Chances are, if you are reading this post, you love hummingbirds. There are over 300 species of hummingbird, and if you live in North America, you probably have some in your neighborhood.
While some migrate to Southern Mexico and parts of South America in the winter, come spring, they know just where they left the best flower nectar behind! If you love hummingbirds and would like to see more in your garden, there are a couple of easy steps on how to attract hummingbirds and convince them to stick around all spring, summer and fall.
Make DIY hummingbird feeder projects to see the tiny winged beauties show up almost as fast as you can hang them out. Learn how to make hummingbird nectar that is safe, learn the best plants and flowers they love, and even learn how to make hummingbird swings, fountains and perches! Create a hummingbird haven and have them coming back all season long!
How To Make Hummingbird Food
The first step to attracting hummingbirds to your yard is to provide a safe hummingbird nectar.
Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
This homemade hummingbird food is the only accepted healthy food that you can offer your feathered friends.
1 Cup White Sugar
4 Cups Water
- Bring water to just before a boil, then turn off and add sugar. Stir till well dissolved. Cool completely. 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 no red dye. There is a lot of evidence that the red dye is harmful to hummingbirds.
- If you want a fast way to get cooled nectar, heat just one cup of water, and dissolve sugar in that cup. Then add three cups of cold water.
- After cooling, fill your feeders with enough nectar to last 2-7 days, depending on the outside temperature. The warmer the weather is, the shorter the food will last before growing bacteria.
DO NOT use :
- Brown Sugar
- Red Dye
- Artificial Sweeteners
Here is a general chart on how often you should change your sugar water, based on our experience. Remember to clean your feeders well when you change the water, using hot water, and vinegar if necessary.
Outdoor Temp Days
Under 70 7
DIY Hummingbird Feeder Tutorials
If you want to learn how to make a hummingbird feeder at home, we have some great step by step tutorials. From using wine bottles to recycled plastic, here are some great feeder tutorials to try!
We found two awesome and unique DIY hummingbird feeder projects at ‘Birds and Blooms‘, This first one is made from PVC pie and copper wire. They are colorful and fun, and a perfect match for the personality of these little winged creatures.
Take a glass jar, some polymer clay, some wire and a glass bead and you have this super creative, pretty hummingbird feeder. Also from ‘Birds and Blooms‘. This would be great to make with the kids!
This DIY hummingbird feeder is made using a recycled wine bottle and a feeder adapter tube. Step by step directions, and even tips for how to deal with a leaking feeder. From ‘Container Water Gardens‘.
Make a crafty DIY hummingbird feeder project with this DIY from ‘Lovely Indeed‘. Using a clear bottle and a feeder tube adapter, it is hung from this pretty macrame hanger. And yep, she teaches you how to make the hanger too!
This little mini DIY hummingbird feeder was made by ‘Pretty Handy Girl‘ from recycled spice jars and jute string. So easy, inexpensive and fast to make! You could be feeding your hummers in just a few minutes!
A cardboard basket, an empty water bottle and colorful craft Washi tape make up this pretty little feeder from ‘Buzzfeed‘. It doesn’t even look like a hummingbird feeder, but it is! This is a far cry from the generic red plastic feeders you find at the hardware store.
Want a super cheap feeder DIY? Jump on over to ‘The Crafting Chicks‘ and check out how to recycle an empty water bottle, a couple of plastic straws and a little craft foam to make the red flowers. The red flowers actually attract the hummingbirds, so make sure you don’t omit that part of this project. You can make this feeder almost for free!
Hummingbird Swing or Perch
This hummingbird perch its the perfect little rest stop for your hummer buds. Since these birds can be very territorial and aggressive towards other birds, having another place away from the feeder for birds to alight will help keep a little more peace in your garden. Using copper pipe, ‘The Navage Patch‘ put together a full tutorial for their pretty perch.
Hummingbird Fountain and Baths DIY
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! Here is a DIY bird bath that is just the right depth for hummingbirds, from ‘Amazing Birds’ via ‘Home Stories A to Z‘.
Plants That Attract Hummingbirds
Grow plants that naturally attract hummingbirds. Flowers with long throats or large amounts of nectar are ideal. While they are attracted strongly to red and orange blossoms, any color will make a hungry hummingbird happy, so don’t feel tied to that. Some of their favorites?
- Butterfly Bush
- Trumpet Vine
- Bee Balm
Tips to Attract Hummingbirds
- 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.
- Use Vaseline on the hanging cord to keep ants from getting into the nectar.
- 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! The photo below was taken by Steve!
Facts About Hummingbirds
- Think the hummingbirds you love in your yard know you? Chances are good, they do. Hummingbirds have the largest brain in proportion to their bodies, than any other bird. There are studies that have found they can remember how to get back to any neighborhood after their migration, which is hundreds of miles each year. And that they remember every flower they visit, and how long to wait before they revisit it for the nectar to have time to regenerate. And yes, that they can recognize humans who feed them.
- They are the ultimate stunt flyer! They can fly up to 30 MPH and dive up to 60 MPH, and fly in just about any direction, including backwards. Their wings beat between 70-200 times per second.
- They have more feathers than any other bird, except one. Can you believe it’s the penguin?!!
- Hummingbirds have no sense of smell, but an amazing sense of sight and they can see better than you and I, and in every color.
- On an average day, a hummingbird will consume double its body weight in food.
Do you have hummingbirds in your yard? What’s your favorite hummingbird experience? I have one! I tell the story in our post about our trip to a desert nursery. Worth the read just for the sweet hummingbird story! Share yours!
If you loved learning about how to attract hummingbirds with DIY hummingbird feeders and more, we think you will love our post on 10 Creative DIY Bird Feeders!