Have you been wondering how to attract hummingbirds into your backyard with little success? Attracting hummingbirds can be a huge exercise in patience (sometimes years), but persistence will pay off.
For Calgary, the hummingbird season is busiest in August before they migrate south around Labor Day weekend.
There are two ways to attract hummingbirds to your very own backyard.
1. The best way is to provide natural nectar through planting perennials like Bee Balm, Coral Bells, Delphinium, Honeysuckle and Monk’s Hood.
2. The next best option is to prepare a nectar solution for them
Tips on providing nectar solution for hummingbird feeders:
a. Buy a bee and wasp proof feeder (with these types, the syrup is too low for the insects to reach, however the hummingbird’s tongue can easily reach the syrup)
b. Hummingbirds have virtually no sense of smell but are attracted to the color red, so ensure that your feeder has a lot of red on it. Some people have even tied red surveyors tape to the feeder as it is believed that the hummingbirds are sensitive to ultraviolet light, which this fluorescent tape reflects in abundance.
c. Choose a feeder that is easy to clean and keep it clean (using the wrong kind of solution or letting it get moldy can actually kill the hummingbirds and their babies)
d. Feeder Recipe: 1 cup sugar to 4 cups of water. Bring solution to boil (to kill bacteria) and then allow it to cool. Store left over solution in refrigerator as long as it is used within one week. Do not use red food coloring in your solution as it may be harmful to these birds.
e. Fill feeders with just enough solution for 2-3 days of use. Clean feeders thoroughly before each refill. Clean feeders with only vinegar and water.
Another thing that is useful is to have trees in your backyard to provide a resting limb and safe haven for the hummingbirds in between their feedings.
So start preparing your backyard with plants now to attract these magical birds this summer. And remember, faeries are always close by when the hummingbirds are around.
Sending sunshine and faery magic,