You’ll probably hear a hummingbird before you see it, making noise like a very large bee. The ruby throated hummingbird may look delicate as it hovers among the flowers, but this amazing 1/4-ounce bird completes a migratory flight of nearly 2,000 miles from its breeding grounds in the eastern United States and Canada to the Jacksonville area where it winters. Some go another 600 miles over the Gulf of Mexico to Central America! To attract hummingbirds, flowers evolved bright colors and stand out from the plant’s leaves, so hummers can easily hover over them. Hummingbirds favor flowers that are red or orange, tubular and full of dilute nectar. If you hang a banana peel or half an orange nearby, you’ll also attract fruit flies that they love to eat.

See the plant list below. Attracting this delightful bird to your yard will provide you with hours of entertainment watching the acrobatics of this energetic little bird as he hovers in mid air to feed from your plants or feeders. Set up a birdbath with a mister. The hummingbirds will fly through the mist to cool off.
Do not use pesticide in your garden because that will kill the small bugs that hummingbirds eat for protein.

Feeders are more work than plants: mix 1/4 cup of plain table sugar with 1 cup of boiling water. Boiling the water assures you that all sugar crystals will be completely dissolved. Using red dye can harm them. Once hummingbirds have found the feeder, the color is not important. They will happily drink nectar that is clear colored as long as you have some red ribbon hanging there and usually the feeder is red. Allow to cool completely before filling and hanging outside. Hang in shaded areas near shrubs or bushes that will provide shelter for the hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are territorial and will fight to claim their food source. Check the feeder daily and fill whenever necessary. Generally, you should clean and refill your feeder on a weekly basis. Simply wash with one part white vinegar plus four parts water and add dry rice to scrub.  Use a bottle brush to remove traces of black mold in the base or in corners. Use a toothbrush to clean the yellow sippers.

     
If you have birds running into your windows, go to www.windowalert.com and for $7 you can get decals for your windows that are very noticeable to birds, not so to humans.

Plant list * denotes native
Vines
Bignonia capreolata/Cross Vine*
Campsis radicans/Trumpet Vine*
Lonicera sempervirens/Coral Honeysuckle*

Perennials
Agastache Aquilegia canadensis/Columbine*
Coleus
Dicliptera suberecta/Hummingbird Plant
Echinacea purpurea/Coneflower*
Erythrina herbacea/Coralbean*
Fuchsia
Hibiscus coccineus/Scarlet Hibiscus*
Ipomopsis rubra/Standing Cypress*
Jatropha integerrima/Coral Plant
Lantana depressa*
Lobelia cardinalis/Cardinal Flower*
Monarda punctata/Dotted Horsemint*
Odontonema cuspidatum/Firespike
Penstemon/Beard-tongue
Ruellia elegans
Salvia coccinea/Red Sage*
Salvia greggii, elegans, leucantha and other salvias
Silene regia/Royal Catchfly*

Shrubs
Buddleia/Butterfly Bush
Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’/Summersweet*

Trees
 Aesculus pavia/Red Buckeye*
Cercis canadensis/Redbud*
Liriodendron tulipifera/Tulip Tree*
Malus angustifolia/Southern Crabtree*

 

 


 


Darrows Blueberry

 


Cardinal Flower
 

 


Fringe Tree


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