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So here we are! We finally made it to March. And, if you live in Ohio, that means you need to start preparing for the return of your hummingbirds. Don’t worry, I will show you everything you need to prepare for hummingbirds in your backyard/
Hummingbirds are so fascinating to me. I just love that cute little bumblebee sound they make when they fly over your head. They are little, but mighty little creatures.
Here are some fun facts about hummingbirds:
- Hummingbirds can reach speeds of up to 34 MPH
- Their average lifespan is 3-5 years
- In Fall, most North American hummingbirds migrate anywhere from Mexico to Central America
- Hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers for energy
- Hummingbirds are territorial, and will guard food sources (which is why you will see them fighting each other for a spot at your feeder)
So, they are pretty awesome little creatures right? But why would one want to set up a feeder for these little guys anyway? They drink nectar from flowers, isnt that enough?
Yes, hummingbirds can get all of their energy on their own, but here are some good reasons to bring hummingbirds into your yard:
- Feeders allow people to view these birds close-up, and provide a good source of energy to these tiny birds
- Hummingbirds eat allot of annoying pests such as: Mosquitos, ants, gnats, aphids and even spiders!
- simply enough, they are just so dang cool to have around!
Getting Hummingbirds to your yard
The first step to get hummingbirds to your yard is to buy, and place a feeder! Here is my favorite:
This feeder is affordable, easy to pop apart and clean, and effective. They just seem to love this one. I have bought many others in the past, and still always come back to this one.
Now, once you have bought your feeder, you need to find a good place to hang it. Of course, the point of having one is to not only feed them, but to watch them and all their wonder. So think about a place where there isn’t allot of foot traffic, but where you can still see them.
My favorite place for a feeder is my kitchen window. I am always in my kitchen, and me milling around doesn’t seem to frighten them too much. If I see one on my feeder I usually just stop what I am doing until it flies off.
To hang your feeder in front of a window there are a few options:
- Hang from soffit
- Metal plant hanger (https://amzn.to/2QD4NbU)
- Hooks or suction cups (https://amzn.to/33NQdUt) OR (https://amzn.to/2J8u0a4)
If you want your feeder to be super sturdy, hanging from a plant hanger or on a chain from your soffit are your best options.
Here is what mine looks like:
Hanging your feeder from your soffit:
So, first off, you will need a few things. Some thin chain, a small S hook and a small quick link. You can pick these up cheap at Walmart.
Measure out from your soffit to about where you want your feeder to hang and then cut your chain to that length. Use one of your little S hooks to connect your chain to your soffit. At the end of your chain, connect your quick link. Your last S hook will hang off of your quick link, and then your feeder will then hang from that. That last little S hook makes it easy to remove your feeder for filling and cleaning. It will look like this when done:
- Feeders need cleaned once a week
- Red food coloring is not needed
- clean with natural ingredients (skip the bleach)
- The red flower is what attracts them to your feeder
While you can buy nectar to fill your feeder at the store, making this stuff is almost too easy to do that. Plus, if you make it, you know whats in it.
To make nectar, boil two cups of water. I just use my glass measuring cup for this, and stick it in the microwave for 2 minutes. Once your water is hot, add 1/2 cup of white sugar. Stir until dissolved, and then let it sit and cool.
So, I bet you are wondering about the red dye, right? Well, it doesn’t need it. Recent research has shown that the red dye could actually hurt these little guys. Is that true? Well, who knows. But I wouldn’t take any chances. Hummingbirds are attracted to the red flower on your feeder. I haven’t used red dye in years, and I get tons of birds regardless!
Cleaning your feeder:
You should clean your feeder once a week. This is important so that bacteria doesn’t grow and make the birds sick. That is why I make sure the feeder I am buying comes apart for easy cleaning.
To clean your feeder, fill your sink with HOT water and one cup of white vinegar. The hot water and vinegar will dissolve any sticky residue from the nectar.
Pop the all of the flowers and pieces off. Most feeders come completely apart. Use a q-tip to clean in all those little nooks and crannies. Like this:
Clean, put back together, and fill, and enjoy!
Plants Your Hummingbirds Will Love
Bringing hummingbirds to your yard doesn’t have to end with putting out a feeder. Hummingbirds love all kinds of different flowers, and it is really fun to watch them swarm them. Here is a list of flowers to plant, that will attract them as well…If you plant it, they will come!
- Cypress Star Vine
- Scarlet Bee Balm
- Trumpet Vine
- Butterfly Bush
- Garden Phlox
- Scarlet Sage
- Pineapple Sage
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