Hummingbirds are some of the tiniest birds flying and flitting about in our backyards. I have long been fascinated with these colorful little avian visitors. I respect this is an odd time to be posting this information but I think a beautiful hummingbird feeder or two would make an excellent holiday or birthday gift for anyone who has expressed an interest in these beautiful birds. It’s not that hard to make your yard attractive for them and so I offer my tips for attracting hummingbirds to your yard. If you have anyone on your shopping list who has ever expressed a love of hummingbirds you can easily put together a lovely gift package for them. You will make them happy and help the birds at the same time.
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Types of Hummingbirds in Western Montana
Here in Western Montana I see three different hummingbirds; the Calliope, the Black Chinned and the Rufous. The Calliope is a teeny, tiny bird in a world of little birds. The Rufous is an aggressive, flying whirl of orange. I must admit that the Black Chinned isn’t here as often or as in high numbers as the other two but I do see them. Other parts of the country have different visitors; a good place to check for what hummingbirds are native to your area is All About Birds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard
Hummingbirds use a lot of energy as they eat half their weight in sugar daily. They can reach forward flight speed of 30 MPH and 60 MPH in a dive! So you see why they are always looking for some flower nectar or a feeder. One of the best ways to bring these little beauties into your yard is to plant a hummingbird garden. Native plants are best as they will grow well in your environment. An easy way to find out what will grow is to use the Native Plant Database at Audubon.org
Have a variety of hummingbird feeders available. We have three out now and will probably add more next year. It’s important to keep them clean and to keep the nectar fresh. You don’t need anything fancy for nectar – we just use sugar water. I take 2 cups of hot tap water and mix in 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved. It’s that simple.
In high summer when the hummers are here in force I am filling the three feeders every other day. As the season goes on that I end up changing it out every fourth day until the little birds have left for the season. I always miss them until the first harbingers arrive the next year tap, tap, tapping on my window to let me know they are back and to get the feeders back out again.
It’s also good to provide a hummingbird perch or two next to the feeders so that when there are a lot of birds they can sit and rest between feedings. This one surprised me too. We were sent one as a gift and didn’t think they would use it but we hung it up and it is regularly occupied.
Hummingbird Feeders and Accessories Make Great Gifts
Did you know that one of the descriptors for a group of hummingbirds is a glittering? They can also be called a charm, bouquet or a shimmer. I just love all of them but glittering has to be my favorite. So imagine packing up that gift for your loved one – you can write on the card how you are giving them a glittering!
Pack up a hummingbird feeder, a book on hummingbirds and a hummingbird perch and there you go. A gift that definitely keeps on giving. And one that will bring a world of joy for years to come.