Save the Hummingbirds!
Let DC’s Lawn and Landscaping help you attract more Hummingbirds to your Yard this year. Adding a Hummingbird garden will to help save these small birds that are in desperate need of new habitats, along with a steady food source. LEARN HOW BELOW!
Plant choices and with a little bit of work, your backyard can attract these tiny birds (and help scientists save them).
Hummingbirds bright and metallic colors, feats of aerobatics, and pugnacious, outsized personalities will be a delight to any yard.
Build a Habitat
Hummingbirds are attracted to flowering plants (see below), but they need more than just nectar. To draw hummers, create a complex, varied backyard with staggered blooms that also includes feeders, perches (dead saplings “planted” in the ground work well), a natural abundance of insects, and places to hide when predators are near. Avoid using toxic garden chemicals—after all, as much as 60 percent of a hummingbird’s diet is actually made up of tiny insects, spiders, and other arthropods, so the birds are providing some natural pest control. The hummingbirds will also appreciate a water mister that creates a fine spray in which they can bathe.
Feed ’em Right
Choose a hummingbird feeder that comes apart completely for regular scrubbing, inside and out, with a bottlebrush and hot water. Use only a mix of four parts water to one part plain white sugar—never use honey, which promotes dangerous fungal growth, molasses, or brown, raw, or organic sugar, which contain levels of iron that could be lethal. Plain white sugar perfectly mimics the chemical composition of natural nectar; don’t waste money on commercial mixes. It’s not necessary to boil the water, but keep any extra nectar refrigerated, and empty the feeder every few days, more often in hot weather. Never use red dye; nectar is naturally clear, and the coloring could be harmful.
Count Their Blessings
You can do your part by getting involved in a newly launched Audubon citizen science project called Hummingbirds at Home, which aims to provide details about which nectar sources hummers are using nationwide—and will give you a chance to explore these amazing, mysterious aerialists. Langham says, “The Hummingbirds at Home project asks people to help us determine what hummingbirds are feeding on in their communities, so we can better understand how to help.” Learn more at Audubon.org/citizenscience.
Plants to attract Hummingbirds to your yard
- Trumpet creeper
- Carolina jessamine
- Scarlet gilia
- Cardinal flower
- Trumpet honeysuckle
- Scarlet sage
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credits/contents of this article from:
Scott WeidensaulPublished – May-June 2013