If you love hummingbirds and would like to see more in your garden, there are a of couple easy steps to attract them and convince them to stick around. Create a hummingbird haven and have them coming back all season long!
Grow plants that naturally attract hummingbirds. Flowers with long throats or large amounts of nectar are their favorites. Some of their favorites?
- Butterfly Bush
- Bee Balm
Provide feeders. If you want the hummingbirds to return to your garden on a regular basis, providing feeders makes sure that even when your plants are out of bloom, your birds can depend on the food supply. Here at TGG we aren’t big fans of most commercially produced hummingbird nectar. Instead, we choose simple feeders that already have a red spout, and make our own food. Here’s our hummingbird food recipe!
1 Cup White Sugar
4 Cups Water
Bring water to boil, then turn off and add sugar. Stir till well dissolved. Cool completely. We do not add red food coloring to our hummingbird food. While there is a controversy surrounding both its effectiveness and safety, we are firmly on the side of less is more. It just seems wrong to offer artificial ingredients to wild animals. Also, there is a lot of evidence that hummingbirds prefer food that does not have coloring.
Add water! Shallow dishes of water are appreciated by these little wonders that are in near constant motion. If you are a budding photographer, providing water also gives you the opportunity to get photos of the birds at rest… usually not an easy task!
- Provide some open space in your yard, hummingbirds like to be in the open to protect themselves against predators.
- Replace the hummingbird food every three days to keep it fresh.
- Remember, just like any bird feeder, it can take a little while for them to learn to trust you and your garden. Keep replacing the food, and eventually, they will come.
- To get good photos, learn your birds’ routine and have a tripod set up ahead of time with a remote shutter release. Or, a really fast telephoto lens!
What are your experiences with hummingbirds, and how do you feel about the food coloring controversy?