Who doesn’t love hummingbirds! Learn all about the beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird and how to attract hummingbirds to your garden.
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
In my neck of the woods we have only one type of hummer—the ruby-throated hummingbird. Take a moment to listen to the call of the ruby-throated hummingbird.
They are fascinating little creatures. Barely 3 inches high with long slender bills almost half as long as their bodies, these tiny dynamos fly at great speeds, beating their little wings over 50 times per second. They possess the ability to hover and even fly backwards. It is hard to believe that something so small migrates all the way to New England from Central America each spring.
Tips for Hummingbird Watching
Needless to say, one of my favorite summer activities is hummingbird watching. I have two feeders at opposite sides of the house since these little guys seem to be very territorial and don’t like to share. If one is at the feeder when another comes in to drink, there is usually a squawking, aerial dogfight until one is chased away. By keeping the two feeders out of sight of each other a lot of fights are avoided.
To fuel their activities they need lots of nectar and also a great deal of protein which they get from the aphids, gnats, mosquitoes, and other insects that they eat. Their benefit to the garden as pollinators and insectivores, added to their entertainment value, makes them a worthwhile asset to anyone’s yard.
How to Attract Hummingbirds
Over the years I have tried to fill my yard with plants that will attract them. They love the colors red and orange (I have had them check me out quite closely when wearing a red t-shirt) but I have seen them sipping nectar from plants of other colors. Check out our tips for using red to attract hummingbirds.
To turn your yard into a hummingbird’s paradise, consider adding the following plants: Coral bells, fuchsia, snapdragons, azaleas, rhododendrons, lupines, honeysuckle, bee balm, trumpet vine, penstemon, cardinal flower, quince, columbine, daylilies, nasturtiums, phlox, salvia, cypress vine, cardinal climber, and petunias. Check out an even more extensive list of plants that attract hummingbirds.
Learn more about hummingbirds here!