First published: April 4, 2011 in GardeningLast Updated: March 5, 2012 8:03 am Tough to read? Print this! Email This
These little creatures were first discovered by Spanish explorers who called them “joyas voladoras” – translation: “flying jewels”. They are really something else – beautiful to watch and admire. But they are a whole lot more than just one of nature’s wonders. Their physical capabilities are truly amazing. They can migrate at least 2000 miles from their breeding grounds to their wintering grounds. And can you believe that hummingbird can actually cross the Gulf of Mexico? If you think about it, it is astounding, that something that small can actually fly 500 miles without rest.
Here are a few interesting facts about these beautiful birds and some of their most common species:
- If you were to compare hummingbird’s energy to humans, you would learn that a hovering hummingbird has an energy output per unit weight ten times that of a person running 9 miles per hour. If a person was to do the same amount of work per unit of weight, he or she would expend 40 horsepower.
- Hummingbirds are like bees – they carry pollen from one plant to another while they are feeding. And one single bird can visit 1000 – 2000 blossoms in a day.
Here are some the most common species:
How to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Garden:
All you have to do is to remember that hummingbirds will stop to drink, so by providing plants rich in nectar, plus a source of shade and water, you will witness hummingbirds hovering around your garden regularly.
While they are mostly attracted to tubular blooms. they also love orange, pink and yellow blooms. And single blooms will provide easier access to the nectar than multiple blooms.
Hummingbirds are not continously flying – they like to rest as well, so shrubs and trees will give them a place to rest and to nest as well.
They need eight times their body weight in water on daily basis, so a small garden fountain with a small spray nozzle of a dripper near your flower bed will attract them.
They are also very territorial – while the male establishes the territory first, females will chase intruders away from their plants or feeders. Remembering that, you should plants your hummingbird-attracting plants in various parts of your garden to allow the birds their own spaces.
You can fill a feeder with simple sugar syrup – but never use honey, brown sugar, artificial sweeteners or food colourings. To mix your own syrup, mix one-quarter to one-third cup of granulated sugar with one cup of water. Bring to boil and let cool before filling your feeder. The more feeders you provide, the happier hummingbirds will be!
I’ll be looking forward to your feedback and ideas. Do you have any tips, tricks or techniques that you’ve used to attract and keep hummingbirds in your garden?