The Avant-Garden Shop: Your Garden & Bird Store

Garden Gate: Episode 11 – Hummingbirds and Orioles

Hummingbird-1CHEX TV air date: Fri. May 3rd, 2013

Click here to watch this episode of??The Garden Gate.

It’s May!? The hummingbirds will be spotted any day now in our area. It’s time to get your feeders out!!

I often have customers ask me, despite being diligent about filling their feeders,?why they don’t seem to get any hummingbirds. There could be a few reasons. Here are some tips to help you out.

-choose a quality feeder that has red colour on it
-hummingbirds will not feed from feeders with insects in them, so ensure your feeder has an ant moat to keep out ants and bee guards to keep out the bees.
-avoid feeders with yellow flowers as this attracts more bees
-get your feeders out early (May 1st in our region)
-fill with sugar solution of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Ensure the sugar is dissolved. It’s not necessary to boil the water as long as the sugar dissolves.
-you may also consider a prepared mix as they often include extra?vitamins and nutrients?(like giving the birds orange juice vs. pop)
-do not use food colouring
-hang your feeder in a visble location but not the full sun
-change the liquid weekly (more often in hot weather)
-clean the feeder each time
-hang a red scarf or red flag nearby initially to attract the bird. They are highly attracted to the red.

Hummingbirds love certain types of flowers. So include a wide variety whenever possible. Here are some of my favourites to attract the hummingbirds:
Lantana, Butterfly bush, Lamium, Salvia, Trumpet vine, Morning glory, Columbine, Honeysuckle, Bee Balm, Fushia, Weigela, Petunia’s, Impatiens and even Scarlet runner beans!

orioleLike hummingbirds are attacted to red, Orioles are attracted to orange. They also drink nectar in the same concentration at the hummingbird.? So pick out a feeder similar to the one recommended above but in orange!? Orioles will also eat orange slices and grape jelly!? Feeders are available for both of these options.

Orioles are a little harder to attract and keep around. They don’t cruise through gardens as easily as the hummingbirds do.? They can be found where tall trees exist, at the edges of forests and along rivers. So not everyone can attract the oriole.

Orioles also tend to move with the bloom. So if flowers have finished blooming in your yard, the bird?may continue to move north to find more blooms to drink the nectar from.

I have been able to keep orioles in my garden but not after being very consistent about providing them with a food source. It took them about 4 years of feeding before they finally stayed for a longer period than normal. So far I have been unable to find a nest, but I have see the young at my feeder.


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