How to Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and fun to watch. We usually begin to see them in Mississippi in March. Here are a few tips to draw them to your landscape.
- Provide food. A bright red feeder with sugar water will attract them, but hummingbirds need a variety of energy sources, including insects and nectar. They feed on spiders and all sorts of flying insects, so be judicious with pesticides.
- Provide water. Hummingbirds drink as much as eight times their body weight per day. Offer them safe, shallow sources by placing stones in a birdbath. The also like misters that can be attached to a standard garden hose.
- Provide shelter. A mix of shrubs and trees will provide a range of deep shade, partial shade and open, sunny areas. Hummingbirds perch most of the day and need areas to rest, cool off, warm up, and survey food sources safely.
- Provide nesting areas and materials. Hummingbirds use lichen, plant fibers, spider webs, and other natural materials to build nests in shrubs, trees and vines in low traffic areas.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your landscape, don’t worry. A few flower pots and hanging baskets with the right plants will do the trick!
Sugar water isn’t necessary to attract hummingbirds if you have the right mix of plants. But if you like to provide this supplemental food, it’s easy to make at home. You don’t need any food coloring.
Hummingbird food recipe
- Mix one part refined white sugar with four parts water that has been boiled for two minutes. Boiling kills any bacteria that may cause the mixture to spoil quicker.
- Mix until sugar is dissolved.
- Cool before pouring into the bird feeder.
Note: Refined, white sugar is the best sweetener for homemade nectar. Honey contains fungus that could be dangerous. The iron levels in organic, natural and raw sugars can be harmful, according to the National Audubon Society.
You can find a list of flowers, shrubs and trees that attract hummingbirds here.
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