Hummingbirds are among the most beautiful and intriguing birds your flowers may attract. Their tiny, brightly-colored hovering bodies draw an ecstatic crowd wherever they go, and they help your garden by pollinating hard to reach flowers. Take the steps below to attract your own visitors this spring.
Hang a red feeder, or at least one that's accented with a strong pop of red, in a tree. Hummingbirds are extremely territorial, and can get very attached to a feeder, so unless you want to see Hummingbird Wars, hang at a least two. There are several types of feeders. The top-fill feeder is similar to a sports bottle in the way that it works. Dish-style feeders look like covered dishes. You take off the lid, fill it, replace the lid, and it's ready to go. It has individual feeding stations that the birds can feed from. The plunger-style feeder is a top fill feeder that has a vacuum seal that, when tightened, sends nectar to different ports for the birds.
The nectar brings the birds to the yard! It's why they spend their sweet time hovering from flower to flower. To make your own nectar, add a 1/4 cup granulated sugar to a pot filled with 1 cup of freshly boiled water. Mix until thoroughly melted. Boil for a few minutes so that the mixture doesn't spoil too quickly once it's in a feeder. Pour into a freshly-cleaned feeder. Never substitute honey for sugar because it can go rancid and develop fungus that could end up killing the hummingbird.
Hummingbirds go cuckoo for nectar, including the type found naturally in flowers. Hummingbirds don't have a sense of smell, so it's best to attract them with brightly colored blooms, particularly red ones. Make sure that the flowers that you choose are filled with nectar so the hummingbirds stick around. They prefer flowers with a 25% nectar reserve because they have super-high metabolisms, and they need to eat tons!
They love flowers that have trumpet shaped blooms that face downwards. They are attracted to red, purple, orange and pink blooms. A partial list of the flowers that attract hummingbirds includes bee balm, delphiniums, trumpet honeysuckle, rose of Sharon and cardinal vine.