January 19, 2019

Hummingbirds | Nesting, Food & Facts | Free Nectar Recipe!

ruby-throated-hummingbird-hummingbirdsHere you will find everything a hummingbird lover would enjoy.  Whether you want to attract the Ruby hummingbird, also known as the ruby throated hummingbird or one of the other 16 kinds of hummingbirds found in the United States, you can attract Hummingbirds to your yard!

In the store you’ll find Hummingbird feeders, hummingbird food; called hummingbird nectar, information on the migration of the hummingbird, hummingbird nesting materials, and hummingbird gifts for the hummingbird lover such as hummingbird art, planters, stained glass, spinners and more all in the hummingbird motif whether for use as garden decorative items or home decor.

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 Roby-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. Hummingbirds are extremely loyal to feeding sites.  A hummingbird that feeds in your yard one year will return to that feeder the next.  If you aren’t attracting as many hummers as you want, read on…

As the male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is so territorial, on key is to offer losts of feeders.  We have several different feeders available for every garden decor.  No matter what kind of feeders you decide to use, remember two golden rules: Keep the feeder clean and the nectar fresh.  Fermented nectar can support the growth of deadly molds.  If a hummingbird gets a taste of fermented nectar from your feeder, it will look elsewhere for a drink and remain suspicious of the offending feeder for a long time.  Fermented nectar to hummingbirds is like drinking alcohol to humans.  Hummingbirds understand that they need a clear head for their acrobatic flying.

  • Plant open throated red flowers.
  • Tie a big red bow to trees and branches in your yard near feeders.  Hummingbirds have keen vision and are attracted to red.
  • Provide Nesting material.
  • Keep Feeders Clean!  We recommend the Brush kits in the hummingbird feeder section below.
  • Offer lots of feeders protected from ants.  Keep ants away from your feeders by using “Nectar Guard Tips” or hang a “Nectar Protector Ant Moat” above your feeder and fill it with water. (Ants can’t swim)  Recommended Feeders are listed below in the shop.
  • Keep Bees and wasps away from your feeders by using a flat top feeder where the nectar is not at the feeding port.  Hummers can reach but the bees can not.

Nesting

hummingbird nestinghummingbirdA 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 Helper Nesting Material“, which provides a natural replacement for some hard to find materials.  This item is sold in a convenient holder in the garden shop section of the store or you can find it by clicking the link above.

Water

Hummingbirds, like many birds, need and are attracted to water.  One of the best ways to attract hummingbirds is with a “mister” that emits a fine spray.

Hummingbird Facts

  • Hummingbirds beat their wings about 78 times per second.  During a display dive, their wings can beat up to 200 times per second.
  • Hummingbirds take about 250 breaths per minute
  • Hummingbirds like all other birds, have no sense of smell.
  • They have about 1,500 feathers.
  • Average Length: 3 1/2 inches
  • Average weight: 1/8 oz
  • They consume half of their body weight in food every day.  That would be like an average child eating about 40-50 pounds of food a day!
  • During migration, they must fly 500 miles nonstop over the Gulf of Mexico to reach their wintering grounds in Mexico and Central America.  To make the trip, they must eat enough so they weigh 1 1/2 times their usual weight.
  • They can fly at speeds of 60 miles per hour and can fly forwards, backwards, up, down, sideways, and even upside down briefly, but they can’t walk.  Avg speed is 30 miles per hour.
  • The average life span is 3-5 years.  Maximum 12 years.
  • Diet: Nectar and small insects such as gnats, ants, and flies.

More information can be found in the books & DVD’s available in our shop.

Recipe for Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

  • One part ordinary white cane sugar to four parts water.
  • Boiling the water for several minutes before measuring can retard spoilage in the feeder by a day or two; if you measure first, some will boil away and mess up the proportions.  Stir in the sugar while the water is still hot.  let cool before filling the feeder.
  • Store unused nectar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • This mixture approximates the average sucrose content (about 21%) of the flowers favored by North American Hummingbirds.

Our hope is that you will find this information helpful in your ability to attract these wonderful little birds.  Hummingbirds will bring you many hours of pure enjoyment!

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard and start enjoying more of these tiny birds, I’ve put together a kit of everything you need to start enjoying hummingbirds from early spring until migrating starts in fall.  Get it here.


 

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Garden Decorative Items & The Empty Nest
Summerville, SC 29485 | 843-647-0489

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