It's been quite a week for hummingbirds in my garden. We had some torrential rains for a couple of days, so I moved the feeders up to our front porch undercover. My thought was that this would allow the 10 or 15 hummingbirds that have been hanging around a dry place to eat. It worked, but I think every hummingbird from a mile around got the word about these undercover feeders.
When I step out on my front porch it's almost like an infestation! This happened a few years ago too. I'm not sure the reason behind it, but seems like every couple of years we get *way* more than our share of hummers.
I have 2 feeders out and I've been filling them both 2 times each day! That's a lot of nectar. I decided to take advantage of this natural phenomenon and see if I could snap up some nice photos. Boy did I! I've spent an hour or more each day sitting on the porch taking pictures. In fact I've spent so much time sitting with the birds I'm starting to be able to tell one from another!
I'm certainly no expert on hummingbirds, but here's some things I've done to attract them to my yard and garden. First off, hang your feeders in the early spring. The sooner they know you have feeders up, the more likely they will make a home in your yard. Also, plant native plants that are attractive to these little birds. My favorite for hummingbirds is a native salmon berry. It has a bright pink flower that really brings them in. Another native plant that they can't seem to get enough of is Salaal. It's not showy, but makes a great landscape plant and the tiny flowers are filled with nectar. Check with your local nursery for other plants that are known to attract hummingbirds.
I've posted this recipe before, but now there's been a revision. New research shows that there's no need to boil your hummingbird nectar. Just mix up 1 cup cane sugar with 4 cups water. Shake or stir to disolve the sugar and add to your feeders. Make in large batches and store in the refridgerator. Also, be sure to clean out your feeders regularly. I do mine at least 1 x per week. If the nectar in your feeders is not eaten in 1 week, discard and fill with new nectar.
Here's a slide show of my best photos. There's a lot but they are so pretty I had to share them all. Enjoy!
PS I wrote a follow up post with some tips and tricks for getting your own great shots of hummingbirds.