(Family Features) Blessed with the ability to fly forward, backward and upside down, hummingbirds are just as graceful as they are beautiful. They can also be fun to watch as they hover and flit around plants or feeders, sipping nectar to their heart's content.
Hummingbirds imbibe three to five times per day in gardens throughout North America. Entice these amazing winged creatures with brightly-colored flowers that bloom early in the spring. Then select flowering plants, bushes and vines that bloom throughout summer and into early fall. Among their favorites flowers are:
- Trumpet Creeper
- Butterfly Bush
- Bee Balm
Bright flowers are what lure hummingbirds into your garden, not the fragrance. In fact, they have no sense of smell. Red flowers are notorious for attracting these creatures but they also love purple, white, orange, pink and blue.
Once you've attracted their attention, it's important to keep them happy, healthy and fed. Avoid spraying insecticides on your hummingbird garden, it can sicken or kill them. Hummingbirds also need the added protein of the small insects.
A few bright blossoms are an excellent way to lure hummingbirds to a feeder. Simply fill the feeder with a mixture of 1/2 cup white sugar with two cups water, then stir vigorously until all of the sugar is dissolved. Any unused mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. If the solution in the feeder turns cloudy, it's time replace it.
Thoroughly clean your feeder each time it's refilled. Combine 1/2 cup vinegar with two cups water, and then use the concoction to scrub the feeding ports. Pour the remaining mixture into the feeder and shake vigorously until clean. A bottle brush may be used, if necessary. Allow to dry thoroughly before refilling.
Once you have the flowers planted and feeder filled, you can sit back and wait for the hummingbirds to fill your garden.