The hummingbirds are back!
Welcome back my little friends! I can (and do) spend hours watching these magical birds all summer. They’re especially fun to watch in late summer when they become territorial over feeders & aerial battles ensue. I just put all three of our feeders out yesterday and am patiently awaiting my first visitor.
At the wild bird store yesterday they were having a promotion on the HUM-Button so I got one. I’m so excited to try it out! What’s a HUM-Button you ask?
It’s a tiny handheld feeder that the hummers will naturally approach. I’ll be dedicating some serious time to making this successful so I’ll let you know how it goes. We’ve been feeding them for years and have a very active hummer population in our yard every season. The birds get very comfortable around us over the summer and often come within inches of our faces. My husband has even had a few males do their mating display for him (which is adorable!). I’ve only seen males display for actual female birds – definitely a much better use of their time & energy.
I watched a bunch of videos on youtube this morning of the buttons in action. I hope it works for me!
Want to feed hummers in your yard?
People often ask us for tips and tricks on attracting and feeding these sweet little birds. We’ve been putting out feeders in the same spots for almost 10 years but the hummers were already in our yard visiting some of their favorite plants. We used to have a large patch of red canna lilies which they loved. Flowers in bloom change throughout the summer though and they won’t stick around and call a place “home” without a steady food source, shelter and plenty of bugs and flowers around. Planting flowers they’re known to love will go a long way in attracting them to your yard – then the rest is up to you!
The types of hummers you can expect to see vary by area. We’re in the mid-Atlantic so we primarily get the ruby-throated hummers which are extremely territorial. Once one claims your feeder you’ll have a friend for the season. This is also the reason we have 3 feeders out rather than just 1. Here’s a great site that lists the species by state.
Feeder Placement, Feeders & Food
- If you have more than one, spread them out to increase the number of birds you attract. They also like to perch in nearby trees to watch “their feeder.” Make sure you put it in a place where they can take cover close by.
- It’s true that hummers are attracted to the color red but it’s not the only color they like. I have a purple feeder that gets just as much love as my red ones do.
- DO NOT use food coloring in your nectar! It’s unnecessary and could be harmful to these tiny birds. Only use white sugar. Never use honey, artificial sweeteners or any other type of sugar other than white sugar.
- Nectar Recipe – 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Example: 1 cup of water = 1/4 cup of sugar. Boil the water then dissolve in the sugar. Let it cool completely before putting it in your feeders. You can make a week’s worth and store it in the fridge in an airtight container.
- Clean your feeders! I can’t stress this one enough. In the summer they need to be cleaned and refilled at least twice a week, more often if you see black mold spots appear.
- Pick the right feeder – we’ve tried a lot of different styles over the years and this one from wild birds unlimited is hands-down our favorite. It’s easy to clean which is a huge bonus since you’ll be doing it often, dishwasher safe & has a built in ant moat.
Most of all, be patient. It’ll take time for them to find your feeders. Stay dedicated & keep cleaning and refilling the feeders every couple of days. Then one day when you least expect it you’ll hear the buzzing of their tiny wings & their cute little chirp as they stop by for a drink. Enjoy your new friend!
Good luck & happy bird watching!
Until next time …
Warm thoughts to all!