Attracting hummingbirds to your yard is easy and fairly inexpensive. You can do it by putting up special feeders, most of which can be bought for less than $20. You can also attract these fascinating birds by planting some flowers that these little birds love.
You can buy special hummingbird feeders from most stores that sell bird feeders. If you want, here are two that I recommend–the first one is a suction cup feeder with a built in ant moat and the second is a tube feeder* that has NO YELLOW and, like the suction-cup feeder, comes apart for super easy cleaning. These come with a tube that can be filled with homemade nectar. Though these same stores will sell Perky-pet nectar PLEASE DON’T BUY THIS! Many experts think the red dye/food coloring is causing harm to these tiny birds. The red dye is NOT NECESSARY for attracting hummingbirds. Please don’t support this product.
You can make your own nectar with regular white sugar. Simply mix up water to sugar with a 4 to 1 ratio. That is, 4 parts of water to one part sugar. Heating the water is not necessary. Put the water and sugar in a closed container and shake until the sugar dissolves. Then store in the fridge until it is needed.
If you are going to feed the hummingbirds, you MUST regularly clean your feeder, otherwise the mold that grows may also harm the birds. This is not hard, just bring your feeders in every couple of days and rinse them out. If mold starts to grow, rub with a wet rag or paper towel. Use a q-tip or special cleaning brush to get inside the holes. When the weather is hot, the sugar water, if left in the hot sun for days on end, may ferment and the birds will stop coming. To avoid this, simply refill your feeders every couple of days.
The best feeders are the ones that come apart completely. This makes cleaning easy. Some feeder on the market do not come apart, which makes cleaning them next to impossible. Avoid these. Also avoid feeders with yellow around the holes as this only serves to attract bees and is not necessary. The birds will be attracted to the color red, which all feeders have. This is enough!
If you get ants at the feeders, you can buy an ant guard. Here’s the one that I like. This is a plastic cup that attaches to the top of the feeder and hangs between the feeder and the hook. It is basically an ant moat, filled with water that prevents the insects from reaching the feeder. This costs about $5.
If you have a yard and want to plant some hummingbird flowers, go for anything red! Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, as well as orange and purple.
According to the West Virginia University Extension, here are: some plants you can put in your yard to attract hummers:
Flowers to plant: bee balm, begonia, bleeding heart, butterfly-weed, canna, cardinal flower, century plant, columbine, dahlia, delphinium, fire pink, foxglove, fuchsia, geranium, gladiolus, hollyhock, impatiens, lantana, lily, nasturtium, petunia, phlox, sage, snapdragon, spider flower, sweet william, verbena, zinnia. These flowers can provide a nectar supply from May to frost.
Vines, trees, and shrubs that attract hummers include honeysuckle, morning glory, trumpet creeper, albelia, butterfly bush, flowering quince, rose of sharon, weigela, flowering currant, rosemary, buckeye and horsechestnut, black locust, flowering crabs, hawthorns, mimosa, and tulip poplar.