Once you can make your yard attractable to hummingbird by providing what they need, this colorful and darting bird will come back to your garden year after year. How to attract hummingbird?
The Ideal Yard for Hummingbirds
Well, hummingbirds love to visit a garden with open spaces since they can move easily from one nectar source to another. The ideal yard for a hummingbird is that a one with one-fourth shaded, or one-fourth partially shaded, or in open sun. Hummingbirds also love some flowers that can grow in the full sun.
In addition, curved borders and beds in the yard will let hummingbirds approach blooms in any sides they want. It is good to keep shorter flowers in the front of the tall ones so that hummingbirds can access all of their favorite flowers easily. Besides, hummingbirds always spend most of their time in the day quietly by perching in shrubs or trees. On the other hands, they have to maintain their metabolism, especially from the warm-blooded animals so that they have to feed for every ten to fifteen minutes. Just for feeding, a hummingbird can visit hundreds of flowers per day.
You can keep seeing them in your backyard if you provide the places for hummingbirds to perch. For males, they will perch in almost anywhere in the open area like on twigs, overhead wires, and clotheslines. On the other hands, females and the immature birds will go in the hidden areas to perch like among the trees, vines, and shrubs. At night, of course, they cannot feed and when they have to deal with their stressful period, hummingbirds have unique ability to slow the body function like calming their heartbeat from 1,260 beats per minute to 50 beats.
Having a limited yard space means that you must plant some that work for food and shelter. These plants are desert willow, cape honeysuckle, citrus, weigela, beauty bush, and flowering quince.
Best Favorite Plants For Hummingbirds
Hummingbird flowers can evolve at the same time as the hummingbirds that it can develop the specific features that other birds cannot access. You can add some best flowers for hummingbirds such as tubular, brightly colored and scentless flowers that allow birds to hover and sip. Eventually, some flowers have a nice shape to support long and short bills for the specific species of hummingbirds.
If we have to talk about the happiness of hummingbird, it is all about variety. That is the main key. You can offer many varieties of flowers that can deal with the longest possible season. No one wants to eat the same food for every day and that is the same as hummingbirds.
For migrating hummingbirds, they need flowers that are available in the spring and the late summer. That is the important food sources to them. Having year-round flower blooms is important especially in the mild-winter regions such as the West and the Gulf Coast. Some species overwinter are available there.
Well, it is not enough to provide nectar-producing plants only. Of course, there should be something more to offer nutrition from the hummingbird feeder. The standard feeder recipe for a hummingbird that is almost close to flower nectar is 4 parts of water and 1 part of sugar.
You can make food for hummingbirds from water and sugar. To do so, mix the ingredients. After that, boil for two minutes. The purpose is to remove the impurities in water and sugar. Do not boil longer since the evaporation makes the solution stronger and it does not good for the birds’ health. After that, cool the recipe solution before filling the feeder. For an extra solution, you can store in the freezer and then thaw to use for the next cycle.
It is important to note that you cannot substitute sugar with honey. It will only make the solution spoils quicker. Besides, honey may contain bacteria that will bring health issues like fatal fungal illness. In addition, you should not use artificial sweeteners since they are no calories. In fact, they need lots of calories to keep them moving and going.
It is also unnecessary to add red food coloring to the recipe above. Most of the feeders for hummingbird are made of the red plastic or glass so that it is enough to attract the birds. The chemical in the food coloring is also not good for the bird’s health.
During the hot weather or cool weather, you should clean the feeders for at least once for every three days to avoid any build up bacteria that can be harmful. For any unused hummingbird food, compost and then rinse the feeder with water. Any visible mold should be cleaned by adding a splash of vinegar as well as grains of uncooked rice to the water and then dislodge it by shaking the feeders vigorously. Use clean and warm water to remove vinegar and rice. Use a toothbrush or a bottle brush if you see any dark spots.
The Habits of Hummingbirds
Once you can invite hummingbirds to visit your garden, they will back from migration to find the flowers they have visited before. If you do not provide them with food anymore, of course, they will search out a new place. It means they have to spend more time in the critical periods such as during nesting periods. Therefore, you should ask a neighbor or friend to help you refill the feeders so they are not starving. Asides of food, hummingbird also needs water. Besides, an elevated birdbath with the very shallow water levels is appealing to them.
The Period To Feed Hummingbirds
Start feeding hummingbirds in the spring since they migrate to your area. They need protein from insect and typically, migration period is after the bug populations are increasing from the winter season. In the mild-winter areas, commonly birds will not migrate. If you live in this area, you can mix up the feeder recipe and then give the birds all the year along.
It seems nice if you can be part of their savior because the migration period really takes a lot of energy and struggle.