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How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Backyard

Updated on February 14, 2013
Ruby-throated hummingbird
Ruby-throated hummingbird | Source

Hummingbirds are so cute and so fun to watch. Wouldn't it be nice if you could easily attract hummingbirds to your yard? It is actually really simple to take care of a hummingbird's needs. You will need a hummingbird feeder. It also helps to plant the plants that they like.

Female ruby-throated hummingbird
Female ruby-throated hummingbird | Source

Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds have a unique wing structure that allows them to fly up, down and all around- even backwards. And they fly fast - between 25 and 50 miles per hour. Their wings can beat up to 80 times per second! All that movement makes them very hungry birds. You can help them out by putting up a hummingbird feeder.

There are a few different types of hummingbird feeders. There is even one that you can stick to a window, so you don't even have to go outside to go birdwatching. The best color for a hummingbird feeder is red. It catches their eye more than any other color.

Sugar-Water Recipe

You can buy hummingbird feeder mix. But it is really easy to make your own. Just combine one part of sugar to four parts of water. Boil until the sugar dissolves. Cool off and fill your feeder. You can make a big batch and store it in the fridge for up to a week. Do not add red food coloring to the sugar-water. It is bad for the birds. The red on the feeder is enough to attract them.

And be sure to rinse the feeder out with hot water (no soap!) once per week, and scrub the insides with a bottle brush if it needs it.

How to Keep Your Hummingbird Feeder Pest-Free

Sometimes hummingbird feeders attract wasps, bees and ants, as well as hummingbirds. You can avoid this by getting a feeder with bee guards. You can also set up a wasp trap with the same sugar- water solution, but add more sugar to make it extra attractive to pests. And you can get an ant moat to hook underneath your feeder to trap and drown those pesky ants.

Anna's hummingbird feeding on a salvia plant
Anna's hummingbird feeding on a salvia plant | Source

Plants to Attract Hummingbirds

It is wise to plant lots of different flowers that all bloom at different times to attract the most hummingbirds. They need to visit hundreds of flowers a day to fuel their high metabolism. Their favorite color is red, but they are also attracted to pink and orange flowers. As flower shapes go, they especially like tubular flowers. Their needle-like tongues allow them to get nectar that even bees and butterflies can't reach.

Hummingbird's Favorite Plants

scarlet runner bean
butterfly bush
rocket larkspur
trumpet honeysuckle
flowering quince
sweet william
cardinal climber
old fashioined weigela
bleeding heart
morning glory
trumpet creeper
red salvia
bee balm
cypress vine
cape honeysuckle
These are just a few of the plants that hummingbirds flock to.

Bird Baths for Hummingbirds

All birds need water, and hummingbirds are no exception. They are a little bit different than other birds, however. They don't care for the typical bird bath. They are usually too deep for their tiny bodies, so make sure to put out a shallow basin. They also like to fly around in a spray or a water fall or fine spray sprinkler. Taking care of a hummingbird's water needs is a surefire way to attract these pretty birds.


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    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

      I'd love to have a garden like that! Thanks for your kind comments, hyphenbird.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Thanks for the tips. My neighbor planted an entire hummingbird and butterfly garden this summer and had all of the little guys over there. I was so jealous. laugh

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

      No, its definitely not easy to take pictures of them, sg brown! Thanks for reading and commenting on my hub.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I love hummingbirds. We have a lot of them coming to the feeder at our house. I enjoy taking pictures of them too, which is not all that easy! We love to watch them from our living room window. Thanks for the information!

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

      That's interesting, aviannovice. Thanks for commenting.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Very nicely done. At Boomer Lake, there's coral honeysuckle that many other birds seem to like as well as the hummers.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for your comments, blond logic.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 5 years ago from Brazil

      Great hub. Where I live we have 4 types of hummingbirds visit our garden.

      The idea of an ant moat is such a good idea, never thought of that. We have problems with them and wasps around our feeders.

      Thanks for the tips.