All across the country, the annual migration of hummingbirds to America brings joy and excitement to many people. The tiny birds come into the yards of many families with the hope of getting some much needed food. Parents and children can work together to bring these little wonders within viewing distance. Here are a few tips to do just that:
The Right Equipment
Investing in a good bird feeding pole will be the first step in drawing hummingbirds to your yard. Hummingbirds prefer feeders to be up high, as they feel safest from predators at a higher altitude. If you do not have a tree from which to hang a feeder, than a bird feeding pole that is anywhere from 4 to 10 feet in height. Consider poles with several shepherd hooks on it so that you may hang several feeders on it.
As far as feeders themselves, plastic feeders are easy to clean and tends to last in the elements season after season. Glass feeders are easily cleaned as well, as long as they are cleaned often. Choose feeders that have multiple holes on the feeding stations, so that more than one bird can graze at once.
Hummingbirds are known to be drawn to the color red. Keep this in mind when choosing feeders to hang in your yard. Hummingbirds seem to associate the color red with food. They also appear to be drawn to brightly colored flowers such as yellow, orange and purple floras.
When setting up your hummingbird feeding station, keep in mind the need to make the birds feel comfortable. Less is more when it comes to hummingbirds. Have a couple of clean, simple feeders on a single shepherd’s pole in an open area where the birds won’t feel confined. They are more likely to come to a feeder when it is quiet and they feel like there is less of a risk.
If you choose to set up your feeding station close to a window, make sure that it is at least 5 feet from the nearest window. Sometimes windows can confuse hummingbirds, therefore, you don’t want to risk them flying into a window and getting hurt. Also, all feeders should be washed weekly, if not bi-weekly. Food should not be allowed to sit in the feeders all summer in the hot weather. In fact, food that has sat too long can prove lethal to hummingbirds.
Other Things To Consider
Making your own hummingbird food with your children is very easy and can create a love of taking care of these tiny birds in future generations. With a recipe that only calls for distilled or boiled water and white cane sugar, kids can almost make it themselves if of a certain age. Studies have been done proving that most hummingbirds prefer homemade nectar over their store bought counterparts.
In addition to the feeders themselves, hanging tubular flowers in close proximity will also help draw the birds in. Some popular flowers among hummingbirds include: petunias, bleeding hearts, trumpet creepers, lupines and cardinal flowers. Flowers can be hung close by or planted below. Not only are they beautiful, but they will help immensely when trying to draw hummingbirds to your yard.