4/14/2022 | By Annie Tobey

Throughout the warmer months, yards, gardens, and parks play host to a variety of birds, including hummingbirds. Attracting these birds to your yard or your windowsill brings a touch of nature, providing the warmth and company of our feathered friends. Even if you live in an apartment or townhome, you can apply some of these tips to attract hummingbirds to your yard or windowsill feeders.

It’s enchanting watching hummingbirds, named for the humming sound of their fast-flapping wings. Their tiny size and speed make them natural wonders. Hummingbirds can fly 25 to 30 miles per hour, flapping their wings an estimated 70 times per second. They fly in every direction, even backwards, which only hummers can do, and float majestically in midair.

The birds get their brilliant color from the iridescence in the arrangement of their feathers. Plus, they have the fastest metabolism of any animal on Earth, burning one to two times their body weight in food daily. Hummingbirds draw nectar into their mouths, lapping it up almost 12 times per second.

To increase your chances of observing these petite powerhouses at home, consider these tips from Cole’s Wild Bird Products.

Attract hummingbirds to your yard

Be conscious of beneficial insects.

Hummingbirds rely on insects, which provide essential protein, to complement the nectar they crave. To attract insects, try placing rotting fruit near feeders and leave it until insects arrive for hummers’ easy eats.

Leave spiderwebs alone.

Hummingbirds use spiderwebs as construction material to hold their nests together and pluck insects caught in the webbing.

Offer a water mister.

Hummingbirds adore bathing; a mister gives them the fine spray they prefer. Once soaked, they’re off to find a preening perch.

Provide tiny perches.

Leave small, sturdy, bare branches for hummingbirds, to perch on for rest, preening and hunting. Perches provide vantage points to see danger and launching pads to swiftly pounce on insects. Once hummingbirds find a favorite perch, they’ll use it repeatedly.

Plant flowers.

Trumpet honeysuckle, bee balm, and sage plants are particularly attractive to hummingbirds and provide rich nectar. Hummingbirds consume 1 1/2 times their body weight daily, eating every 10 to 15 minutes and visiting 1,000 to 2,000 flowers per day.

Related: Perfect gifts for seniors (hint – one is a windowsill bird feeder!)

To attract hummingbirds to your windowsill as well as yard

Even if you don’t have a yard, you may still be able to position hummingbird feeders outside your window to attract these zippy, colorful little birds.

Hang hummingbird feeders.

Hummingbird at a feeder. Having birds nearby brings a bit of nature, entertainment and company. Follow these tips to attract hummingbirds to a yard or windowsill feeders.

Feeders are one of the most effective ways to attract hummingbirds to visit.

You can choose from a variety of feeders. The Cole’s Hummer High Rise Feeder is designed with elevated perches to make hummingbirds feel safe and comfortable, which encourages their consistent return. Hummingbird feeders can also attract bees and ants, so this feeder is designed to keep pests at bay. It doesn’t drip, so large bees can’t get to the nectar, It has a built-in ant moat which keeps ants away from nectar when filled with plain water. (Since birds drink from the moat, too, never use any repellents or additives!)

Tips for using feeders once you attract hummingbirds

  • Hummingbirds are territorial and not likely to share feeders, so hang multiple feeders far enough apart to attract more birds.
  • To ensure a steady stream of birds, hang feeders in the shade to avoid fermentation of sugar-based liquids. Check feeders biweekly to keep food fresh.
  • Clean feeders as needed with one part white vinegar to four parts water.

Fille the feeder with good nectar.

You can make your own hummingbird nectar with refined white sugar and water – never use artificial red dyes in the food!

However, says Cole’s, real flower nectar contains three sugar sources – sucrose, fructose, and glucose – in varying amounts, depending on the flower. Cole’s Nature’s Garden nectar is a high energy, nutrient-rich nectar that combines all three types of sugars, organically sourced, with a spring water base. The nectar is said to closely mimic the sugar ratios hummingbirds favor and provide a healthier, nutritious, all-natural alternative to table sugar.

Don’t forget, hummingbirds have memories like elephants; once they discover your hummer-friendly habitat, they’ll come back every year if there’s a reliable food source.

Annie Tobey

Annie Tobey has been a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years. As editor of BOOMER magazine, she explored a diversity of topics of particular interest to adult children of seniors. When she’s not writing, she can be found running the trails or enjoying a beer with friends.

Annie Tobey