About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

How to get more hummingbirds

Why do we only have one hummingbird at a time? I watch videos with a million birds at once and I want that at my house. What am I doing wrong? – DeWitt, MI

It’s all about location. Here in mid-Michigan we see hummingbirds from the end of April to the end of October. Until mid-summer hummingbirds are nesting and so territories are set and defended vigorously. Males will perch and attack any bird that he sees invading a food source in his territory. It would be rare to see more than one hummingbird at a time at a feeder during this time.

By July territories have been relaxed, momma hummers are bringing babies to the feeders and migration has begun. It’s possible during this time to see a couple hummers at once especially if you live near water.

Hummingbird feeders must be kept clean and free from mold and fungus, or the tiny hummers could get sick. The more often you clean them the easier they are to maintain. Bring your feeders inside and rinse them once a week when the temperatures are below 70 °F and at least twice a week when the temperatures are above 70 °F. To re-fill your hummingbird feeder you may purchase ready-made nectar at Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI or make your own with white sugar and water. It is a 4:1 ratio: four parts water to one part plain white sugar.

It is also good to have a hummingbird garden to provide them a natural diet, and to attract more birds to your nearby feeder. Using pesticides around hummingbird plants is a very bad idea. Killing garden pests will also eliminate the small insects hummingbirds rely upon for protein. In addition, hummers might directly ingest pesticides sprayed onto flowers, which could sicken or kill the birds.

Just a few of the flowers that hummingbirds like are:
  • Bleeding heart
  • Cardinal Flower
  • Columbine
  • Coral Bells
  • Daylily
  • Delphinium
  • Foxglove
  • Fuchsia
  • Hollyhocks
  • Hosta
  • Honeysuckle
  • Larkspur
  • Lilac
  • Mint
  • Milkweed, Butterfly
  • Monarda
  • Morning Glory
  • Obedient plant
  • Sage
  • Salvia
  • Snapdragon 
Related articles:
The Best Hummingbird Feeders http://bit.ly/II4RQ4
Where should I hang my hummingbird feeder? http://bit.ly/H2U4P4
Hummingbird Information on Habitat and Habits http://bit.ly/H2Ua9s
What is the nectar recipe for hummingbirds? http://bit.ly/H7xvp3
Fun Facts About Hummingbirds http://bit.ly/II5sBl
Photo Share: Strange visitor at the high-perch hummingbird feeder http://bit.ly/II7dyy