Are you ready for Hummingbirds?
It is always fun and exciting to spot a hummingbird here in Rochester, and that time is almost upon us again. Though there are over 300 species of hummingbirds in the world and 12 that spend their summers in North America, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only species to be commonly seen here in western NY. You can expect these tiny visitors in your garden any time from May through September. The rest of the year, they spend the winter in southwestern Mexico, then follow a migratory path over the Yucatan peninsula, across the Gulf of Mexico and up the eastern U.S. coastline.
To encourage these amazing little flyers to visit and hang around your garden, try incorporating some of the following tips into your outdoor space:
4 Tips for a More Hummingbird-Friendly Garden:
- Hang a feeder – Hummingbirds can consume up to half their body weight EACH day, so food is the number one way to attract hummingbirds. There are all kinds of hummingbird feeders available now, from simple plastic to vintage glass and everything in between. One of our favorites is the mini hanging basket feeder – stick it in a hanging basket and you’ll have hummingbirds up close on your porch all summer long!*
- Keep your feeder fresh & clean – When the temperatures get hotter in summer, be sure to empty and clean out your feeder every few days to prevent mold and fermentation of the sugar solution.
- Use an ant moat on your feeder chain – This is a two-for-one: ants will be attracted to the sugar solution but will be deterred by the water in an ant moat. Also, hummingbirds need to drink as well as eat so if you keep the water full and clean, they can drink out of the moat after feeding.
- Plant hummingbird-friendly plants – There are plenty of plants you can easily incorporate into your existing garden to make it more hummingbird-friendly. Check out our Western NY-specific Hummingbird Garden Plant List here.
*We sometimes have customers ask about whether or not to use colored nectar solution, and according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, there is no scientific evidence that red food coloring adversely affects hummingbirds, and the red color does help in attracting them to a new feeder.