Editors' Musings

Red Rules for Hummingbirds

Mare-Anne Jarvela

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Ruby Throated Hummingbird

I love to watch the hummingbirds at my feeders. I have one close to my deck and the other one is hanging on my front porch.

I make my own sugar water (1 part white sugar to 4 parts water) and usually have to fill the feeders twice a week.

A couple of days ago I noticed wasps around one feeder and very little hummingbird activity. This feeder was red with yellow plastic flowers attached. A friend told me that wasps and bees are attracted to the color yellow. She suggested that I paint the flowers red or remove them all together.

I used some red spray paint and like magic the hummingbirds are back, and the wasps are gone. I also moved a container with yellow pansies away from the deck, just in case.

How do you attract hummingbirds to your yard? What flowers do you recommend as hummingbird magnets?

To learn more about hummingbirds, see the Almanac article on Plants That Attract Hummingbirds.


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hummingbird flowers

 I have many hummingbirds. They especially seem to love bee balm. A few weeks ago, I was checking my peony plants and one started dive bombing me, almost like a bee. I was worried there was a nest nearby--not sure what was bothering the little guy!