The summer season will be here soon. A season that is a time of joy for most bird-watchers. As in summer, the most fascinating bird of all, “the hummingbirds” start showing up.
Hummingbirds, (scientific name: Trochilidae) also known as “flying jewels”, are the most amazing and wonderful avifaunas ever! Even in the wonderful wide world of aves, these majestic beauties stand out due to their remarkable qualities and abilities.
Nonetheless, “Hummingbirds” have almost 330 species. But, have you ever wondered why these birds are named the “humming” birds? Well, you’ll be amazed to find out that it’s credited to their wings.
Their wings create the “hum” sounds by beating at 12-80 flaps per second!!
There are many more amazing facts about hummingbirds that crown them the kings of the avian realm.
7 facts about a hummingbird
- Hummies have the largest brain per body size i.e 4.2%. Hence, they have a strong memory and can even recognize humans.
- No bird other than hummingbirds can fly backward and even upside down!
- They consume food twice their body weight, daily. And can drink nectar from flowers or feeders by sipping 13 times per second.
- These winged wonders are the only vertebrae that can hover in the air while flying.
- They have the largest heart per body size in all the animals, which beats 1200 times in a minute
- By body size, they are the fastest birds.
- The legs of hummingbirds are weak and are only for perching. So they keep flying most of their lives.
You must be awestruck to discover these amazing facts about hummingbirds. And now you can understand why these little agile birdies are so loved and awed by twitchers all around the world.
During the summer season, many people install feeders and plant the favorite flowers of these tiny dynamos to lure them into their gardens, just to gaze at them. These little birdies have captivating moving abilities such as the “courtship dive” and different dances too.
Therefore, here are some expert tips to attract these beautiful birds to your garden so you can enjoy bird-gazing too! With these expert tips, you’ll be able to attract not only hummingbirds, but butterflies as well.
7 tips to attract hummingbirds
When planning to create a hummingbird-friendly environment keep the following points in mind:
- A hummingbird has no sense of smell. But an incredible sense of hearing and highly sensitive eyesight. They discern ultraviolet light and thus, easily notice red and orange colors.
- They also have to feed every 10-15 minutes. Since, due to their extreme agility, they burn calories and energy promptly. Hence, they visit 1000-2000 flowers in a day to drink nectar.
So, you see, it’s not that hard to entice hummies in your garden. All you have to do is to “get in the mind of hummingbirds”. Understand the wants and needs of these fancy flashy fliers. Provide them the habitat that adapts to them.
1. Plant red-colored flowers
Hummingbirds undeniably love the red color. You can see them sometimes instinctively stopping by a red sign, or red car lights to investigate them. Therefore, plant red or orange, or even yellow tubular flowers in your garden to allure them. Here are some bright colored nectarine flowers for pollinating these birds.
- Bee balm (Monarda didyma)
- Cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalys)
- Zinnia (Zinnia spp.)
- Salvia (Salvia app.)
- Bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
So, call them with red invitation cards and a bit of love. They’ll surely come.
2. Make nectar at home
No need to buy nectar from the nursery. Sugar and water work just fine! All you have to do is mix 1part sugar in 4 parts water. And nectar is ready! It would be best. If you boil this mixture. It will be purified and will last longer this way.
These birds, having hefty appetite need feed every several minutes. So it’s better to make nectar at home. This way you can sprinkle a dash of “love” in their food as well. So that they continue to visit you.
Do not add red dye, as it may harm your dear guests.
3. Install accessible and noticeable feeders
Hummingbirds, the ever-hungry pollinators are always hunting nectar.
However, trying a red ribbon across your nectar feeder or painting it their favorite color, will surely increase your chances of getting a visit from your awaited guests.
Therefore, try to install feeders in such places, that it’s easy for the keen-eyed birds to spot. And place them somewhere that is effortlessly reachable.
Take special care to clean your feeders and change the old, spoiled nectar every once in a while.
4. Place feeders distantly
Yet some songbirds like Goldfinches may feed together peacefully. But, hummingbirds are not so sweet and friendly. They have a strong hunger which causes them to fight over one feeder.
The solution to this is to place feeders apart from each other. So that they may feed peacefully. Not even the strongest of the little birds can simultaneously monopolize multiple feeders.
5. Rendezvous feeders!
As mentioned above, hummingbirds have an amazingly strong memory. They surely remember the place you installed the feeders last year.
So chances are, they’ll come looking for it there this year too. Therefore, you should install feeders at the same place as last year.
If you’re lucky, they’ll drop by to say hello!
6. They will eventually leave
People often ask, “If I install feeders in the fall, will hummingbirds stat?”
Well, an absolute answer is “No!”.
Though the birds surely must be grateful for the nectar and all care and affection, but they can not and will not delay migration.
Now don’t look so gloomy! Hope and wait for next year. They might pay you a visit again.
7. Be patient and hopeful
Nature does not hurry,
And does not give up
Do your work and wait patiently.
And don’t give up.
Keep a lookout for who you await.
Who knows, when they’ll show up!
Don’t stop looking. Maybe, the birds have already come and left without you noticing. Birdwatching is a hobby like a book reading is. And, the most important quality of a bird lover for birdwatching is “to keep looking”.
So, keep looking.