Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

How can we get Hummingbirds to our yards?


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Krun

Krun

    Krun

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 455 posts

Posted 08 February 2010 - 11:59 PM

I live in Omaha Nebraska next door to two neighbors that plant giant three season gardens. They plant every type of plant possible for this area and even some that aren't supposed to survive here like creeping myrtle. They have three varieties of Butterfly Bush, Honeysuckle on trellises. The one neighbor even goes out into our local ditches to get wildflowers to plant in her garden. They both spend hours on the gardens since neither has a job outside the house and they never see hummingbirds. I even hung out feeders for a couple of years without success. The one neighbor has decided they don't come this far North but I know they do because my Aunt had full hummingbirds feeders in the summer. The one neighbor has a pond with running water, and the other keeps her bird baths fresh. They've had these large gardens for at least five years. How do you get Hummingbirds to come in?

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Karen

Omaha NE



#2 thekiwi

thekiwi

    thekiwi

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,557 posts
  • LocationTauranga, New Zealand

Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:27 AM

From what I have seen hummers go for bright reds and yellows  if you want plants I would go fore those with those colors plus you could spike them with sugar water mix 1 to 4 1 part sugar and 4 parts water

#3 Krun

Krun

    Krun

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 455 posts

Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:34 AM

Would you put the reds and yellows close together in a large area? How do you spike flowers with a sugar water mix?

Karen

 



#4 sandylee

sandylee

    sandylee

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,692 posts
  • LocationNorthern Michigan

Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:31 AM

There is a possibility that you are located kind of in their migration area on their way north/south.  Maps are showing Nebraska as a bit "on the edge".  Up here in N. MI, they always come and nest.  Make sure your feeders are out early (since they arrive up here in the beginning of May)...maybe you can entice some to stay.

Many of the flowers that hummers like don't begin to bloom until June/July (other than lilacs)  You could try a honeysuckle vine (the flowers are a combo of red/yellow and my hummers adore them)... and they do seem to bloom fairly early.  They also like Penstemmon (which blooms fairly early) and Agastache.



#5 birdseye

birdseye

    birdseye

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,025 posts

Posted 09 February 2010 - 11:44 AM

I live about 90 miles north of Omaha, and you are in really prime area for summer (may-Oct.) hummingbirds...Be sure your feeder is out in the open, like the middle of the yard, and not hanging like under the house eves. Once they see it as they fly over, they will be back. the earlier you get your feeders out, the more likely you are of getting them to nest nearby.  Food, and shelter -- give them both, and they will be there. I would start off with the commercial red mix, then after they are established then switch to the formula Kiwi suggested. Also, after you see them, start moving the feeders closer to where you can clearly see them.  good luck.


#6 thekiwi

thekiwi

    thekiwi

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,557 posts
  • LocationTauranga, New Zealand

Posted 09 February 2010 - 12:31 PM

Krun:

Would you put the reds and yellows close together in a large area? How do you spike flowers with a sugar water mix?

Karen

 

I would mix the flowers in a flower bed to spike them all you need to do is get something like a squirting type turkey baster and put a few drops of the sugar water in the center of the flower

 



#7 birdseye

birdseye

    birdseye

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,025 posts

Posted 09 February 2010 - 02:37 PM

hey Kiwi? did you make this up? if the flowers are already there, and the hummingbirds can see them, won't they go there without you "spiking" them?  Just wondering, never heard of this, but my gramma use to have lots of country ways I never heard of either..so..


#8 thekiwi

thekiwi

    thekiwi

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,557 posts
  • LocationTauranga, New Zealand

Posted 09 February 2010 - 03:11 PM

birdseye:
hey Kiwi? did you make this up? if the flowers are already there, and the hummingbirds can see them, won't they go there without you "spiking" them?  Just wondering, never heard of this, but my gramma use to have lots of country ways I never heard of either..so..

No birdseye i didn't make this up it is a common practice of many of the humming bird photographers they set there strobe lights cameras up the focus and after they do all that they want the hummers to go to that flower wouldn't be much point int them going to one that is not in focus or where the flash and strobe will have any effect. This way it will draw the hummer to the flower they have targeted to get the shot.



#9 birdseye

birdseye

    birdseye

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,025 posts

Posted 09 February 2010 - 04:26 PM

I see... makes sense in that case.. but the flowers aren't gonna even be up and blooming early enuf for the OP to make use of that technique... so go to the "Dollar Store" and buy 20 hummingbird feeders, and saturate your yard, and hope for the best...let us know how it goes!


#10 Krun

Krun

    Krun

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 455 posts

Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:28 PM

Thank you all for all the help. I can't wait to get started this Spring. I think I started too late with the feeders. I'll try haning some in the tree nearer to April then if that's at all successfull I'll move them closer to the house. I am going to share this with my neighbor ladies as well.

Thanks

Karen



#11 Ruth white

Ruth white

    Ruth white

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 27 March 2010 - 07:49 AM

Have you tried hanging red ribbons on trees to lure them from their migration routes? You should also hang red ribbons on your feeders. Of course, you can plant brightly colored flowers with a high nectar court of at least 15%. You can check with your local nursery about that.Hummingbirds do need a place for nesting. Trees and certain vines can be provided. Hummingbirds spend much of their time perching.So this helps as well. They can drink the dew but some people use misters as well. I wonder if competiton is a problem. Many people may have feeders and hummingbirds. That's ok. Once the hummingbirds begin to come to your feeders, they will return every year. They are very loyal.Good luck.I hope you get lots of hummingbirds.By the way, the birds are territorial, so you need to hang more than one feeder at a distance of each other.


#12 WrensFriend

WrensFriend

    WrensFriend

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 418 posts
  • LocationCentral Alberta, Canada

Posted 27 March 2010 - 09:13 AM

I had a hummnigbird feeder up last year and I never once seen it being used..   The hummingbird that came visiting last year would always go to my purple and red hanging petunia baskets.. This year, I'll be putting out a feeder again, but I'll also be putting in lots of flowers they like.  It was one of my favorite birds last year..  

GL - I hope you are successful - they are such a fun bird to watch..  



#13 dklucius

dklucius

    ancient birdwatcher

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,974 posts
  • Locationdurango colorado

Posted 27 March 2010 - 10:59 AM

i save the mesh bags that oranges or fruit or stuff comes in from the grocery store. the bags vary in color or size of the mesh.
i put striped sunflower seed in a larger mesh bag and boss or cracked corn in a medium mesh and have a smaller mesh one
that has safflower or sunflower kernals in. The hanging type birds love them and the hummingbirds when they show up in spring
check them out and see the necter feeders
EDIT i had to quit useing the mesh bags they did attract lots of birds and the problem was the magpies and starlings learned
to fly up and hang on long enough to tear a hole in the bags and drain the bags on the ground and them carry off or eat everything,

#14 sdugger5

sdugger5

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 09 May 2012 - 02:26 PM

Karen

I also live in Omaha and have never seen a hummingbird, but would love to draw them to my yard. Did you have any luck the past couple of seasons?

Thanks,
Steve - Omaha, NE

#15 fisherman1313

fisherman1313

    I support the US Olympic Birding Team

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,339 posts
  • LocationRiverbank, CA

Posted 10 May 2012 - 06:32 PM

There are several books on the subject of attracting hummers. Check your local library, they should have a couple.

The sludge caught in the mind's filter, the stuff that refuses to go through, frequently becomes each person's private obsession. In civilized society we have an unspoken agreement to call our obsessions "hobbies". - Stephen King

 

All Yellow Warblers are yellow warblers, but not all yellow warblers are Yellow Warblers. - Me

 

My Year List

Spoiler

 

Latest Lifer(s):

Northern Pygmy Owl (FINALLY!): Del Puerto Canyon, Stanislaus County, CA, 3/24/14

Swamp Sparrow: Merced NWR, Merced County, CA, 3/11/14

Little Gull: Modseto Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant, Modesto, CA, 2/9/14

Ruff; Ceres Sewage Ponds, Ceres, CA, 1/28/14

 

Favorite Recent Birds (non-lifers):

Western Screech-Owl: Enslen Park, Modesto, CA, 4/16/14, 7/2/14, 7/6/14

Bald Eagle, Costa's Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher: Del Puerto Canyon, Stanislaus County, CA, 5/24/14

Gray Flycatcher: McHenry Recreation Area, Escalon, CA, 5/13/14

Black Tern: Modesto Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant, Modesto, CA, 5/11/14


#16 dt8thd

dt8thd

    dt8thd

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 425 posts

Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:42 AM

Another tip on hummingbird feeders is to always have more than one and to place them away from each other, preferably out of sight of one another. Hummingbirds are extremely territorial when it comes to nectar sources, and, odds are, if you only have a single feeder out you'll only have a single hummingbird--which of course limits your chances of spotting one. Also, as mentioned above, hummingbirds are attracted to bright colours, specifically reds. A number of our seed feeders are suspended from a Birch tree by steel cables coated in red plastic (the kind that people use to teather their dogs out in the yard.) They're maybe a quarter inch thick and not particularily noticable, but the hummingbirds always fly right up to them to check them out. Amusingly enough, I also dye my hair a burgundy colour that looks bright red in the sun, and I often have hummers zip right up to investigate when I'm out working in the garden.

#17 fisherman1313

fisherman1313

    I support the US Olympic Birding Team

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,339 posts
  • LocationRiverbank, CA

Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:58 AM

Our hummers also check out our Xmas lights as soon as we put them up.

The sludge caught in the mind's filter, the stuff that refuses to go through, frequently becomes each person's private obsession. In civilized society we have an unspoken agreement to call our obsessions "hobbies". - Stephen King

 

All Yellow Warblers are yellow warblers, but not all yellow warblers are Yellow Warblers. - Me

 

My Year List

Spoiler

 

Latest Lifer(s):

Northern Pygmy Owl (FINALLY!): Del Puerto Canyon, Stanislaus County, CA, 3/24/14

Swamp Sparrow: Merced NWR, Merced County, CA, 3/11/14

Little Gull: Modseto Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant, Modesto, CA, 2/9/14

Ruff; Ceres Sewage Ponds, Ceres, CA, 1/28/14

 

Favorite Recent Birds (non-lifers):

Western Screech-Owl: Enslen Park, Modesto, CA, 4/16/14, 7/2/14, 7/6/14

Bald Eagle, Costa's Hummingbird, Willow Flycatcher: Del Puerto Canyon, Stanislaus County, CA, 5/24/14

Gray Flycatcher: McHenry Recreation Area, Escalon, CA, 5/13/14

Black Tern: Modesto Secondary Wastewater Treatment Plant, Modesto, CA, 5/11/14


#18 spookyjimjams

spookyjimjams

    Northern and Central California birder

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 687 posts
  • LocationTracy, California

Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:48 PM

  • I don't think it has been said here, but make sure the syrup is fresh. Syrup will turn rancid quickly in hot weather.
  • Hummers also will not usually drink from feeders that are covered in ants (a problem i have).
  • Make sure that feeders are full in the late afternoon. At my mom's house, her feeders get mobbed in the last hour or two before the sun goes down. Hummers have to tank up for the night, and feeders are the best way for them to do so.
Also, mix your syrup yourself. 1 part water to 3 (edit: 4) parts white granulated sugar, NO FOOD COLORING. The red feeder is good enough, the birds do not need extra chemicals in their tiny bodies. I have tried hot water to melt the sugar and have also cooked it over the stove to make true syrup, but I have not noticed a difference. My mom just uses cold water and shakes the container to disolve the sugar before filling the feeders. I have never seen more hummers than her house, I have seen a bird on every port of her 5 feeders, and dozens more waiting impatiently in the air and trees. They can drain a quart in a few hours.

Stay patient. Once they find you, they will be very loyal so long as the food is there and the season permits.

Lifelist: 240
Latest lifer: Wrentit
I support Ebird.com & the North American Bird Phenology Program!


#19 cwj2323

cwj2323

    Defender of the American Robin

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,115 posts
  • LocationNear Central Iowa

Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:02 AM

  • I don't think it has been said here, but make sure the syrup is fresh. Syrup will turn rancid quickly in hot weather.
  • Hummers also will not usually drink from feeders that are covered in ants (a problem i have).
  • Make sure that feeders are full in the late afternoon. At my mom's house, her feeders get mobbed in the last hour or two before the sun goes down. Hummers have to tank up for the night, and feeders are the best way for them to do so.
...
Stay patient. Once they find you, they will be very loyal so long as the food is there and the season permits.


Thanks for this extra info. How long would you say the syrup should last in the hottest days? I ran out of white sugar (Only have organic) and may not get more until Wednesday, but we were cool until today when it reached 84 degrees and tomorrow is to be the same. The feeder is pretty full. Yeah, just one, but we will make or buy more. This is our first year feeding them. We saw two males duke it out Saturday, one visitor yesterday and a female today, so not a lot of hummingbirds yet.

Oh, I will add this, do not use organic or raw sugars for hummingbirds. This has iron in it. Oh and NO PERFUME! People think the scent will attract hummingbirds, when these birds do not have a great sense of smell.

Life list (non ABA)- 233

Latest: Blackburnian Warbler
Coolest: Audubon's Warbler and the ABA will not take that away from me!  :)

2014 year list-169
Yard list- 125

Latest: Blackburnian Warbler


#20 meghann

meghann

    suprm2001

  • New Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,144 posts
  • LocationCSRA, Georgia

Posted 15 May 2012 - 12:45 AM

Hmm, I had always heard the ratio was 1:4, not 1:3. e.g.-1 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar.

-Army wife, homeschooling mom to 4, photographer, insomniac ninja

Life list: 178

Yard list (old house): 73
Yard list (new house): 71
2014 so far: 143





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users