February 26, 2024

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.


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.


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.


Resources for Hummingbird Lovers

hummer-at-lantanaI recently met the most wonderful woman.  She called me about a Hummingbird item listed in my store and we ended up talking for a half hour.  It was such a pleasure talking to you Ms. Wrene, I enjoyed every minute of it!

Ms. Wrene is just beginning her journey into the joys of learning everything that she can about Hummingbirds.  She wants to know how to attract hummingbirds, how to identify them, what she needs to do to keep them coming, and she is looking forward to watching the hummers she attracts.  She, like all Hummingbird lovers, is excited!

Although it is late in the season and the hummingbirds are well on . their migration south from the northern parts of the U.S. and Canada, I was so inspired by my conversation with Ms. Wrene that I thought it would be nice to answer her questions by providing some links for her, and all the others who are just discovering the love of hummingbirds out there, here on the blog.  Ms. Wrene is looking for information on hummingbirds in an effort to be prepared for next season and I know that she is not alone.  I receive more mail and telephone calls about hummingbirds than any other subject.  In this way, it is my hope that others looking for the same information will find it and learn from it as well.

Since the hummingbirds have began their migration, I thought I might end the season by giving you some resources for finding out everything that you can about hummingbirds to be prepared for next year.  But before you take down your hummingbird feeders, make sure to read this.

The first place you can look for information is right here on this blog.

There are ideas and tips for all kinds of gardening topics, birds, flowers, and other things on my blog and here are a couple that involve hummingbird topics to give you an idea of the kinds of things I enjoy writing about on the blog: How to attract Hummingbirds and keeping your hummingbird feeders clean are two articles about hummingbirds on the blog right now.

Sign up to receive updates and every time I update my blog It’s NOT just about the Garden Decorative Items I will send you a notice.

Here are some of my favorite posts from Birds & Blooms Magazine.

Top 10 plants for attracting Butterflies to your garden

All about Hummingbirds

Top 10 plants for attracting hummingbirds to your yard

You can subscribe to Birds & Blooms Magazine and save 52% off the cover price PLUS get a FREE  bonus “Attracting Hummngbirds” right here.  I love this magazine!  I look forward to each and every issue.

The Hummingbird Society is another vast source of information.  You can find the Hummingbird Society website here.  It’s filled with wonderful information and beautiful photographs!  They have a very good newsletter as well.

Finally, enjoy the video below by Birdman Mel on attracting hummingbirds.  He is one of my favorite people.

Happy Hummingbird Watching!

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

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