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July
12

Hummingbirds are amazing to watch, but they are often elusive. Here's how you can attract them.

One of the greatest delights of gardening can be attracting butterflies and birds to your property. And there's no greater thrill for backyard bird enthusiasts than finding they've also attracted hummingbirds among their avian visitors. These delightful aeronauts with their zipping, hovering, diving, and buzzing can amuse for hours. But now that you're settling into the dream home you chose from Beavercreek homes for sale, how do you attract hummingbirds to your property?

Hummingbirds of Ohio
Only one species of hummingbird is commonly found in Ohio — the Ruby Throated. This hummingbird, like all hummingbirds in North America, is migratory, which means it arrives in northern climes in the spring and fans out to nesting grounds all over the country. In fall, it departs before the cold weather arrives to spend the winter in Central or South America.

A few other species might make an uncommon appearance in Ohio now and then, such as the Mexican Violetear, Anna's Hummingbird, Rufous, Calliope, and Allen's. 

Hummingbird Nutrition
Hummingbirds that visit your garden to feed on flowers or the nectar from feeders are not just depending on what you're providing for nourishment. Hummingbirds' main staple is insects, and they eat a ton (well, not literally) of them. The nectar provides them extra fuel they can use for all those dazzling aerobatics. 

Attracting Hummingbirds
To attract hummingbirds to your yard, you have two choices: providing nectar in feeders or planting plants the birds will visit for nectar. It often seems the birds prefer the flowers when they are available, although they will often visit feeders as well.

Change the feeder solution often. Whether you make it yourself (bring to a boil one cup sugar to four cups water, and stir till sugar is dissolved), or use a commercial mix, do not leave it to ferment in the sun. If no hummingbirds are visiting the feeder, take it down for a couple of days, clean it and then refill it and move it. Don't bother getting red-colored solution; hummingbirds don't need the red dye. They will visit feeders with red accents such as metal flowers, or ones with red glass. 

When you change the solution, always clean out the feeder with bleach and water, and wipe it down daily or as often as you can to ensure you're getting rid of bacteria.

Many plants that attract hummingbirds grow well in Ohio, including:

  • Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine)
  • Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal flower)
  • Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle)
  • Monarda didyma (Scarlet beebalm)
  • Penstemon digitalis (Mississippi penstemon)

Make Hummingbirds Safe
Besides providing a clean source of nectar for hummingbirds that visit your yard, you can also help to make them safer by ensuring your yard is free of feline visitors. You might think a hummingbird is too fast to be captured by a cat, but that is not the case. Plenty of hummingbirds fall victim to wily felines every year, so if there's a way to keep cats out of your yard, or at least away from your feeders or hummingbird-attracting plants, do so. 

Another danger for hummers is your windows. Sometimes they fly into the glass after seeing their reflections and thinking it's a territorial rival. They may be stunned, but that's when they can fall victim to predators. Sometimes the blow against the window will be forceful enough that the bird will die. Some deterrents include decals, fruit-tree netting, screens, streamers, or window chimes. There's also a translucent adhesive tape made by the American Bird Conservancy.

Our REALTORS® can answer your questions about a wide range of home improvements to your property. Contact Wright-Patt Realty today.