Country living certainly has its rewards. Fresh air, wide open spaces and the peaceful sound of nature can fill up our senses and create within us a euphoria that keeps us returning to natural surroundings. Just about every one of us desires the need to hike down a mountain trail, wade a peaceful stream, or just sit quietly and observe nature.
Unfortunately, many people seldom get the opportunity, but this shouldn't stop us from bringing a bit of the country into our own backyards. We don't need acres of land to create a perfect natural oasis. We just need a few of the necessities to interest the birds enough to have them want to stick around our garden.
First, consider the size of your garden. The smaller space you have, the more you should limit yourself to the necessary features. Greenery is necessary for birds to escape predators and the heat of the day. A water feature means survival. Food sources will keep them returning multiple times in a day, and flowers attract insects and produce pollen and nectar, and are absolutely necessary for a hummingbird garden.
It's an absolute certainty that birds will return repeatedly to a location that contains all of these necessary requirements for birds to survive. Even in small spaces, consider using every square inch of soil to plant only the favorites of hummingbirds. Give them a reason to keep returning. If you only have one or two plants that provide nectar, it won't be that memorable for a hummingbird that plans it's daily course around valuable food sources. And with the arrival of hummingbirds in Spring, don't forget hummingbird feeders. Every adult hummingbird knows their value, and will remember its location for the years. If you can attract and maintain a local population of hummingbirds, I can guarantee you that they will use your feeders throughout their daily schedule.
Don't think that you can't create a small and valuable space for birds right in the city. A water feature, food sources, and shelter are what birds look for.
Hummingbird Hideaway, N.E. of Edmonton, 2016.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.