Every spring I’m reminded by the hummingbirds tapping at my window that I REALLY need to get the poor fellas a feeder! They can see all my houseplants next to the windows and want to come check out the goods…but, oops…there’s a window there. So, this year I have vowed to be gracious and put a fun feeder nearby. Besides, who of us doesn’t like sugar water?? Hello, Dr. Pepper.
Alright, first some fun little facts about Hummingbirds:
- The hummingbird is the smallest bird and the smallest animal that has a backbone.
- They have no sense of smell
- Because they can rotate their wings in a circle, they are the only bird that can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways, and hover in mid-air.
- They average speeds of 20 to 30 miles per hour and up to 60 mph while diving.
- They flap their wings up to 80 times per second during normal flight and up to 200 times per second while diving.
- Their heart can beat up to 1260 times per minute.
- Percentage wise, the hummingbird has the largest brain of all birds.
- 16 different species of hummingbirds breed in the U.S.
Hummingbirds eat about five to eight times every hour, with most of their diet being sugar from flower nectar and tree sap. For protein, they also eat pollen and insects. So, I’m sure they’re ecstatic when a human makes their life really easy by putting out a feeder full of sugar water! Guess what, you can make sugar water at home and it doesn’t need to be red…that’s a myth.
Sugar Water for Hummingbirds
Boil 4 cups of water with 1 cup of sugar. The boiling will remove any impurities. Let cool and then fill the bird feeder. You can save the extra mixture in the fridge for up to a month.
Now, for a bird feeder….not all hummingbird feeders are equal. Some are more convenient to both humans and the hummingbird…namely, the Hummingbird Hummzinger by Aspects is a favorite among hummingbird experts. They love it because it’s the easiest to clean, easiest to view all of the hummingbirds, it doesn’t allow bees and ants inside, and it allows a perch for the birds to rest on while they eat. For twenty bucks, not a bad price, either.
Planting the right kind of flowers in your yard will also encourage these little cuties to spend some time near your house…
Here are 10 of their favorite flowers:
Delphinium and Hollyhock
Rose of Sharon
Trumpet Vine and Trumpet Honeysuckle
Latana and Fuschia
Birds are so fun to have around the yard, spring and summer just wouldn’t feel right without them!
For more information on attracting other species of birds, view one of my previous posts, “For the birds (bird watching basics)“.