“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
I love hummingbirds. It’s true. And every year I look forward to the hummingbirds’ return to my yard.
I live in southwest Ohio, and here, they say to put out hummingbird feeders around April 15, tax day. But the dates hummingbirds return from their seasonal migration to warmer climates happens differently depending on where you live. I tend to think the hummingbirds follow the Redbud trees as they burst into bloom, so when your Redbuds bloom, set out your hummingbird feeder.
Regardless of where you live, you can put a feeder out now, and with a little patience, they will come. Now is a great time to start.
It’s Hummingbird Time
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 is up and waiting for the first ruby-throated hummingbird jewels to flit about the yard. I can’t wait.
Do you feed hummingbirds? Have your hummingbirds arrived yet? What works / doesn’t work for you?