the Way for Hummingbirds
When Your Habitat is Complete, Put
Your Site on the Map!
to Create a Haven for Hummingbirds!
Hummingbirds rely on nectar as a major part of their diet. You can attract
hummingbirds to your yard and help them along on their long journey by
providing a hummingbird feeder with sugar water. If you also grow a hummingbird
garden to provide natural nectar plants, you'll provide a feast they can't
'er Up! Keep a Hummingbird Feeder
don't need to by commercial nectar to fill your feeder. Here's how to
make your own:
need 1 part ordinary white granulated sugar to 4 parts water. Use ordinary
granulated white table sugar. Do NOT use honey, artificial sweeteners,
flavorings, or food coloring.
- To prevent
rapid spoilage, boil the nectar for up to two minutes. COOL the mixture
before adding it to the feeder.
- You can
store unused nectar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
to keep your visiting hummers safe and happy:
- Hang your
feeder where you can observe it and where it is safe and accessible
to hummingbirds. Look around your schoolyard to find the most sheltered
places for hummingbirds to feed that have good access (e.g., a corridor
of trees or shrubs leading to the area).
your feeder every few days! Nectar will spoil rapidly when temperatures
are over 60 F. To clean, rinse the feeder with hot water. If you see
fungus growing inside (usually black spots), use a bottle brush or pipe
cleaner to remove all trace of the fungus. You don't need to use soap.
If you do, rinse it out thoroughly.
Natural Nectar Plants
You can also
attract hummingbirds and keep them happy by growing plants that provide
good sources of nectar. If you grow a variety of plants that flower at successively
later dates, you will be rewarded with happy hummers throughout the season.
Avoid using chemical pesticides for two important reasons. (1) By using
chemical pesticides, you will be killing garden insects that hummingbirds
rely upon for protein. (2) Hummers might directly ingest pesticides sprayed
onto flowers, which could sicken or kill them. (More)
best thing you can do for hummers and other wildlife is to plant a garden
using native (indigeneous) plants that are appropriate for your area.
Once established, native plants do not need fertilizers, herbicides, or
pesticides. They benefit the environment and reduce maintenance costs.
Contact your local garden center and/or Extension office for more information
or check out these links:
Balm (Monarda) (native)
Jewel Weed (native)
Lady Runner Bean
hummers spend up to 80% of their time perching, your yard will be more welcoming
to hummer is you provide convenient perches such as twigs, leaf stems, or
Forget The Water!
Just like other birds, hummers love water. In nature, hummingbirds prefer
fine sprays of water in order to clean their feathers. Providing water
in a shallow bird bath, or better yet, through a mister or dripper (available
at bird stores), will help to attract hummers — and other birds
you plant, know your zone. Consult one of these maps and locate your
planting zone: United States / Canada.
Lanny Chambers, hummingbird expert, offers a wealth of information:
Attracting hummingbirds to your garden; migration; species accounts;
natural history; product reviews.
American Native Plant Society
Get information for your region. Whatever your level of gardening experience,
the North American Native Plant Society invites you to explore the world
of native plants.
attracting, and learning about hummingbirds)
Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America by Sheri L. Williamson
(Houghton Mifflin Co. 2002)
Hummingbird Book by Donald and Lillian Stokes (Little, Brown and
Gardens by Nancy L. Newfield and Barbara Nielsen (Houghton
by Nancy Newfield (Thunder Bay Press, 2001).
Jewels in Flight by Connie Toops (Voyageur Press, 1992).
Life of the Hummingbird by Alexander F. Skutch (Crown
Publishers, Inc., 1973).
Sun Catchers: Hummingbirds by Jeff and April Sayre (NorthWord
Press, 1996, 1999).
Hummingbird by Bob Sargent (Stackpole Books 1999).
Secret Lives of Hummingbirds by David Lazaroff (Arizona-Sonora
Museum Press 1999).
Wildlife Gardener's Guide to Hummingbirds and Songbirds from the Tropics
by Jack Griggs et al. (HarperResource 2003).
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