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Attracting Hummingbirds to your Backyard Wildlife Habitat

From the National Wildlife Federation

Tiny, iridescent hummingbirds can be an exciting addition to your backyard wildlife habitat. If hummingbirds live in your area, you can attract them by planting red, tubular flowers. There are many red-flowered plants to choose from. Over 160 native, North American plants depend exclusively on hummingbirds for pollination. Many of the red-flowered annuals, perennials, vines, and shrubs available from mail order sources or local garden centers have been developed from the native red-flowered plants of the western hemisphere.

Here is a list of some of the plants that most successfully attract hummingbirds:

  • Trumpet honeysuckle
  • Trumpet-creeper
  • Cardinal-flower
  • Scarlet penstemon
  • Scarlet morning-glory
  • Cypress vine
  • Scarlet paintbrush
  • Scarlet salvia
  • Bee-balm
  • Fire pink
  • Scarlet petunia
  • Red buckeye
  • Geiger tree
  • Scarletbush
  • Coral bells

As a supplementary source of food, hummingbird feeders can be hung in your Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Many types of feeders are available and all should be filled with a boiled solution of four parts water to one part white refined sugar or a commercial "nectar" mix. Do not use honey solutions in feeders as they may produce a fungal disease fatal to hummingbirds. Sugar water feeders should be cleaned every three to five days using a brush and a mild detergent solution. Rinse well.


National Wildlife Federation
1400 Sixteenth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-2266

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Last Updated: April 25, 1997: mgfx@mgfx.com
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