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How To Attract Hummingbirds

Yes! You can attract hummingbirds to your home. Even if you live in the middle of the city, and even if you've never had any luck getting them to come in the past.

Try one or more of these tips, and you should begin to see hummers around your yard soon.

Plant A Hummingbird Garden:

One good way to attract Hummingbirds is by planting a Hummingbird garden. In addition to providing them a natural diet, a hummer garden is an excellent way to attract birds to your nearby feeder since hummingbirds feed by sight on regularly followed routes. This is called traplining. Their inquisitive nature will quickly lead them to investigate any possible new source of food.

Hummers, like most birds, have virtually no sense of smell, the flowers that attract them tend to have little or no fragrance, apparently directing their resources instead toward high visibility and nectar production.

Some plants to consider that will attract Hummingbirds include:


- Butterfly Bush (Buddleia)
- Cape Honeysuckle
- Manzanita
- Mimosa
- Red Buckeye
- Coral Honeysuckle
- Cypress Vine
- Morning Glory
- Trumpet Creeper
- Bee Balm (Monarda)
- Cardinal Flower
- Columbine
- Coral Bells
- Four O'Clocks
- Hummingbird Mint (Agastache)
- Penstemon
- Yucca
- Fuchsia
- Jewelweed
- Petunia
- Shrimp Plant

Note: none of these need to be red in color although the color red is attractive to hummingbirds.

If you're in doubt as to whether any of these will flourish in your area check with your local nursery.

You should avoid using any pesticides at all in your Hummingbird garden. The insects that you would kill off serve as a good source of protein for hummingbirds, and can also sicken or kill the birds if ingested.

Set up Hummingbird Feeders:

If you use a feeder and make your own nectar, a few words of caution.

Never use honey or artificial sweeteners. Honey ferments easily, and can cause sores in a hummers mouth. Artificial sweeteners have no food value. DO NOT use red food coloring in your solution, as this could be harmful to your hummers. Most feeders have red on them and that should be enough.

Your hummingbird feeders needs to be cleaned, and nectar changed every 3-4 days. Even more often in hot weather.

If you see black spots inside your feeder this is mold and you will need to scrub it out with a good bottle brush, but if you can't reach it with a bottle brush you can add some sand with water and shake the feeder to remove the mold.

You should never use harsh detergent to clean your feeder. Rinse out each time you change your nectar with hot water, and if you do this on a regular basis you should not have a problem with mold inside the feeder. Don't fill the feeder more than half full, because they won't be able to drink it all before it will need to be changed.

It seems all hummingbird feeders available for purchase these days have red on them, but if you are in doubt that there is enough red, try tying a red ribbon on the feeder.

Another way to attract attention to your feeder is to place it among flowers that hummers like, or hang a basket of flowers nearby.

You will find that feeder activity slows as more flowers bloom in your yard. Do not panic! They prefer natural nectar over what we give them in our feeders, so they are still around, and you will see them at your feeders more often, as the blooms start to diminish.

If you live in the Eastern part of the United States, you'll find you only have one type of hummingbird that will visit for the summer, and that is the Ruby-throated. They are very territorial and defend flowers and feeders within their favorite roost spot, so if you want to attract more than one hummer, try putting up 2 or 3 more feeders out of sight from each other. Perhaps on another side of your house.

Get more information and tips on attracting Hummingbirds by going to

Happy humming birding!

Clyde Dennis, a.k.a. "Mr. How-To", is Editor at EASYHow-To Publications and has been contributing articles that help people make their lives better since 1999. At his web site, The "How To" Library, you'll find a collection of the latest How To Articles, Tips and Tools to help you get things done. For more information visit The How To Library @

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