Everything You Need To Start Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Backyard
Hummingbirds aren’t just entertaining, they’re important pollinators for our ecosystem. You can attract these small but mighty birds to your backyard with just a few tricks.
There are nearly 340 species of hummingbirds throughout the world, found everywhere from far northern climates to tropical forests to hot deserts. In the United States alone, you’ll find 17 species of hummingbirds, according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Attracting hummingbirds to your yard isn’t difficult, as these birds are on the constant hunt for food. With a mix of the right plants, a few tools, and proper placement, you’ll turn your backyard into a smorgasbord for them and a bird watching paradise for you.
1. Hummingbird Feeder
One of the easiest and quickest ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard is to add a hummingbird feeder. Because hummingbirds are curious creatures that travel upwards of 20 miles a day, a feeder should be both functional and attractive. You want to choose one that’s the right size for your space, that holds plenty of nectar, and that stands up to nature’s elements.
Our experts dubbed the Aspects HummZinger HighView the best hummingbird feeder out there. It has four feeding ports, is easy to clean, and comes in bright red—a color known to attract hummingbirds.
2. Hummingbird Nectar
Once you have your feeder, bring all the hummingbirds to your yard with some nectar. In order to maintain their energy and their speedy metabolisms, hummingbirds need to eat every 10 to 15 minutes! You can fill up your feeder with this simple hummingbird nectar recipe from the National Audubon Society or purchase pre-made hummingbird nectar online and at most garden stores. This Red Ready-to-Use Hummingbird Nectar does not require any boiling or mixing.
3. Sheltered Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbird nectar can spoil quickly thanks to warm weather and in turn can make hummingbirds ill. Be mindful of where you place your hummingbird feeder. Avoid deep shade since hummingbirds may miss the feeder altogether, but offer a bit of dappled shade for a quick rest during the mid-afternoon heat. The Dieguez Hummingbird Feeder offers a nectar perch underneath a domed roof which provides a bit of shelter from the hot sun.
4. Hummingbird Nest Builder
If possible, offer hummingbird visitors a spot to nest near a food or water source. You can do this by including some shrubs or trees which will offer a bit of protective cover. You can also encourage hummingbirds to build their own nest with this Poly Lumber Hummingbird Nest Builder. The overhang provides a bit of protection and includes nest building materials. It can easily be attached to a tree or fence.
5. Hummingbird Swing
After flying all those miles throughout the day, a hummingbird will need to take a break. Hang a perch or swing to encourage hummingbirds to rest in your yard. This will also give the birds a chance to survey the area. The Pop’s Original Hummingbird Swing is easy to hang and is a great addition to any backyard hummingbird sanctuary.
6. Solar Water Fountain
Don’t forget to add some water for your hummingbirds. While a bird bath is great, a misting device or a drip fountain that you can attach to a bird bath is even better. This Solar Water Fountain runs up to 4 hours on a full charge and has 8 nozzles to provide different sprays. It can be used in both bird baths and in small backyard ponds.
7. Red Bee Balm
Hummingbirds also use flowers as a source of food, so attract them by planting flowering native plants in your yard. Bee balm is a favorite of hummingbirds, and is easy to grow in much of the United States. It comes in a variety of colors including purple, red, pink, and white. Hummingbirds are attracted to its bright colors and tender flowers. You can buy bee balm varieties at most garden stores. Try Bee Balm in Colrain Red, a favorite color of hummingbirds.
8. Wildflower Seed Mix
When using flowers to attract hummingbirds, you’ll want to be mindful of blooming schedules. A continuous blooming schedule will help keep hummingbirds coming back to your yard throughout the season as they’ll always have a reason to come check out fresh flowers. Try a mix of annual flowers in pots and in hanging baskets, or a ground mix such as the Midwest Wildflower Seed Mix, designed to provide nonstop season-long color in your flower garden.
9. Wind Spinner
While red is most often used as a color to attract hummingbirds, adding some orange will also help catch their eye. Try adding orange flowers to your garden or in flower pots. You can also include orange yard decorations to attract hummingbirds that are passing by. The Wind Spinner offers a burst of color and can be hung from a tree, a railing, window, or on a garden hook.
10. Hummingbird Feeder Brush
When using hummingbird feeders, you need to make sure they get cleaned. Not only is changing out the nectar regularly important to keep birds healthy and bees and wasps away, but you’ll also want to make sure to clean them out once they start to get dirty or show any signs of mold. This Hummingbird Feeder Brush is a 2-in-1 system that has a different brush head on each side to make easy work of cleaning the nooks and crannies of feeders.
11. Window Hummingbird Feeder
For those who live in an apartment or don’t have a backyard, a window feeder can help bring hummingbirds right to you for close-up viewing. This Window Mount Hummingbird Feeder will give you a bird’s eye view of the action as they feed and rest. It has a strong suction cup to keep it in place and the bowl and flower can be removed for easy cleaning and refilling.
The prices listed here are accurate as of publication on 5/6/22.