10. Add a new species of native plant to your garden.
It isn’t possible for your yard or garden area to have too many plants that attract hummingbirds. Make a list of the plants and flowers you already have throughout your yard and garden. You will be able to come up with more ideas and types of plants you will want from a source of hummingbird plant information. You will be able to find reliable plant charts in “Creating Your Backyard Bird Garden,” and “Enjoying Hummingbirds More.” These titles are both parts of the Bird Watcher's Digest (BWD) backyard booklet series.
9. Plan a blooming schedule that will continue throughout the year.
When you are wandering around at your favorite nursery or gardening center and looking through catalogs at home, choose plants that bloom throughout different times of the year for your hummingbird garden. In order to have early flowers, choose hanging baskets of Fuchsia which are close to blooming. Salvia species that are known for growing quickly make for a perfect mid-summer flower and a trumpet creeper which will be in season during the late summer and early autumn months for late season flowers. You can get some extra advice on the blooming season and schedule for your soil type, climate, and area from local gardening experts. If you are able to have something always in bloom throughout your garden area, hummingbirds will notice. Later in the summer can be difficult for hummingbirds to find flowers that are in bloom and this is when the young birds are starting to become more active.
8. In order to enhance blooming, deadhead the flowers in your garden.
This is a clever trick that is popular among people who have been gardening for a long time. Remove the older blossoms as soon as they have started wilting and remove seed heads from plants that are blooming. This makes the plant believe that their work for the season is not yet finished. In response, the flowers will continue producing seed heads and flowers. This leads to more flowers than what would have originally been provided. In order to make sure that the plants will return next season, let the plants go back to seeds.
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7. If you have an old oak tree in your yard, try tying an orange ribbon around it.
Orange plastic ribbons or surveyors tape cut into foot long pieces catch the eye of hummingbirds that would normally just pass by. Dark railing, bushes, trees, anywhere near your garden will make the perfect spot to position the ribbon or tape. Migrant hummingbirds will be lured to come down to get a better look. Once they are in the area they will notice your feeders which will entice them to stay for a while.
6. Take the time to rehabilitate your older feeders and give any plastic flowers a fresh coat of paint.
Bright magenta nail polish will do wonders for the red parts of your older hummingbird feeders. Before you fill the feeders and place them throughout your garden or yard, make sure that the nail polish has had a chance to completely dry. The bright color provided by the nail polish will serve as an excellent signal for hungry hummingbirds.
5. Replace your feeders
If nail polish and a little work are not exactly what you had in mind, buy newer ones to replace the ones that are getting older and in need of repair. Make sure to purchase a feeder that is durable and made out of a heavy plastic. You want to get a feeder that is easy to fill and can be taken apart easily in order to clean and maintain.
4. Create a few snag perches for hummingbirds throughout your yard.
Several types of birds, including hummingbirds will use the perch to preen, for rest, and to hunt. Any bird would need a break after beating their wings at a rate of 80 beats every second. Hummingbirds enjoy perching on the end of a branch that has been exposed. This creates a vantage point which allows them to see a rival bird or danger approaching from a distance. Place a dead branch in the ground so that it stands vertically. You want it to be within view of your feeder, but at least a good 50 feet away. It may be used by a territorial male in order to watch over and defend a single feeder.
3. Place a mister in your yard.
This is a small attachment you connect to the end of your gardening hose. By giving the water just a small amount of pressure, mist or fine spray will be created through the mister’s pinhole openings. This will create the perfect place for hummingbirds to enjoy a bath. They will fly through the spray until they have become soaked and then return to their perch. These misters can be found at lawn and garden centers or a local hardware store.
2. Break your habit of removing spider webs from your garden area.
These webs are a key ingredient which hummingbirds use for making their nests. The strands are used in order to secure a nest to the branch it is on and for holding the nest together. They also enjoy the insects which are often found trapped in a spider web. Insects provide a source of protein for the hummingbirds, they do not get through other food sources.
1. Add additional feeders
If a hummingbird is using a perch to defend or bully a feeder, add additional feeders throughout your garden area. By doing this you will attract more hummingbirds, and eventually the bully will get tired of trying to run the others off.
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For a lot more great gardening tips, see our guide on 31 Ways to Make You an Organic Gardening Guru.