VIEW PDF FILE FOR PRINTING (opens in new window)
The hummingbirds have arrived! If you haven’t already done so, put your feeders out. Hummingbirds remember where they found food last year and will return there in hopes of finding some again. So if you’ve put feeders out for them in the past, they will remember and come looking for them.
The most common hummingbirds in our area are the Broad-tailed, the Rufous, and the Black-chinned. You may also occasionally spot a Calliope, a Ruby-throated, or an Anna’s. The first hummingbirds to show up are the males; the females will appear a couple weeks later, when the weather is warmer and better for nesting and hatching.
Hummingbirds, like most birds, have no sense of smell, so to attract them to your garden you need brightly colored flowers. They are most attracted to shades of red, orange, purple, or bright pink. That’s why hummingbird feeders are usually red.
The homemade nectar recipe of 1-part white sugar to 4 parts water very closely mimics natural nectar. Be sure to use only plain refined white sugar. Do not use raw or organic sugars as they may contain harmful levels of iron. There is also no need to add red food coloring to the nectar, as it may actually be harmful to the birds.
Remember to change out the nectar in the feeders at least once a week, more often as the weather heats up.
It’s a good practice to bring the feeders in at night to discourage any visits from bears or raccoons.
An ant moat will help keep ants out of the feeder, just make sure to keep it filled with water.