“Hummingbirds open our eyes to the wonder of the world and inspire us to open our hearts to loved ones and friends. Like a hummingbird, we aspire to hover and to savor each moment as it passes, embrace all that life has to offer and to celebrate the joy of everyday. The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation.” –Papyrus
Friends often ask what is the one thing I missed most about the US during our 4 years in Prague. The answer might (or might not) be surprising …
The one thing I missed most over the last four years of living in Europe doesn’t have to do with shopping or food or the differences in cultures or people. Those factors all affected me, and yes, I missed everything about home, really. But the one thing I missed most was seeing hummingbirds. Hummingbirds only are found in North, Central, and South America.
To me, hummingbirds define summer.They’ve always fascinated me with their shimmering colors and incredible fluttering wings. They also symbolize joy and magic and wonder, and without them darting about, a backyard doesn’t feel complete.
It isn’t hard to attract hummingbirds, but 3 things are essential …
1) Find a perfect spot for your hummingbird feeder. Choose a location where you’ll be able to see the action. I mounted a simple wrought iron hook to the side of my deck where my family and I can easily see it from our kitchen.
2) Choose a hummingbird feeder. The more basic the feeder, the better. It should have a glass main compartment and a wide opening for easy cleaning. Red accents as decorations are a bonus, as hummingbirds are naturally curious about red. Small drinking holes and an ant moat at the top help to minimize the wasps and ants and other pests, and if your feeder has a perch, hummingbirds will linger longer. A good hummingbird feeder doesn’t have to be expensive. Mine cost about $10 at Lowe’s.
3) Change your hummingbird solution often. Depending on the weather, you’ll need to clean the feeder about every 2 – 5 days. How? With hot water, no soap, and a bottle brush. What is the right solution for hummingbird nectar? 4 parts water to 1 part sugar, which means 4 cups water with 1 cup plain sugar. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat, pour in the sugar and stir. Cool to room temperature before pouring into the feeder.
Bonus: Plant flowers that hummingbirds love like (annuals) petunias, (perennials) salvia, monarda, tall garden phlox, penstemon, liatris, digitalis, and (shrubs) butterfly bush and rose of sharon.
My feeder has been up and running for about a month and already ruby-throated hummingbird jewels flit about the yard almost non-stop. It’s pure delight.
Do you feed hummingbirds? What works / doesn’t work for you?