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For more nature habitat information      Visit these helpful websites:          Gardeners would probably put hummingbirds ...
both nectar and insects. It              food is in short supply. A single    produces reddish, tubular flowers        fee...
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Hummingbirds Will Return If You Provide Food

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Gardeners would probably put hummingbirds near the top of the list of wildlife they would like to attract to their backyards. Not only do the tiny birds complement the beauty of the flowers, they are fascinating to watch.

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Hummingbirds Will Return If You Provide Food

  1. 1. For more nature habitat information Visit these helpful websites: Gardeners would probably put hummingbirds near the top of the list of wildlife they would like to attract to their backyards. Not only do the tiny birds complement the beauty of the flowers, they are fascinating to watch. A Plants Home A Birds Home A Homesteaders Home Hummingbirds Will Return If You Provide Food R uby-throated hummingbirds are the only hummingbirds to nest east of the Mississippi. In maintaining our wildscapes and flower gardens pays off when we are able to attract hummingbirds fact, you can find them in all and observe them. states in the eastern half of the U.S. and all Canadian provinces There are two ways to attract except British Columbia. them to your property – plant flowers, shrubs, and trees that Plus, they are the only ones that produce nectar over a long period normally migrate, non-stop, 600 of time, or put out sugar water miles across the Gulf of Mexico. feeders. This feat requires extra energy, which the birds obtain by storing The wildflowers that seem to fat, increasing their preflight attract the most hummingbirds weight by 50 percent. They winter are red or orange. They include in Mexico and Central America. blanket flower, butterfly weed, Migration northward normally Indian blanket or paintbrush, red begins in February and the return corn poppy, sweet William, swamp in late July. milkweed, wild columbine, and bee balm. Because they are so active, hummingbirds have high calorie In the flower beds the favorites needs. Their rapid flight is similar are begonia, cardinal flower, coral to insects and unique to birds. bells, dahlia, fuchsia, geranium, Instead of having wings with impatiens, foxglove, nasturtium, several moveable joints, they have snapdragon, scarlet sage, petunia only one joint, at the shoulder. This and verbena. Azalea, lilac, permits them to fly with more rhododendron, weigela, butterfly flexibility, with their upstroke just bush, and honeysuckle are their as powerful as their down stroke. favorite shrubs. Flowering They can hover and fly forward and crabapple, hawthorn, and locust backward. appear to be their favorite trees. For many of us, the hard work But, without a doubt, trumpet that goes into creating and vine is their favorite source for© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 1 A Plants Home
  2. 2. both nectar and insects. It food is in short supply. A single produces reddish, tubular flowers feeder can provide food for dozens that can be reached easily. of birds. The number of hummingbirds appears to be Unlike butterflies, which increasing wherever they have normally take five seconds or access to this supplemental food heartbeat more per blossom, the supply. But, the overall population from 1,260 hummingbird is there for only a is threatened by the destruction beats per minute fraction of this time. As it hovers, of rain forests where they winter in (21 beats per second) down to it pushes its bill into the floral Mexico and Central America. 50 beats per minute. opening and sticks out its long tongue, folded like a tube. Nectar s The typical nest is only 1-1/2 and insects are held in this “tube" Did You Know. inches in diameter. It is made and swallowed when the tongue is s Hummingbirds must feed every from plant down and is held returned to the mouth. The 10 minutes during the day. The together with spider webs. hummingbird provides a service to birds also need protein, which Nests are built on the tops of the flowers by helping to pollinate they get from eating insects. tree limbs, on vines, on hanging them. They prefer red or orange flowers rope and sometimes on light that produce lots of nectar over fixtures. The nest is usually You can get close to a long period of time. placed under some type of hummingbirds if you are patient shelter. and let the birds get used to you. s Their wings beat up to 80 times First, sit 20 to 30 ft. away when a second in forward flight and s Hummingbirds usually lay two they are feeding. Gradually move 200 times in dives. Normal or three eggs which are so tiny your chair closer to them, a few forward flight speed is 25 to 30 they all would fit on a penny. feet each day. You might be lucky mph, but they can reach speeds Eggs hatch in 15 to 17 days. enough to end up observing them of 50 mph. The birds stay in the nest at a distance of only a few feet. about three weeks. s At night when they are not Sugar water feeders are a feeding, they slow their s The birds have few enemies. godsend, especially when natural metabolism by reducing their Males will take on other birds, squirrels, cats, dogs, and even people, in defending their nest Maintaining Hummingbird Feeders and mates. Their fast speed and long, sharp bill makes them a formidable opponent. You must maintain your feeder so it isn’t a health hazard for Their worst natural threats hummingbirds. We suggest the following: are extreme weather conditions such as cold, s Feed sugar water – four parts water and one part sugar. When lengthy periods of rain, dry preparing the mix, dissolve the sugar by simply bringing it to a boil. weather that dries up the Don’t let it boil, as it will make the mixture too sweet. Do not use flowers as a food source, and anything other than sugar to sweeten. storms. s Don’t hang your feeder in direct sunlight, as it accelerates bacteria growth. WindStar Wildlife Institute is a s Clean the feeder regularly – at least every few days. If the weather national, non-profit, conservation is hot the mixture can spoil, producing a life-threatening fungus. organization whose mission is to help individuals and families establish or improve the wildlife habitat on their s Don’t add red color to your mixture. Just make sure that some properties. parts of your feeder are red. For more information or for the name of a Master Wildlife Habitat s If you also want to attract orioles, make sure your feeder has Naturalist in your area, please perches. contact: WindStar Wildlife Institute s Take down your feeder when you’re sure all the birds have migrated and are no longer in your area. This is probably in September or October, depending on where you live. E-mail: wildlife@windstar.org http://www.windstar.org© WindStar Wildlife Institute Page 2 A Plants Home

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