Everything You Need to Know About Hummingbirds & Attracting Them to Your Yard

Bridget Mulroy

Everything you need to know to attract hummingbirds in 2022!(2ndLookGraphics/iStock)

Believe it or not, there are a lot of New Jersey and New York residents who did not know we get hummingbirds in the spring and summer seasons.

We do, and you can see videos of them in a New Jersey garden here!

By April/early May, each hummingbird makes its way back up the east coast after migrating from the South and Central Americans.

Along the east coast, Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds are most common (like the little bird from the Disney movie Pocahontas.) Toward the end of the summer/early fall, some birdwatchers and gardeners have reported seeing other species in our tristate area.

Some Facts

  • Hummingbirds weigh no more than a piece of paper.
  • There are hundreds of species of hummingbirds across the globe.
  • Their nests are small, and their eggs are no larger than jellybeans; usually in clutches of two.
  • Hummingbirds are aggressive and territorial in their feeding spots.
  • Hummingbirds are pollinating birds.
  • They can fly backward.
  • They take about 150 breaths per minute.
  • The National Park Service (NPS) reports hummingbirds’ wings beating at a rate of 10 - 15 times per second; roughly the same as their breathing rate!
  • NPS also reports “Their hearts can beat as fast as 1,260 beats per minute, which is the rate measured in a Blue-throated Hummingbird, or as slow as 50-180 beats per minute on a cold night when they experience torpor, a hibernation-like state.”
  • They sing and display their feathers to communicate with each other – and other animals.
  • Hummingbirds need to eat nectar and sugar water every 10 - 15 minutes – if they can’t find food, they will perish.
  • They enter into a sleep/trance state called torpor to conserve energy.

Birds and Blooms share research on the hummingbird metabolism from Ken Welch Jr., an associate professor at the University of Toronto, Scarborough, intricately studying the metabolism of hummingbirds. “Hummingbirds maintain a blood sugar level, even when they’re fasting, that would make your primary care physician falter.”

So you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard? The official Hummingbird Guide recommends taking the following twelve steps:

“Through many years of experience; here are our full-proof, guaranteed tips to attract hummingbirds:

  • Display as much red as possible; such as red flowers and red feeders
  • Hang red ribbons on your feeders, bushes, and trees.
  • Supply a water source.
  • Plant trees or tall shrubs as perches.
  • Hang a protein/insect feeder as a source of protein.
  • Hang more feeders to attract more hummingbirds.
  • Create distance between feeders to establish more territories.
  • Change nectar often.
  • Don't use red dyes/food coloring in homemade nectar.
  • Keep your feeders clean.
  • Deter ants with an ant moat.
  • Use bee-resistant feeders.”
A Ruby-Throated Hummingbird(Candi Foltz/Unsplash)

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