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Hummingbirds are tiny, birds with iridescent, jewel-toned feathers. They are small but powerful, flapping their wings an average of 80 times per second. The resulting humming sound gives them their name. These birds are the stunt-fliers of the bird world. They can fly right, left, up, down, backwards, and even upside down. Due to their constant motion, they require a lot of energy.
They are also migratory birds, spending their winters in the southern hemisphere and their summers in the northern hemisphere. Migration requires a large expenditure of energy so in late spring/early summer, get your feeders ready for hummingbird visits!
These little buzzing birds are naturally very curious and investigate new plants and objects in their territory. Their diet consists mainly of nectar from flowers but they will readily drink sugar water from a hummingbird feeder. They will not eat seed. These type of feeders are available in a variety of beautiful shapes and sizes to suit your style. Most feeders will have small ports, often shaped like flowers, in shades of red, yellow, and white. Hummingbirds are attracted to these colors since they mimic the flowers they feed from in the wild. They can feed from a perching position or while hovering so feeders are available with perches or without.
Place your feeder in a shady location, avoiding prolonged periods of direct sunlight. This will prevent your sugar water from fermenting. Sugar water can be made or bought premixed for convenience. It is a good idea to replace the water frequently, especially in hot weather. If the water gets cloudy, change it at once. This ensures a fresh, clean energy supply for your busy birds.
Hummingbirds are surprisingly territorial. Avoid placing feeders near highly reflective surfaces such as windows. Highly reflective surfaces are confusing for birds, causing them to accidentally fly into the glass or mistake the bird reflection for a rival. Place your feeder in a safe area to prevent injury. If you find yourself with a lot of little visitors, consider offering multiple feeders to prevent territorial disagreements.
For more information on how to attract hummingbirds to your feeders or my tips on feeding them, watch this video here.