I learned to attract hummingbirds with these simple tips.
I always wanted to watch hummingbirds in my backyard! They are so fascinating and tiny and very impressive.
But it took me a long time to finally see my first one, I mean like a few years. I almost gave up but every year I would put out a feeder just in case.
Then one day, oh I guess must have been in June because my husband and I were sitting on our deck reading.
I heard this buzzing sound, thought it was a bee or wasp, but hubby whispered “don’t move and look up at the hummingbird feeder”
OMG! I was mesmerized. There it was, a tiny bird hovering over my feeder and actually feeding!
I now have 3 feeders, one in the front and 2 in the back. Why? Because one year I noticed that whenever there was one at the feeder and another one would try to come near, there was a territorial ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ :).
Best ways to attract hummingbirds
1. Best time to get the feeders out
With all this pandemic crazy way of life, not really knowing what day of the week or the month it is, this year I almost forgot to check the migration map.
Every year I check it to see where they are and if they’re getting closer to my yard. https://www.hummingbirdcentral.com/hummingbird-migration-spring-2020-map.htm
I noticed that someone saw a male in a little town about 15 minutes away from me. Oh boy! I was late. I got my feeders out but only installed the one in the front and one in the back. Once I see a hummingbird, I will take out the 3rd one.
To know when to take your feeder out will depends on the weather as they prefer warmer temperatures.
March – May is a good time for most states. In my neck of the woods, near Montreal, Quebec, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is the species that is most popular and we usually start to see them mid to late May.
2. Best place to put a hummingbird feeder
Under a tree or partial shade like from the overhang of your house. Placing the feeders in the shade keeps the nectar fresh longer.
All my feeders are hanging from the gutter. The one in the front is on the side of door, because I hardly ever use the front door. It also gets shade until around 3pm.
In the back of the house, I have one hanging near the deck and in front of my big floor to ceiling windows. Our kitchen table is right in front of those windows, so we have the best seat in the house to see the hummingbirds.
The other one in the back is on the side of the window over the sink. I used to have it right in front of the window, but if there was a hummingbird at the feeder when I approach the sink, it would scare him/her. It’s also mostly in the shade.
3. Best hummingbird feeder I recommend
You’ll find many kinds of feeders on the market.
I’ve tried a few in the past, especially the one that has a long tube with flower petal openings. But what a pain in the butt to clean, too many parts.
Then I found the Hummzinger feeder and it has become my favorite. This is the one you see in the photo above.
It is so easy to clean. It only has 2 parts: the bottom and the cover, which is a snap to remove. It also has an ant moat which you fill with water to prevent them from getting into the nectar.
And has a perching ring all around which I think is a must. They need it to rest and not have to keep hovering while feeding.
4. The only nectar you should use
You’ll need to prepare a nectar to fill your feeders. Don’t use store bought red nectar. It’s very easy to prepare your own and much healthier in my opinion.
I make a batch which is big enough to fill all 3 of my feeders.
The ratio is 1/4 cup of sugar to one cup of water.
I add cold tap water to a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Then add 1/2 cup of white sugar and mix. I keep it on the counter and stir it every 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
You don’t need to boil the water before adding the sugar.
I fill up the feeders and keep the leftovers in a mason jar in the fridge.
5. Best time to change the nectar in the feeder
It’s very important to clean and change nectar often, as it can start to grow mold. You don’t want these tiny birds to eat contaminated food and get very sick or even die.
I make sure that to change and clean mine every 3 days, especially when it gets warmer. We have really cold winters here but we also get very hot summers, sometimes temperatures get into the 90’s F and even 100’s.
6. Best flowers that attract hummingbirds
You can plant bright colored flowers to attract hummingbirds.
The ones they like best are those that are tubular because they hold the most nectar. The flowers don’t need to be red, but red is their favorite color.
Check out the 10 best flowers according to The Spruce website. And I just learned from their site that some trees are also favorites of hummingbirds and one of those is a crabapple tree, which I have in the front of my house. 🙂
Here are 8 interesting facts about hummingbirds
l. They are the smallest of the birds
Can you imagine they could weigh between 0.071 and 0.21 oz (2 to 6 g). The female is slightly larger than the male). And they only measure 3 3/4″. So tiny!
I find it absolutely amazing that these tiny creatures can fly up to five hundred miles non-stop to cross the Gulf of Mexico. After resting for a while they continue on their path going North at a rate of about 20 miles per day.
2. They have a short lifespan
The average life span of the ruby-throated species (the most common one) is about 3 – 5 years. Sadly, most deaths occur in the first year of life.
3. They eat often
Their metabolism is super-fast so they need to eat about every 10 minutes.
4. They are definitely acrobats
They can fly forward or backward, hover, and upside-down! And they are really fast. They beat their wings between 70 and 200 times per second! So very impressive.
5. They have a huge memory
They can remember the location of every flower in their territory and also remember where to find the same feeders, year after year.
6. They migrate to warmer weather
Most hummingbirds migrate to Southern Mexico and Central America for the winter. But some species will remain in some Southern States.
7. There are over 300 species of hummingbirds in the world
But only about 17 species in North-America, with the Ruby-Throated being the most common, and is the one I see at my feeders.
8. Male or female? It’s easy to find out
The adult male Ruby-Throated hummingbird has a red throat (hence the name) and the female’s is white.
Hope the information I gave you here helps you attract hummingbirds to your yard. They are quite spectacular.
It’s May 17 and I still haven’t seen any, but I keep watching!