March 25, 2016
Hummingbirds – The Flying Jewels
For centuries, gardeners have been fascinated with the beauty and aerobatics of Hummingbirds. They tiniest of all birds, Hummingbirds weigh in at less than an ounce and are only three inches long. Their brightly colored, iridescent feathers and quick movements make them appear as living sun catchers giving them the quintessential nickname, Flying Jewels.
Hummingbirds have the unique ability to fly in any direction, even backward, with their wings beating up to a blurring 80 beats per second. Plus, they can hover in midair when sipping nectar from their favorite drinking spots. Spotting a Hummingbird in your backyard is certainly a treat. Luckily for us, they are beginning their migration North for the season so it’s perfect time to create a friendly environment in your backyard and landscape for these Flying Jewels.
The key to attracting Hummingbirds to your yard is to plant enough flowers to provide a habitat that will give them shade, shelter, food, and security. Herbs, flowering shrubs, dwarf trees, and vines can all be used to create an ideal tiered habitat. It’s important to provide enough space between plants to give the Hummingbirds the opportunity to hove and navigate from flower to flower.
Hummingbirds lack a keen sense of smell and rely on right colors to find their food. They are particularly fond of the color red, and most read-to-use nectar and feeders are this hue. If you want to use flowers to attract your Hummingbirds, brightly colored flowers with a tubular shape hold the most nectar. Here’s a proven list of plants, which attract Hummingbirds: When possible, choose varieties in red and orange shades.
Originally Published in the Spring 2013 issue of Picket Fences