Every region has a flower that produces exceptional results when it comes to hummingbird sightings. When we first started creating our hummingbird garden we planted anything and everything. It looked fantastic, but the hummingbirds always reverted back to their favorites. The variety of colors and types of flowers were a huge attraction for any hummingbird that flew within half a mile of our place. It was any hummingbird's dream, until they showed up. Many flowers would be sampled, but they always chose their favorites, so 90 percent of the flowers would go untouched by them.
It was after researching types of flowers and how many times they'd return to each type that I decided to cut down on the variety and go serious with the favorites. I'm down to about 8 annuals and perennials that I've gone heavy with. Other types remain in small numbers, but with the favorites, they get planted in masses around the yard. I've densely planted larger islands of flowers, all Delphiniums in several, Hostas in others and so on. They will go from island to island, and with the quantities in each, it keeps them busy for long periods of time without having to move around so frequently. With larger large quantities of their favorites, it makes it worth while for "non-feeder feeding juvies" to make the special trip to my garden. For the youngsters that don't yet know feeders, we have to make it worth while with large quantities of alternate food sources. Only one or two flower favorites forces them to expend more energy than what they gain from those few flowers. Speaking from a survival point, repeatedly flying to locations with few food choices would become fatal. Give them multiple reasons to return, and they will.
Here is a closeup of a young Ruby-throat feeding from an all-time favorite in my region of the country. This is a Delphinium(Hardy zone 2 Perennial).
N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. August 2017
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.