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Inviting Hummingbirds to Your Garden

Tips on how to attract these tiny beauties to your yard

        One of the first signs of spring is seeing more birds flying around. The prettiest and the smallest of those birds is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are common in southeast Michigan, but they are only seasonal visitors visiting the area during the warmer months. That's because they like to feed on blossoming flowers and nectars. When it's cold here, the fly south, but around the end of April and beginning of May they make the journey here, flying from the Gulf of Mexico for almost 24 hours straight, flying thirty to forty miles per hour and with their hearts beating 1200 beats per minute. So by the time they get to Michigan they very hungry, even though they only weigh as much as a U.S. penny. 

      If you want to take advantage of these tiny birds Laurel Zoet from our friends at Wild Birds Unlimited, will guide you. First, Zoet suggests, is to get a hummingbird feeder. This is a circular disk with a few feeding holes. In the feeder, you should put a sugar water mixture that mimics the nectar hummingbirds like. Zoet said the mixture should be four parts water one part granulated sugar. Don't worry about the placement of the feeder. Hummingbirds can't actually walk because most of their weight is in their chest, but Zoet's say they can scoot into position and will scoot to the feeder hole on your feeder. 

       You can also use your hummingbird feeders to attract baltimore orioles. Baltimore orioles are small birds, although slightly larger than hummingbirds, that are black and orange. They, just like hummingbirds,  also like nectar and will also eat jams and fruits. Zoet says that If you want to feed orioles, fill your feeders with jelly or little pieces of fruit instead of sugar water.  You can also get an oriole feeder.  Those come in two parts which will allow you to put jelly in the bottom part and fruit or nectar in the top part . Zoet recommends the jelly, Birdberry Jelly, because it's all natural, has no corn sweeteners, is nice and thick, and contains pieces of fruit.  

      No matter what bird you are trying to attract, Zoet recommends to  pair your feeders with hanging plants, perches or swings.  Hummingbirds spend 80% of their time perched because they have a fast metabolism and they need to conserve energy and guard their food source. It will help also prolong your hummingbird viewing experience.

If you have questions about setting up your hummingbird garden, visit Wild Birds Unlimited. They have have several locations throught southeast Michigan and you can find those at https://www.wbu.com/metrodetroit/ 

This article is sponsored by Wild Birds Unlimited.