Hummingbird Food

Scarlet Sage Attracts Hummingbirds

The plant Scarlet sage also known is scarlet salvia is a favorite of hummingbirds, so why not think of including it in your garden as another way to draw the hummingbirds to your yard? I’m certain that you and the hummingbirds will be glad that you did so. This post will provide you with some information about this plant.

If you live in a warmer climate then Scarlet sage or scarlet salvia will grow as a perennial, but it will grow as an annual if the winter temperatures where you live remain below freezing for a few hours. Scarlet sage will bloom from early summer until the first frost. This plant is a favorite of the eastern hummingbird because it has bright red tubular flowers.

You will want to check with your local plant nursery or garden center to help determine if this plant would be suitable for your garden.

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The Hummingbird’s Need for Protein

Protein is a necessary requirement of the hummingbird’s diet as well as nectar. About 10 percent of the hummingbird’s diet comes from sources which provide protein. As a result, the hummingbird will eat soft bodied insects and spiders to gain the needed protein necessary within their diet. A hummingbird will capture the insect it eats through a process known as “hawking,” which is when the hummingbird flies and dives to capture the insect out of the air.

The remaining 90 percent of the hummingbird’s diet comes from nectar which is from flower or feeder sources. Each feeding only last approximately 30 seconds in length and this will occur between 5-8 times per hour.

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How Much Nectar Do Hummingbirds Need?

Just how much nectar does a hummingbird require each day? Unfortunately, there is no exact or set amount. All that can be stated with certainty is that a hummingbird will require one and a half times its body weight in nectar each day to fulfill its daily energy requirements. The exact amount of nectar that a hummingbird will need to consume on any given day will very depend on many different factors. This includes the bird’s activity level, the current air temperature, the quality of available resources, and the time of year.

With this in mind, you can see why having plenty of natural food sources as well as hummingbird feeders in your yard is important. The hummingbirds will thank you for having provided such dependable sources of food and you will be able to enjoy the antics and aerial displays put on by the hummingbirds.

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Amount of Nectar vs. Smell

While it is true that both hummingbirds and butterflies like many of the same flowers, if your goal is specifically to attract hummingbirds to your yard, it is extremely important to know that hummingbirds have no sense of smell. This fact will have a great impact on the specific flowers you would choose to place in your yard.

A hummingbird is far more interested in the amount of nectar a flower will produce rather then the scent of the flower. A good choice for a hummingbird garden would be Hibiscus, which has large, open tubular shaped flowers and because it provides an abundant amount of nectar. The “Turk’s cap”, a close relative of the Hibiscus, is another popular hummingbird attractant because of its red cup like flowers.
The color red is known to help attract hummingbirds. The reason for this may be that the red is far easier to the hummingbird to see at a far off distance or that the hummingbird is able to see into the ultra violet range. Also, it is believed that red flowers tend to contain more nectar than other types of flowers, as do tubular shaped flowers.

This not to imply that all the flowers found in your hummingbird must be red. Far from it, hummingbirds like flowers of almost any color including pink, orange, yellow, purple and so many more. Any of the following suggestions would please the hummingbirds: impatiens, yellow bells, shrimp plants, and begonias are just a few flower bearing plants. Just keep in mind that the hummingbirds have no sense of smell and therefore desire plants that produce large amounts of nectar.

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Keeping the Hummingbirds In Your Yard Happy

There are people who enjoy hummingbirds and wish to entice these birds to visit their yard regularly, but they wish to do so without the use of hummingbird feeders. If you fall into this category yourself, you are not alone. What you plant in your yard for the hummingbirds to feed upon will serve to entice the hummingbirds to visit your yard and keep them continually returning as well. Think of your efforts this way, you are rewarding the hummingbirds for their hard working efforts as both pollinators and bug eaters.

The following are some suggestions which are commonly known to attract hummingbirds. Not all of these may grow where you live, but to be sure about this please check with your local nursery before making a decision about what to plant in your yard. The scarlet red cardinal flower and black and blue salvia are often good choices. Also, hummingbirds like hibiscus, azaleas and purple bee balm. My last few suggestions would be trumpet honeysuckle, wild columbine, bleeding heart, impatiens and scarlet sage.

Another great way to keep the hummingbirds happy and therefore returning to your yard frequently and with regularity is through the use of a mister or sprinkler. The mister or sprinkler can even be on a timer that makes it turn on at particular times during the day. Hummingbirds enjoy bathing and will quickly learn the timing of your mister or and therefore want to make that their bathing time.

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"7 Secrets of Attracting, Feeding and Identifying Hummingbirds"

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