Hummingbirds Want Nectar and Shelter
Gardeners love having visitors take interest in their flowers. Among their most welcome visitors are hummingbirds. These little birds are practically flying flowers themselves. If you love seeing these busy little fellows fly by, you can help attract more of them by planning your garden to offer a steady assortment of blooms. Nectar feeders in good viewing locations are always fun, too. Here are some other ideas for attracting hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds and Water
Like any bird, hummingbirds need water, food, and shelter to survive.
Bird baths won't work, though; hummingbirds like mist and dewdrops from leaves for their beverage. A light shower is an opportunity to bathe.
Keep the Food Coming
Depending on where you live, hummingbirds show up in your yard in the spring after having traveled for enormous distances. From Texas on east, greet them with the big, red blooms of red buckeye trees. In the Southwest, where there are the most varieties of hummingbirds, plant ocotillo for blooms that last from April through August. Out west, manzanitas make great hummingbird magnets. They start blooming in December. In the Midwest and Northeast, coral honeysuckle, bee balm, and cardinal flower are excellent hummingbird plants. If you have a damp, shady spot, try your hand at growing jewelweed. Try mixing up flowers, flowering shrubs, and flowering vines for a mix of food sources and shelter.
Flowering shrubs that reach up about 20 feet help round out your arcade of hummingbird attractions. The little birds will hide away in the thick foliage when resting, and zoom down for frequent feedings. With enough food, hummingbirds will stay into September if you live in the east. After that, your ruby-throated variety will travel down to the Caribbean.