Hummingbirds are one of the most fascinating creatures in the world. The way they flit and chirp around the garden is a delight to nature enthusiasts.
Attracting hummingbirds has since become a popular pastime for many people, especially since it’s actually very easy to do when you already have a garden.
An important thing to note is that hummingbirds are native to the Americas, although there are similar species elsewhere in the world, like the sunbirds in Africa and Asia
Hummingbirds can also travel as far up north as Canada and all the way south to Mexico depending on their species and migration patterns.
Just like any other animal, hummingbirds need food, water, and shelter. These are the three core concepts in which you should plan your garden around.
Here are some specific tips to attract hummingbirds to your garden:
1. Plan a perennial garden
A perennial garden will give you fresh blooms when spring arrives, just in time for hummingbirds returning after their winter migration.
You may want to consider plants and flowers that grow in different seasons to keep hummingbirds attracted enough that they’ll want to come back.
Some plants to consider include bee balm, coral honeysuckle, cardinal flowers, and hummingbird sages.
Hummingbirds are also keen on tubular flowers, as these can hold a lot of nectar, which they can reach with their long bills.
2. Place nectar feeders in strategic places
Hummingbirds really love nectar, and they tend to eat once every 15 minutes at least, so if you want to attract them to your garden, make sure there’s a lot of food to go around.
Nectar feeders will keep them coming back. Place several of these across your garden, or get one big enough for several hummingbirds, as they can get rather territorial. Keep these near flowers, but away from the sun.
While pet stores will sell hummingbird nectar, you can easily make it yourself with water and some sugar. Boil the mixture so they last longer. Replace the nectar as frequently as needed, as you don’t want the hummingbirds to get sick.
3. Make your garden as colorful as possible
Hummingbirds don’t have strong senses of smell or hearing, so they rely heavily on their sight. Choose flowers that are vibrant red, orange, or yellow to attract them into your garden.
Nectar feeders also come in fun colors, but you may choose to add brightly-painted outdoor furniture and tie red ribbons in strategic locations to attract them further.
4. Give them places to rest on
Hummingbirds can be quite busy and visit as much as 2,000 flowers in a day. They also eat a lot and need to rest for a few minutes while they digest all the food they ate.
Have perches readily available in your backyard for them to rest on. For these, you may utilize tree branches and tall shrubs, though hummingbirds will also rest on clothing lines if there are any.
5. Have a fountain or misting device for them to bathe in
Hummingbirds get all the water they need to drink from nectar, but they do need to bathe and clean themselves off for better insulation and to make flight easier.
Because they’re small, they need a small but shallow water source. Sprinklers and misters are ideal, as are birdbaths with a fountain feature. If you have a regular birdbath, you can add stones to raise the depth slightly.
While attracting hummingbirds is as simple as optimizing your garden to welcome them, it requires a lot of patience.
But once you have them coming to your backyard, and as long as you maintain your garden properly, they will return year after year—maybe even the same birds!