Hummingbirds for Back Yard Fun!
August is the peak season for the
ruby-throated hummingbirds on the east coast. The best way to attract
hummingbirds to your yard is to plant flowers that hummingbirds like and to put
up hummingbird feeders.
To make the nectar for the feeder add 4
parts water and 1 part sugar. We use ¼ c. sugar and 1 c. water. Change often
during heat spells. You can obtain a feeder at most garden centers.
The best plants for hummingbirds are red
cardinal flowers , bee balm, trumpet vines, impatiens, spider plants, red
salvia, honeysuckle, fuscia and petunias. I have also seen hummingbirds on
foxgloves, lilies, hollyhocks, azaleas and hibiscus. Their tubular bill and
long tongue make these plants preferable. Hummingbirds are drawn to the color
red. They also eat spiders and insects and like the mist of sprinklers.
In August they eat a lot to double their
body weight for the flight down south. We usually get our first hummingbirds
around April 25th in Cape May County, NJ and the last one we have
seen as late as October 1st. They seem to disappear during the
nesting time in June. Hummingbirds are seen more often near wooded areas than
at the seashore.
Hummingbirds are fascinating and their
wings rotate up to 80 times per second. The male hummingbird is green with a
metallic red throat and the female is green with a white throat. They are the
only bird that can hover and go in reverse.