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Summertime brings fun for everyone, including those in the animal kingdom! One of the most entertaining guests in a summer backyard is the hummingbird. Here are some tips to help keep these adorable creatures coming back to visit.  

Choosing a Hummingbird Feeder

The best way to attract hummingbirds to your yard is by putting up a hummingbird feeder. These feeders can come in many shapes and sizes.  

When choosing a hummingbird feeder, be aware that hummingbirds are not the only creatures who will love to drink the nectar! Other visitors may include ants and bees.  To deter ants from invading, look for a feeder that has an ant moat. If you would prefer not to have bees and wasps around, one tip is to avoid choosing a feeder with yellow coloring. Bees and wasps are drawn to yellow more than they are to red. 

An ant moat, like the one circled in the image above, can be filled with water and will create a blockade against ants.

Filling Your Hummingbird Feeder 

Hummingbird nectar can be purchased in many stores, but if you prefer to make your own, the recipe is easy.

Simply bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then dissolve 1 cup of sugar into the water.  Remove from the heat and LET COOL before filling your feeder.  Different quantities can be prepared with this 1/4 sugar to water ratio. 

You will want to replace the nectar once it starts to get cloudy, which means it has been out in the sun too long and has started ferment.  

Finding a Place for Your Hummingbird Feeder

When deciding on a place for your feeder, the most important thing is to ensure the hummingbirds will be safe.  Keep the feeder out of reach of any outdoor pets or other predators. If your feeder is next to a glass window, consider placing window decals on the panes so that the hummingbirds will know the glass is there and will not bump into it. Placing your feeder in the shade will preserve the nectar longer. 

Enjoy! 

Don’t be discouraged if hummingbirds do not start flocking immediately to your feeder. It can take a while for them to find it, but once they do, you may have difficulty keeping up!

You may find other visitors appreciating your feeder too!

Further Reading

Hummingbirds: A Life-size Guide to Every Species by Michael Fogden, Marianne Taylor, Sheri L Williamson

The Backyard Birdwatcher’s Bible by Christopher Perrins