In the United States, you can find over 16 kinds of Hummingbirds. For people east of the Rockies, the most prevalent by far is the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. In fact, the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is the most widely distributed of the world’s 338 species of Hummingbirds, all of which occur ONLY in the Western Hemisphere.
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is often found between woodland and meadow. However, it has adapted well to human development, but only if there is shelter, space and food. Thus, it is frequently seen in suburban backyards with mature trees and shrubs, in wooded parks, and around farmsteads.
The Keys to Attracting Hummingbirds are to provide Food, Help for Nesting, and Misters (Water) for them to fly through. Read on and learn how to make your yard a “Hummingbird Haven”.
Most people know the popular food of choice for hummingbirds – nectar! The sucrose (sugar) from nectar gives hummingbirds the energy needed for their high metabolism as well as swift flight and busy lives. Nectar also serves as hummingbird’s primary source of water.
Just like all other species, hummingbirds need a complete diet to thrive. Along with nectar, hummingbirds also need protein, amino acids, and different vitamins and minerals. Hummingbirds eat small insects, larvae, and insect eggs which provide the required fat, proteins, and salts for their diets.
How do you plan your backyard feeding station? Offer hummingbird feeders filled with (always) fresh nectar. Try the Songbird Essentials line of ready-to-use nectars, or ready to mix nectars. Provide perches for hummingbirds to defend their favorite feeder as well as look out for intruders. Do not spray insecticides and consider planting native plants in your backyard habitat.
What is the easiest way to find the location of all native plant nurseries, native plants for your area, and other educational information?
Just visit: http://grownative.org/resource-guide/
Clean, Fresh Water
Hummingbirds, like many birds, need and are attracted to fresh water. One of the best ways to attract hummingbirds is with a “misted” fine spray. We love Songbird Essential’s Easy Mister. Attach it to a hose after watering flowers and get ready to see hummers zip through the mist. Only uses .75 Gallons of water per hour!!
Safe, Secure Shelter (including nesting sites)
A hummingbird nest is not much bigger than a quarter, and often it contains just 2-3 eggs no bigger than small peas. It’s typically hard to see, as it blends in well to the tree branch it’s attached to, and is made of fine animal or plant down and moss or lichens. Hummingbirds have been proven to really take to a product called “Hummer HelperTM” Nesting Material, which provides a natural replacement for some hard to find materials.
Track Hummingbird Migration
We typically use “Tax Day” April 15th as a rule of thumb to expect Hummingbirds in Central Missouri. Our friends over at Hummingbird Central have hosted an interactive map where you can track Hummingbird migration or review the migration patterns from previous years.
Approximate Arrival Dates