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Fill Your Garden With Hummingbirds Using These 7 Simple Tips That Will Keep Them Happy

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Hummingbirds have a reputation among gardeners and birdwatchers for being hard to spot, but that's not true at all. It turns out if you know how to make your yard inviting, hummingbirds will flock to it all summer.

1. Build a hummingbird feeder (or buy one)

While it's not true that hummingbirds never eat solid food, they mainly feed on nectar, so a regular bird feeder won't cut it. Most store-bought feeders are fine, but you can also easily build one yourself.

Yes, a red feeder really will help attract hummingbirds, and you shouldn't have much trouble finding one.

2. Don't buy nectar

You might be tempted to pick up some hummingbird nectar along with your feeder, but you'd just be wasting your money. The tried and true recipe for hummingbird nectar is 1 part sugar, 4 parts water. Boil the mix for 1-2 minutes then let it cool and store in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

Red food dye is unnecessary with a red feeder, plus the taste could upset your birds.The Spruce

Despite what you've heard, never mix honey, artificial sweetener or red food coloring into the nectar. These ingredients will only make your nectar less appealing, or make it spoil faster.

3. Check every day

Unlike a regular bird feeder that you can "set and forget," a hummingbird feeder requires regular upkeep. Wipe down the outside of your feeder daily to keep bees and wasps away, and change the mixture at least every few days because it can go bad. Be sure to scrub out the inside of your feeder every so often to keep it clean.

4. Plant some "hummer-friendly" flowers

Hummingbirds are small but they have big appetites, eating every 15 minutes or so and snacking on nectar from hundreds of flowers per day. Hollyhocks, petunias, begonias, penstemon and geraniums are all popular with hummingbirds, as well as azalea and butterfly bushes. Even flowering trees like morning glory will make the birds feel at home.

A mix of different flowering plants in different areas will produce the best results.1Zoom

Learn why timing is so important on the next page!

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