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How To Attract Hummingbirds
by: Marilyn Pokorney
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Copyright: 2009 Marilyn Pokorney

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Planting a garden full of red flowers is the best way to
attract these beautiful jeweled birds.

Plant bee balm, butterfly weed, columbine, cardinal Flower,
coral bells, cosmos, dahlias, four-o'-clock's, fuchsias,
morning glory, petunias, zinnias, trumpet vine, or
honeysuckle. A web search will reveal many more.

Be a hummingbird magnet by having as much red in your
backyard as possible. Besides flowers use gazing balls,
backyard furniture, ribbons, and other yard decorations.
Create both sun and shade areas in your hummingbird garden.
Offer an abundance of nesting materials to encourage nesting
females. Hummingbirds prefer downy like materials, spider
webs, ferns, moss and lichens for their nests.
Make certain that there is always fresh water available for
drinking as well as for bathing. Set up misters.
Hummingbirds love to take "leaf baths," rubbing against wet
leaves or just sitting on a branch having the mist fall upon

Avoid pesticides. These chemicals kill the insects that
hummingbirds eat for protein and can also sicken or kill the

Add plenty of places for the birds to perch. Hummingbirds
spend around 80% of their time sitting on twigs, shrubs,
and other available resting places.

Provide red hummingbird feeders hung about thirty feet apart
throughout your yard. Never fill your feeders with anything
but a sugar-water mix of 1 part white sugar to 4 parts
boiled water. Do not use food coloring or artificial
sweeteners of any kind, and never, never use honey which can
develop a fungus which can be fatal to hummingbirds. Clean
and refill the feeders every 3 days. More often if
temperatures are above 85 degrees F.

Hang the feeders on a pole in a flower bed or on a porch or
deck near flowers hummingbirds are attracted to.

You can also tie 18 to 24 inch strips of red ribbon to the
feeder. The blowing ribbons will make it easier for the
hummingbirds to see.

Place feeders at various heights. Some hummingbird species
like to feed at heights of 12 to 15 feet, while others feed
on low growing flowers and prefer feeders placed closer to
the ground.

Avoid hanging feeders in direct sunlight, which will cause
nectar to spoil more quickly.

Once a week the feeder must be washed with vinegar and water
or a 10% chlorine solution and scrubbed clean.

Create a separate feeder for Bees and wasps. Fill it with a
mixture of 3:1 or even a 2:1 ratio of water to sugar. The
insects have a very strong preference for rich, high-sugar
mixtures and will quickly decide to use the feeder with the
higher sugar content.

To repel ants, apply vinegar or powdered cloves to ant
trails. Put adhesive tape applied sticky-side-out to the
hanging wire. Experts advise that petroleum jelly not be
used because the greasy substance gets onto the birds and
make it hard for the birds to clean their feathers properly.
Use ant traps instead.

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About the author:

Author: Marilyn Pokorney
Freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the
Also loves crafts, gardening, and reading.

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