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Hummingbirds - How To Attract them to Your Yard
Hummingbirds Can Be Very Entertaining
A hummingbird feeder can be an interesting addition to your yard or garden in the summer. Feeders often provide unexpected entertainment. Humming birds or "hummers" are like tiny helicopters and their antics during their mating season are a treat to watch. They migrate southward for the winter and return in the spring, following the spring flowers.
The humming birds will hover in the air beating their wings at a super speed creating the humming sound as they feed on your hummingbird feeders. Your hummingbird feeder may attract finches who may chase away the hummers. You can avoid this problem by using a feeder without perches or a flared out base as the finch needs something to grip as he feeds.
Sometimes we take the beauty around us for granted. I find watching hummingbirds feed to be very entertaining while reminding me of the complexity of life. These little birds hovering in mid air while enjoying a sweet nectar is an amazing thing to watch.
How To Attract Hummingbirds
There are different ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard. They are particularly attracted to the red colors so make sure you have at least one bright red feeder to attract them to your garden. They will then feed from the other feeders too. You don't have to have an expensive feeder. A cheep plastic red one will attrack them. If you have a feeder that is not red, you can try tying a red ribbon on the feeder.
Humming birds are also attracted to red flowers and tubular blossoms like honeysuckles. Planting a flower garden gives the humming birds more reason to hang out at your place. If you don't want to maintain a garden or just don't have the room, try hanging a hanging basket of red flowers, or have a potted plant with red flowers nearby.
There are many different styles and shapes of hummingbird feeders and they range greatly in price. You can pick them up at Walmart, Lowe's, Ace Hardware, and many other locations.
You can purchase the nectar to place in your hummingbird feeder or you can make your own. Recipes can vary but here is one I find that works well:
1 Cup Sugar
4 Cups Water
Boil 1-2 Minutes
Cool & Store In Refrigerator
You should never use honey or artificial sweeteners. Honey can ferment and can cause sores in a hummers mouth. Artificial sweeteners have no food value. You should not use red food coloring. No testing has been done on the effects dye has on birds. Most feeders have red on them so you do not need to make the solution red. Besides a red feeder makes the clear solution appear red anyway!
If you don't want to go thru the trouble, (although it really isn't much work) you can purchase the nectar in stores, or purchase a mix. Personally it is just as easy to boil up a couple quarts at one time and store it in the fridge.
You should only fill your feeder about half full. If you fill it any more than that it will need to be emptied in order to clean it. Feeders should be cleaned every 3 or 4 days. You should not need to use anything harsh to clean it. If cleaned regularly, washing it with hot water will usually do the trick. If you notice black spots inside of your feeder, that is mold. You will need to clean it out. If you cannot reach it with a rag you can use a bottle brush. If your feeder is cleaned regularly you shouldn't have a problem with mold.
Bird watching can be a very relaxing 'sport'. Hummingbirds in particular are one of my favorites. They are easy to identify (for the beginner bird watcher) and the feeding is fairly easy to learn. And you don't have to worry about squirrels or chipmunks stealing all the food! There is nothing more relaxing than sitting outside on a beautiful spring day and watching hummingbirds flit around the garden. My 96 yr old grandmother has several hummingbird feeders in her backyard. I enjoy going over to just sit in her beautiful flower gardens and watch them with her.