“It’s a Hum-Dinger of a time, Pinellas County! The Hummers are Coming” Scooter’s Top Five Ways to Attract Hummingbirds to Your Florida Home!
We love, love… LOVE our Hummingbirds here in Pinellas County, Florida. We often see a wide variety as they pass through and even hang around in the lower portions of the state. It’s an exciting time for wild bird watchers when they fly into town! Wild Birds Unlimited’s resident seed (and Nectar!) stealing squirrel, Scooter, has made a list of ways you can draw them to your backyard habitat… so he can indulge in that lovely, surgery sweetness! Read Scooter’s tips and then sit back and enjoy the show as Florida’s Hummingbird migration starts this month!
Make your Florida Backyard Habitat Hummingbird-Friendly:
While Hummers will gratefully use artificial feeders filled with Wild Birds Unlimited Nectar, Hummingbird-friendly plants offer an extra food source via insects as well as a secure and comfortable resting spot for perching between feeding times. Some plants recommended by the Florida Extension offices via the University of Florida for use with Hummers include: Wild Azalea, Red Star Hibiscus and the Butterfly Bush. Providing plants nearby feeding areas and habitat displays offer shelter, food and perching opportunities for Hummers as they travel through the state.
Keep Calm and Just Feed:
Apart from their docile appearance, Hummers are actually quite territorial. Because of this, juveniles or less aggressive hummers will often avoid feeding when adult or other “tougher” Hummers are nearby. To ensure all Hummer visitors have a chance to feed and rest, separate a few small habitat areas at least 10 feet apart. WBU Clearwater suggests using its Advanced Pole System, available accessories, and feeders arranged throughout an area to create individual spots where all Hummers may feed unhindered by territorial clashes. Plants can be hung on the many APS accessory options along with Wild Birds Unlimited’s Nectar Feeders, perfect for Hummingbird dietary needs.
Keep it Clean:
Hummers are a fastidious bunch. They like their nectar, food and surroundings neat and clean and tidy. Because of this, Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor recommends cleaning Hummer feeders weekly. Replace nectar each week or when it appears cloudy or fermented as can happen easily in Florida’s hot and humid climate. Avoid placing nectar Hummingbird feeders in direct sunlight as this can create bacterial growth which can quickly spoil a nectar solution.
Ants and other sweet-toothed insects are habitual users of Hummingbird feeders. WBU Clearwater/Safety Harbor suggests their High-Perch Hummingbird Feeder which has a built-in moat to prevent ants and other insects from entering the nectar cavity. Other home-grown tricks include oiling the rods or hanging wires. While this may work to trap or keep bugs from the nectar feeder, it can also cause harm to your visiting hummers as the oil could easily rub onto the bird’s feathers and prevent them from flying properly. Because of this, WBU Clearwater/Safety Harbor does not recommend using this method. Another great way to help avoid unwanted nectar pests while enjoying an up-close view of Florida’s Hummingbirds would be to use Wild Birds Unlimited’s Decorative Window Feeder. These feeders come with heavy-duty suction cups which attach to your home’s window offering convenient cleaning and uninterrupted views of your visiting Hummingbirds. Ants and other insects would find it difficult to traverse the glass and your Hummers can feed from fresh, neat and clean nectar as they please.
Did you know that spider webs can entrap a hummingbird and other small birds? Believe it or not, they can! Since Hummer feeders attract a variety of insects, spiders often take advantage of this broad activity and will build their webs close to a nectar feeder. While Hummingbirds do use spider web silk for nesting materials, they can become entangled and injured in the sticky threads when the webs are not easily seen near their feeders. To avoid this, make regular checks around your Hummingbird habitats and sweep away any webs that may cause injury. The silk can be collected and placed, harmlessly, on plants or trees near the feeders where the Hummers may use it as needed.
Hummingbirds offer Florida’s wild bird watchers a variety of fun and exciting views of their beauty and unique wild bird habits. For more information on how you can attract Hummingbirds to your Florida backyard habitat, enjoy the video below on choosing the right feeders from Wild Birds Unlimited in Clearwater/Safety Harbor!
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