We have learned that there are some steps you can take that will help to attract hummingbirds to choose your home as their nesting place.
Mix the Hummingbird Solution Correctly
Mixing a solution that will attract hummingbirds to come back to you is important. I use a 4 parts water to 1 part sugar ratio. I put all in a pan together and bring to a boil, then move off the eye to cool (you can put in fridge to cool if in a hurry). Do not use raw sugar (the iron is higher and hard to digest), honey or artificial sweeteners. We have learned, if you want them to choose your place as their feeding station you must feed them what they prefer or they will "shop around" at the neighbors feeders to see if they can find something better.
Clean the Hummingbird Feeder Regularly
Attracting hummingbirds doesn't just happen because we put out sugar water. They are picky, just like us! Every Saturday I pour out any water left in the feeder and replace with new, fresh sugar water. When doing that, it is always a good idea to clean the feeder. It gets dirty pretty quickly and making a habit of cleaning each week will help. They will choose a clean feeder over a dirty one, so washing regularly will help. We use a mild detergent, warm water and a brush. Takes 5 minutes.
Plant Flowers the Hummingbirds Like
Bee Balm, Honey Suckle, Fuchsia, Columbine (Crimson, Sierra, or Fragrant), and many others are good choices for hummingbirds. We have Columbine on our porch and Bee Balm below the porch. They also love buzzing around our Hosta's when they are in bloom. The Hummingbird Society is a great resource and has a page dedicated to favorite flowers of the hummingbird. The good news is they seem to prefer beautiful flowers, so you get to enjoy them also!
We would love to hear from you on your tips for attracting hummingbirds. Share with us in the comment section below.