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Attracting Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Plants
The best way to attract hummingbirds is a combination of feeders and plants which produce nectar. Even a few brightly colored blooms will attract hummingbirds to your garden, and well maintained feeders will keep them returning. Check with local gardeners and garden centers to determine which hummingbird plants are best for your location. Most gardeners are happy to share their best plants for hummingbirds. Below is a link to a list of hummingbird plants.
Hummingbird Plant List
Hummingbird Feeders
  • Selecting a feeder
There are many types of hummingbird feeders available. We recommend you purchase one with a clear glass or plastic container, so you can see the sugar water level and its condition. A feeder that can be disassembled for cleaning will be easier to maintain.
  • Preparing Sugar Water
We recommend you do not purchase commercial “hummingbird food” which is just sugar with red food coloring. Mix table sugar at a ratio of one part sugar to four parts water to make sugar water. You do not need to increase the ratio of sugar in cold weather. Red food coloring is unnecessary as it does not help attract hummingbirds. You do not need to boil the water. Tap water warm enough to dissolve the sugar is sufficient. Do not use honey or artificial sweeteners as they will harm the birds. If you refill feeders often, you may want to mix sugar water in larger amounts and store it in the refrigerator.
  • Feeder Placement
The most important thing about where you hang feeders is to put them where you can watch and enjoy your hummingbirds. Some people like to separate feeders to try to keep one hummingbird from dominating the feeders, and others like to group feeders together. Feeders do not need to be hung in the shade if that makes them difficult to see. Feeders should be at least five feet above the ground for protection from cats. It is important during the winter to hang feeders so you can watch them while eating breakfast as that is the best time of the day to see a wintering hummingbird.
  • Feeder Maintenance
When temperatures are above 80 degrees, change sugar water every three to four days. Do not fill feeders completely if you have a few hummingbirds, so you won’t waste sugar water. About once a week, you need to clean the feeders. It works best to do that at night. The most effective and easiest way is to dismantle the feeders and soak them for about 20 minutes in a mixture of hot water and bleach. A solution of ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon of water works well. Rinse the feeders and refill them.
During the winter, changing sugar water ever ten days to two weeks works well. Do not completely fill feeders to keep them from breaking in freezing weather.

  • Pest Control
The best way to keep ants off your feeders is to use an ant trap. That is a cup filled with water from which you hang your feeder. You can purchase ant traps at a local bird store or order them online. You can also make them from the top of a spray can.

To control wasps and yellow jackets, you can purchase a plastic yellow jacket trap at a home improvement store. Follow the directions for use and hang it near your hummingbird feeders. Hummingbirds will ignore it, and it is effective.

You can move honey bees away from your feeders. Mix sugar water at a ratio of one part sugar to two parts water, and put it in a flat plan. Put it near your feeders, and bees will quickly move to the pan. Then you can move the pan away from your feeders, and the bees will follow.

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Shrimp Plant

Coral Honeysuckle

Winter Honeysuckle

Male Rufous

Busy Feeder

Hummingbird Moth