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I don’t know about you, but I love hummingbirds. They’re such graceful little creatures and the whir of their wings always turns my head. Having them in my yard is quite appealing, so I looked into ways to attract them almost as soon as we moved into our house. If you want to attract them to your porch too, here are a few things you can do.
1. Get A Hummingbird Feeder
The most obvious way to attract our pretty little friends is a hummingbird feeder. This is simply a specialized feeder designed so that hummingbirds’ long beaks can easily drink sugary nectar from it.
The kind of nectar often available at home and garden stores has red dye to attract the birds (see point#3). Although this is officially safe for the birds, some disagree. Dye has been linked to problems in humans, after all, even though it’s officially safe for us. Based on that, you can choose to make your own sugar water or buy dye-free nectar. People who compare homemade nectar with store-bought do say that hummingbirds tend to prefer homemade, but it requires a little more time and effort because it must be boiled so the sugar fully dissolves.
You’re also going to need to stay on top of regularly cleaning the feeder and replenishing the nectar. Not doing so can kill hummingbirds due to a fungal infection which causes their tongue to swell, leading to them being unable to eat or drink. This is even more important when the weather is hot and can spoil the nectar. The feeder should be rinsed clean and nectar replenished about every two weeks, more in hot weather. Only fill it with as much nectar as your hummingbirds usually drink in two weeks or less to make sure they aren’t drinking bad nectar.
You can purchase a hummingbird feeder here.
2. Plant Flowers
Hummingbirds eat nectar from flowers much like bees and butterflies do. They prefer deep-throated flowers, which usually have more nectar and which their beaks are designed for. They are particularly drawn to pink, purple, and red flowers. I find my lucifer crocosmia and my hanging fuchsia are especially attractive to the hummingbirds near my house.
Flowers that attract hummingbirds include:
- Bird of Paradise
- Indian Tobacco
- Bee Balm
- Bleeding Hearts
I personally used and loved this seed mix this year.
3. Use the Color Red
Red and similar bold colors (dark pink, purple, orange) seem particularly attractive to hummingbirds. It’s why nectar and feeders are usually red. Choosing flowers, lawn and garden decorations, and a feeder with this in mind will help catch the local hummingbirds’ eyes.
If you do these three things, I can just about guarantee that any local hummingbirds will be visiting your home soon enough. It has sure worked for me! Is there anything else you like to do to attract these beautiful critters?