Attracting hummingbirds to your yard

Attracting hummingbirds to your yard is fairly simple, it just takes time for the hummingbirds to find you, as well as having plants and feeders that they will be attracted to.

Hummingbirds have a great memory, and will often return to the same spots to feed. When the feed on plants, it is said they can remember which flowers they already fed from, and will move on to the next flowers. Similarly, if others in your area have plants and feeders, the hummingbirds will most likely tend to go there first. So, it may take some time for them to discover your yard as a new source of food.

In addition, hummingbirds are territorial and can be very protective of their food source. This can help you if others in your area have hummingbirds that are fighting for the food source in their yard, as some of those that get chased away may find the food source in your yard.

If you want to attract more than just a few hummingbirds, then you should put out multiple feeders, and plants that they like, spaced well apart in your yard, to allow more birds to feed without one or two birds being able to chase the others away.

Keeping the feeders out of direct sun can help the nectar last a bit longer before spoiling. Having feeders within 10 to 15 feet of "safe areas" (trees, shrubs, etc., where the birds can hide) can help as well. The birds need to be able to find the feeders, so they should be in a visible area of your yard. Our most popular feeder is the one that hangs from a corner of our home, about 7 feet off the ground. That one does get some direct sun, but our house in the shade for the majority of the daylight hours due to the tall trees around us and the mountain behind us.

In the winter months, we had well over 40 hummingbirds feeding from our feeders at once, which surprised a lot of people whose own hummingbirds were very protective. I think that had to do with us having multiple feeders out for several years, and the fact that other food sources are scarce during the winter months in the Pacific Northwest. Our Annas hummingbirds stick around all year long, so it's important to give them a good source of food during the winter months when there aren't as many natural sources of food.

To get started, get at least a couple of feeders and learn how to make your own nectar. Then, if you have a garden area, or a place where you can plant some flowers, do an internet search for the best plants to attract hummingbirds in your specific area.

When you are first starting out, don't fill your feeders all the way up. You'll just end up wasting a lot of nectar as you need to clean your feeders regularly so that you don't kill the hummingbirds. You can make a good size batch, and just partially fill your feeders, and put the rest in the fridge until the next time you change and clean out your feeders. You should be emptying and cleaning your feeders about once per week, more often when it's really hot out, to keep bacteria, mold, and fungus from forming in the feeders, which can be deadly. Don't "top off" your feeders, but dump any unused nectar, clean thoroughly with hot water using a toothbrush and pipe cleaners, and allow to dry before filling again. I own many feeders, and I can put out fresh feeders when I swap them out, and give the ones I clean time to dry.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram