Attracting hummingbirds to your backyard can be as easy as hanging a hummingbird feeder, but providing a more suitable habitat that includes native food sources and nesting locations can be more complicated. In this article, we give a brief overview of how a backyard bird watcher can increase hummingbird presence throughout their backyard.
A consistent food source is a great way to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. Types of food sources include nectar-producing flowering plants, insects, and sugar water in feeders.
Hummingbirds enjoy feeding on nectar-producing flowers. Planting nectar-producing flowering plants can make your yard more attractive to hummingbirds. Hummingbirds do not seem to have a flower preference. Therefore, having variation in flowering plants in your hummingbird garden will increase the chances or hosting a breeding or migrating hummingbird. Examples of flowering plants that attract hummingbirds include, but not limited to, butterfly weed, sage, cleome, foxglove, morning glory, bee balm, and sage. Hummingbirds also need trees and shrubs to perch on while foraging.
In addition to flowering plants, feeders are another easy way to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. Hanging, sugar water feeders are a popular method for attracting hummingbirds to backyards by most backyard bird watchers. Hummingbird feeder types include, inverted tubes, gel packs, and saucer dishes. A 4:1 ratio of water to sugar in feeders and regularly cleaning feeders is highly recommended to ensure hummingbirds are provided with the best feeding environment possible.
Another hummingbird food source that most backyard bird watchers do not think about is insects. Having an abundance of native, flowering plants in your backyard will likely increase the amount of insects present.
Hummingbirds need a variety of food sources to survive. A few of them are mentioned above, but this is by no means a complete list. The best thing a backyard bird watcher can do to supply a food source for hummingbirds is to hang feeders and plant flowering plants in their backyard.
Just like humans, hummingbirds need water, not just sugar water, to survive. Hummingbirds will not only visit backyards for feeding, but will also visit for water. Be sure to keep bird baths clean and filled with fresh water.
During the breeding season, hummingbirds need safe nesting locations near reliable food sources. Hummingbirds build nests similar to many other songbirds. They build a double-lined cup-shaped nest in trees and shrubs. Planting native trees and shrubs in your backyard can provide hummingbirds with ample nesting habitat.
Like many other backyard birds, hummingbirds need food, water, and nesting habitat to survive and breed successfully. By planting native, flowering plants, hanging and maintaining feeders, providing a clean, fresh water source, and offering suitable nesting habitat, a backyard bird watcher will increase his or her chance of seeing hummingbirds in their backyard.