Only one bird can fly backwards and upside down,
perform backward somersaults and 45 mile per hour
dives, and travel 500 miles nonstop across the Gulf of
Mexico: the hummingbird. These miniature spectacles can
be found all across North America, but require specific basic elements in their habitats.
Donít go searching for a hummingbird
habitat - you can create one just outside your
Hummingbirds can be enticed to your yard by creating areas of varying sun and shade, natural flowers and other vegetation, nesting options, accessible water, and food sources.
The first thing to consider when creating a habitat for hummers is the amount of sunlight
and shade in the yard. If thereís too much of one
and too little of the other, you may want to add or
chop down some vegetation in the yard. There should be varying levels of natural light as well as areas of vegetation for cover and nesting.
An inviting hummingbird habitat contains all sorts of
plant life: tall and short trees and shrubs,
grass, and, of course, flowers. When choosing which
types of flowers to garden, keep in mind that a more
diverse selection means a greater chance of attracting
humminbirds. Many flowers are specially adapted for
hummingbird feeding, such as those with long and thin
stems, tops that hang or point downward, no fragrance,
and a red, tubular appearance. Plant some flowers
with these features and others without, and try to
keep them blooming at different times. If possible,
when making your habitat, include bare tree limbs as
perches so that the birds can survey their territory
from many different angles.
In addition to providing a habitat with varying light levels and an array of flowering and non-flowering vegetation, it is helpful to provide nesting material. Hummingbirds find plant fibers quite useful for building nests. Natural fibers from willow trees during seed dispersal are often used.
Hummers may use hair, thread and or other fibers as well.
Providing a water source is critical. Hummingbirds have no problems using sprinklers or brooks for water sources, but you may consider setting out a birdbath.
Water for drinking and bathing are essential.
In addition to natural food sources, you may consider offering nectar in a hummingbird feeder. Nectar feeders are relatively inexpensive, and you can make your own nectar by mixing 1 part ordinary white granulated sugar with 4 parts water. It is best not to add any food coloring or dye as it may be harmful to the hummingbirds. Nectar solutions can spoil quickly, so make sure that you change your nectar solution every 3-4 days.
Your backyard will prove to be an inviting
hummingbird habitat in no time!