Although my book gives many ideas on how to attract hummingbirds, I want to give you a brief word of advice on the most impactful way to attract them to your garden. Of course, if you put a feeder up in your yard, at some point you will attract a hummingbird. But to give yourself a greater advantage here is one key thing to remember. Don't place a hummingbird feeder in the location where YOU see it, place multiple feeders in locations where they can see it. When hummingbirds are flying around looking for food, they don't look in every nook and cranny trying to find it. They are opportunistic. They are visual. They see targets and they fly to them. Here's the key - place feeders and flowers in open locations. Place them on all four sides of your home. Make them visible from every direction.
Now think about this - if you walked past your home from all sides, would you spot flowers and feeders? Hummingbirds don't fly to the tight spots looking for hidden treasures. They see targets and they are attracted to them. Once they spot one of your feeders, you should have a connecting feeder in clear sight of that one. Now continue this with all of your feeders. Each one should be connected to another, but not all grouped in one spot. If you have your feeders in one cluster, you'll often times get one dominant male taking over all of them. This applies primarily to the Spring mating season.
If you follow these simple guidelines, I promise you the numbers will increase. When a hummingbird has multiple choices condensed into a small territory, there is little reason for them to move on to another territory.
Here is Ziggy, my dominant male. He has a choice of 10 feeders within his territory. He frequently checks each one of them out, but because they are spread out over a larger area, it has allowed multiple other birds to sneak in for a drink without always been seen.
Adult male Ruby-throat hummingbird. May 26, 2018. N.E. of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.