Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Garden
No garden is complete until furry and feathery friends have visited it, and among the most beautiful spring and summertime residents you can attract to your garden are hummingbirds. Spotting these adorable little birds is a delight for everyone, from children to seasoned birdwatchers, and they can help bring life to your garden as they hum from flower to flower in your outdoor space. If you've never had hummingbirds in your garden before, or only spotted them on rare occasions, rest assured that with just a little bit of effort you can entice hummingbirds to your outdoor space throughout the season.
A hummingbird feeder is a great way to begin enticing hummers to your garden. They are available in many shapes and sizes, and can easily hang in various spots throughout your garden, to attract the birds. Though hummingbird nectar is available for purchase, it is easy enough to make your own – simply boil one part sugar to four parts water and refrigerate the resulting mixture. Avoid the use of honey and food dye in your nectar – both can be potentially harmful to these feathery garden dwellers.
While it's easy enough to prepare a mixture and hang a feeder in your garden, there are a few tips that you can remember to increase your potential for attracting hummers. For happy and healthy birds, ensure that your hummingbird feeder is being cleaned on a regular basis. Nectar builds up over time, especially as the mercury rises. Clean your feeder at least every four days to prevent your birds from finding somewhere else to feed.
Keep in mind that despite their diminutive size, hummingbirds are rather territorial. A single feeder may only be enough to feed a single bird (or a nesting pair) if you wind up attracting a male bird to your garden. For more hummingbirds, it can be a good idea to hang at least two or three feeders throughout your garden in different locations. Additionally, remember that the earlier you hang your feeder, the more potential you have to entice birds to your garden and encourage them to make your space home for the coming season.
Apart from having good feeders in your garden, plant plenty of flowering plants that attract hummers. Since they do not have a sense of smell and are attracted to flowers by their color, opting for flowers in bright colors gives you a better chance of luring them to your outdoor space. Great options include Azalea, non-invasive species of Honeysuckle, Canna, Columbine, Foxglove, Petunias, and Geranium. Hummers especially love flowers with "trumpet" shaped petals, so keep that in mind as you plan your flowerbeds for the season.
As your flowers grow, you will probably notice that your hummingbirds opt for these natural flowers instead of your feeders. By placing your feeders close to your flowers, you can continue to attract them to your garden until they migrate away at the end of the season. Attracting hummingbirds is simple, and with just a little planning you can enjoy these cute, feathery friends in your garden all spring and summer long.