Having a hummingbird feeder in your yard is probably the easiest way to attract the hummingbirds to your yard. Having one will help attract these birds to your yard and can provide you with many hours of bird watching enjoyment due to the increased number of hummingbirds that will likely be drawn to your yard, but there are several important things to keep in mind regarding hummingbird feeders.
It is important to make sure the feeder is easy to take apart and clean, because it should be washed frequently. You can even clean the hummingbird feeder by running it through the dishwasher. Since you will need to clean the feeder frequently, the fill hole should be large enough for you to reach in while cleaning.
The best way to feed hummingbirds is by using a nectar feeder. There are several things to keep in mind when using nectar feeders. The feeder should not be located in direct sun, as this causes the sugar solution to spoil rapidly. The feeder must be placed high enough on a branch so that squirrels and other predators cannot feed from it. A mixture of sugar and water is the best way to attract humming birds. This blend is as close as you can come to flower nectars. Honey, molasses or any other artificial sweeteners should never be used to feed hummingbirds. Though they eat small insects for protein, hummingbirds also rely heavily on flower and prepared nectar for their energy needs.
It is important to hang your humming bird feeder shortly before spring. If a hummingbird is drawn to the feeder at this time, it will likely return throughout the season, well into fall. There is no specific or exact date at which hummingbird feeders should be put up. Hummingbird feeders should be put up in time for their arrival. This will vary greatly depending upon where you are located. It is important to know the average date they arrive in your specific area, because you will want to get your feeder up 5-10 days prior to the average date of their arrival in your area. This will increase the possibility that the birds will see your feeder up and take a drink, and possibly stay for the season in your backyard!
It is important that the hummingbird feeder be clean or the hummingbirds will not feed from your feeder. The feeder should be colorful, preferably red and orange, and it can have red ribbons trailing off the feeder so it can be easily spotted by the humming bird.
It is impossible to provide an exact date by which time hummingbird feeders should be taken down. It is believed that migrating hummingbirds may be helped by feeders that are left up until at least two weeks have passed since seeing your last hummingbird. Contrary to what many people believe, hummingbirds will migrate even if your hummingbird feeders are not taken down. Males generally migrate several weeks ahead of immature hummingbirds, which are also known as new hatchlings, and females. When migration occurs is determined by a change in the length of the day or photoperiod.
If you keep this information in mind, you will have a greater chance of attracting and keeping the hummingbirds in your yard. The hummingbirds will be very happy and content and you will get to enjoy watching one of most beautiful and amazing creatures—the hummingbird. Happy hummingbird watching everyone!