Tips and tricks to attract hummingbirds and orioles to your garden

Tips and tricks to attract hummingbirds and orioles to your garden

purple flowersBy Brenda Ibey, The Avant-Garden Shop

On a recent episode of The Garden Gate (Airing bi-weekly on CHEX and also uploaded to YouTube) I offer a few tips about hummingbirds and some tricks to help you attract them!

A hummingbird flaps its wings up to 70 times per second; its heart rate can reach 1,260 beats per minute.

Hummingbirds can extend their long, skinny tongues twice as far as the bill, which helps them reach nectar deep inside flowers.

Their tongues dart in and out of flowers at 15-20 times per second

When it comes to making up the nectar, do not use honey or sweeteners.  Just plain white sugar. Boil some water and add the sugar at a ratio of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Let cool then put the sugar mix in your feeder. Extra nectar can be kept in the fridge.  Change the liquid every 3-4 days. More often in hot weather.  If black spots appear on your feeder or in the liquid, that’s mold and it needs to be cleaned well. Use hot water to clean and a drop or two of bleach if the mold is serious. Rinse well with water.

Place your feeders near flowers that they like. Hanging geraniums, honeysuckle, fuchsia, coral bells, bee balm, morning glory. The list goes on. You can also add a red scarf or flag to attract. But once they find your feeders those can be removed. They won’t forget where your feeders are.

The feeder should be hung in part shade and out of the wind. Among the flowers is best.

Hummers are very territorial and will protect a feeder from other hummers. Place 2-3 feeder around your home in different spots out of sight of each other. The male can’t defend all of them at the same time.

Get your feeders out about a week before you expect them to return. There is a better chance they’ll stay if you get it out early enough. First reports received here at the shop were on May 3rd.

Make sure the feeder is easy to clean, that they keep ants out and also wasps. We have ant moats and bee guards plus leak proof feeders that are guaranteed for life.

Oriole are quite similar to hummingbirds. They drink nectar but also like orange halves and grape jelly.  The grape jelly cannot have any artificial sweetener in it. So only the best!

Orioles are attracted to orange just like hummers are attracted to red. Often you’ll see the orioles when the apple trees are blooming.  If they find a good reliable food source they may stay and nest but most often they continue to fly north with the blooming of the apples. Look for their nests in the trees. It like a big long tangle of sticks and moss. They also can disappear when they are nesting so don’t give up. They may shop up just when you take the feeder away!

We have a large selection of hummingbird and oriole feeders to choose from. Pop by the shop for some helpful advice to choose one for your garden.

Visit our YouTube channel to watch this episode.