Hummingbirds are favorite garden visitors for many of us and there are plenty of things we can do to ensure they have what they need to thrive. It starts with an organic garden, including trees, shrubs, fresh water, and lots of insects to dine on, plus, the right flowering plants for nectar.
If you’re a hummer super fan, try taking my hummingbird quiz and see how you do!
Basics for Hummingbirds and Other Pollinators
There are a few basics that ensure a garden is not just attractive to pollinators like hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies, but safe and healthy for them as well.
For starters, garden organically. There is no sense in attracting these guys to our garden if we’re going to turn around and use toxic substances that harm or kill them.
Trees and shrubs provide nesting and resting places, wind breaks, and protection from harsh weather and predators.
Fresh clean water is essential for all the living creatures in our gardens. Even a small pond or water feature can provide much-needed water for so many. I have a small pond which is frequented by so many different critters including squirrels, birds, toads, frogs, bees, birds, insects, and more.
I made this hanging water feeder last year and it ended up being a huge hit with way more birds and butterflies than I ever expected. This year I will have several more, now that I see the demand.
If you want to know when to expect migrating hummingbirds, follow this map: Hummingbird migration in United States and Canada.
Flowering Plants for Hummingbirds
There are a lot of flowers that hummingbirds enjoy. Their long beaks (and tongue-like proboscis) co-evolved with the deep, tube-like flowers from plants like honeysuckle, but they also take nectar from many other plants as well. And no, they don’t have to red!
I’ve compiled a list of 40 flowering plants attractive to hummingbirds here on my blog at eBay. It also notes growing zones so you can find ones suitable for your area.
Providing Hummingbird Nectar
A hummingbird’s diet consists of insects and spiders, plus some delicious larvae and other snacks tossed in, as well as nectar.
Nectar, or ‘sugar water’, can have different ratios of sugar, depending on the flower type.
When we provide nectar in hummingbird feeders (this is the one I like best because it’s not too big and quite easy to clean), it’s important not to make it too weak or too strong. If it’s too weak, the hummers have visit many times to get the calories or energy they need. If it’s too sweet, it’s also sticky and can cause problems like sticky beaks.
This quick video shows how to make sugar water using the accepted 1:4 ratio. This means 1 part granulated, white sugar and 4 parts clean, boiled water.
Are You a Hummer Super Fan?
And finally, if you’ve read this far, you’ve got to be a hummingbird fan like me.
Be sure to test your hummingbird knowledge with this quick quiz. I’d love to know if you’re a true hum zinger!