Dancing To a Hummer's Tune by Ken & Paula Korber
Left - Gartenmeister Fuschia
Right - Red Penta
Gartenmeister Fuschia is a particular favorite and the only fuschia tolerant of the sun. We offer this in multiple locations. For best results, place in partly sunny areas.
That winter, my husband found an amazing video...hummingbirds flocking to feeders. Wow! The next spring we added additional feeders, more hanging baskets, red bee balm, and cardinal flowers to our back yard. We sat back to watch the show...Yes, well, we did manage to attract additional hummingbirds to our yard. We also turned our sweet little hummer into a dive-bombing kamikaze.
We learned a few things from watching our guests. If you add enough food, your yard will become "hummer worthy". A hummer-worthy yard draws the attention of one dominant male, perhaps an additional male to challenge the reigning king, and a few females that are there to annoy, distract and outwit as many males as possible. They all have the same goal, eat, so that they can make it to their winter homes. They prefer not to share and will try to guard food. Your yard is now an arena for a mixed up game of tag and hide-&-seek. Doesn't matter that there is enough food for all, doesn't matter that they may not even like everything you offer. If your dominant male can protect all, he will. Other hummers will try to out-fly, outsmart and out-eat him.
|Black & Blue Salvia (annual)|
Help Them Reach Their Winter Homes
You can help by planting. They are drawn to flowers that are red, orange and tubular. Once in your yard, they will start to investigate all you offer. Color will not matter, tubular flower shape will always be important. Plant in multiple areas so that there are opportunities for several hummers to feed. Use any and all food sources. We use native plants when possible and non-native to extend their choices. Hanging baskets, pots and whiskey barrels are filled with annuals to provide variety and a consistent food source. We also offer feeders for transients who need a quick shot of energy. If there is ample food and opportunity, transients will stay to rebuild strength before continuing home.
Advertise Food Availability
|Salvia, Firecrackers and Million Bells|
Plant Favorites in Multiple Locations
|Young Native Trumpet Honeysuckle Vine (Lonicera Sempervirens)|
|Native Red Trumpet Vine (Campsis Radicans)|
Non-Invasive Butterfly Bush & Native Cardinal Flower
You'll find that many plants do double or even triple duty. Hummingbirds will sample plants chosen specifically for butterflies. Butterflies will sample hummingbird favorites, and bees, bees are all over everything!
You wouldn't care to have the same meal every day. Offer the same diversity to your guests. What you attract to your yard may surprise you.
Our dominant male continues to be creative when selecting his guard perches. Other hummers are just as resourceful when choosing feeding locations. Meanwhile, my husband and I have learned to relax. We do the best we can with food choices and their placement and leave the hummers to work it out on their own. We have started to notice feeders and hummingbird-friendly plants being added to neighboring yards. That makes us smile and we are willing to share. We're no longer the only ones dancing to a hummingbird's tune.
|See You Next Spring!!!|
It's sad to see the hummingbirds leave in the fall.
Don't worry, if you've been a gracious host, they'll return next spring