recognize a new backyard feeder before they start visiting. Due to the hummingbird’s loyal nature, they frequent feeders they’ve come to recognize as a reliable food source. Make your yard a desirable place for these lovely birds to stop by with these helpful tips.
Where should you hang your feeder? Place it at least five feet off the ground and six feet from the nearest feeder. Place in an open spot where it’s easy for them to see. Once the hummers start frequenting the feeder, you may move it to a shadier spot not far from bushes and shrubs. This helps the nectar stay fresh for longer while continuing to give them a 360-degree view of their territory, so they can keep an eye on approaching predators.
How often should you clean your feeder? Every three to four days and more often when it’s hot out, like 90 degrees or above. Clean the feeder with white vinegar and hot water and let dry in the sun before refilling. When refilling with fresh nectar, you have a couple of options. You can buy pre-mixed nectar or make nectar yourself, depending on your preference, because hummingbirds enjoy both. For convenient storage though, use this labeled container–the Super Shaker Nectar Maker–to set your homemade nectar apart from the beverages in your fridge. You’re going to be grateful you’re feeding the hummingbirds fresh, wholesome nectar–and not lemonade, by mistake!
Once you’ve seen a hummingbird or two in your yard, you can encourage them to stay and nest nearby with a nesting platform (shown above). Place a hummingbird house under the eaves of your house to provide shelter from the weather with a great view of their surroundings, so they’re safe from predators. You may need to offer nesting material, as well, so the lovely hummingbirds can line their nests with soft, warm material that fluffs right back up after the rain.
For a little bit of hummingbird fun, you can also provide a hummingbird swing. Watching hummingbirds gently sway on this accessory is a great way to enjoy hummingbirds that much more because they perch on the swing–but it looks like they’re posing for a picture! Follow these useful tips and your backyard can become a hummingbird hot spot before you can say, “Hummzinger!” Happy Birding!
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By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
It’s hot outside. It makes more sense now to plant drought tolerant plants. Consider sedums, they are a hardy succulent, a late summer bloomer and an amazing pollinator plant. To learn more click here for an informative video.
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