How To Attract Hummingbirds

Things You Should Know About Gardening

by: Marilyn Pokorney

  • Planting a garden full of red flowers is the best way to
    attract these beautiful jeweled birds.

    Plant bee balm, butterfly weed, columbine, cardinal Flower,
    coral bells, cosmos, dahlias, four-o'-clock's, fuchsias,
    morning glory, petunias, zinnias, trumpet vine, or
    honeysuckle. A web search will reveal many more.

    Be a hummingbird magnet by having as much red in your
    backyard as possible. Besides flowers use gazing balls,
    backyard furniture, ribbons, and other yard decorations.
    Create both sun and shade areas in your hummingbird garden.
    Offer an abundance of nesting materials to encourage nesting
    females. Hummingbirds prefer downy like materials, spider
    webs, ferns, moss and lichens for their nests.
    Make certain that there is always fresh water available for
    drinking as well as for bathing. Set up misters.
    Hummingbirds love to take "leaf baths," rubbing against wet
    leaves or just sitting on a branch having the mist fall upon

    Avoid pesticides. These chemicals kill the insects that
    hummingbirds eat for protein and can also sicken or kill the

    Add plenty of places for the birds to perch. Hummingbirds
    spend around 80% of their time sitting on twigs, shrubs,
    and other available resting places.

    Provide red hummingbird feeders hung about thirty feet apart
    throughout your yard. Never fill your feeders with anything
    but a sugar-water mix of 1 part white sugar to 4 parts
    boiled water. Do not use food coloring or artificial
    sweeteners of any kind, and never, never use honey which can
    develop a fungus which can be fatal to hummingbirds. Clean
    and refill the feeders every 3 days. More often if
    temperatures are above 85 degrees F.

    Hang the feeders on a pole in a flower bed or on a porch or
    deck near flowers hummingbirds are attracted to.

    You can also tie 18 to 24 inch strips of red ribbon to the
    feeder. The blowing ribbons will make it easier for the
    hummingbirds to see.

    Place feeders at various heights. Some hummingbird species
    like to feed at heights of 12 to 15 feet, while others feed
    on low growing flowers and prefer feeders placed closer to
    the ground.

    Avoid hanging feeders in direct sunlight, which will cause
    nectar to spoil more quickly.

    Once a week the feeder must be washed with vinegar and water
    or a 10% chlorine solution and scrubbed clean.

    Create a separate feeder for Bees and wasps. Fill it with a
    mixture of 3:1 or even a 2:1 ratio of water to sugar. The
    insects have a very strong preference for rich, high-sugar
    mixtures and will quickly decide to use the feeder with the
    higher sugar content.

    To repel ants, apply vinegar or powdered cloves to ant
    trails. Put adhesive tape applied sticky-side-out to the
    hanging wire. Experts advise that petroleum jelly not be
    used because the greasy substance gets onto the birds and
    make it hard for the birds to clean their feathers properly.
    Use ant traps instead.

    For more information visit:

    About the author:

    Author: Marilyn Pokorney
    Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the
    Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.

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