Hummingbirds...Invite These Fine-Feathered Friends To Your Garden!
While the number of species is around 300 or more, only about nine of the species will migrate into the United States. These tiny birds are found from Alaska to the tropics. Most of the species will be found living in the tropics where flowers, insects, and warm weather are plentiful.
Hummingbirds are very small, weighing only 2-20 grams. The male of the species is always the most colorful with iridescent feathers.
They feed on nectar from flowers as well as ants, mosquitoes, and small insects.
They have long slender beaks with tongues that extend deep into the flowers to eat nectar.
For their size, hummingbirds have relatively large wings. Their feet are very small and are not designed for walking but work extremely well for perching on branches.
They consume almost twice their weight in nectar each day and get the needed protein from the insects they eat. Even for their tiny size, they are very protective of their territory and their food. They will spend a lot of time and energy chasing off intruders.
"Hummers" go to great lengths to keep themselves cleaned and groomed. You will often see them in bird baths, flying in-and-out of sprinklers, or enjoying the rain to shower in. To help groom themselves they will use oil from the gland near their tail. They use this oil on there wings, stomach, tail feathers, and back.
Using hummingbird feeders with a mixture of sugar and water can be very effective in attracting them. Nectar is very easy to make! Use four parts water and one part sugar, DO NOT use brown sugar, food coloring, or honey in their nectar.
You can buy a variety of hummingbird feeders. The ones that will attract them best are the feeders that have red at the base. You will attract more hummers with a number of small feeders rather than one large one. Clean the feeders each time before refilling it using hot water and a bottle brush.
Flowers are great to attract hummingbirds to your backyard. The following are some types of flowers they prefer: Salvia, honeysuckles, columbines, giant hyssop, begonias, hollyhock, hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, fireweed, California fuchsia and morning glories. These are just the types of flowers that attract the most hummers, but there are others that work well also. As they feed they also help pollinate the flowers.
Plan on seeing hummingbirds from early spring until late fall. Put out some feeders, plant some of their favorite flowers and they will reward you with hours of entertainment. They will even help eliminate mosquitoes and small insects from your yard. Take time to enjoy their beauty and their graceful flying abilities.
While you take time to enjoy the Hummer's read these interesting articles
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