My friend Karyl at Native Plant Wildlife Gardeners is already seeing Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in her Georgia garden. Lucky her!
But no matter where you live in the country, the time is soon approaching when you’ll see the return of these birds, too.
How to Know When to Expect Hummingbirds in your Wildlife Garden
There’s a great resource for watching the hummingbirds on their northern journey so that you’ll be prepared for their arrival to your Ecosystem Garden.
They’ve got a great map tracking the northern movement of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird
They’ve got species accounts for all of the most common North American species.
Another great resource is Journey North, where people enter their sightings of many northern bound species.
How to Attract Hummingbirds to your Wildlife Garden
The best resources for attracting hummers to your wildlife garden are written by hummingbird expert Sheri Williamson:
Planting a Hummingbird garden is your best bet when you want to attract these flying jewels. Contact your local native plant society for a list of the most appropriate native plants for the hummingbirds of your area.
You want to plan for a succession of blooms to last from Spring through early fall.
Here’s just a few native plants that I’ve got in my hummingbird garden in addition to my feeders:
- Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
- Lonicera sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle) [Beware invasive Japanese Honeysuckle!]
- Monarda fistulosa (Bee Balm)
- Aquilegia canadensis (Columbine)
- Various Salvias
The characteristic common to these plants is that they are red with tubular flowers, and many hummers are attracted to this type of flower.
These delicate birds feed their young a wide variety of insects. Pesticide spraying can be very detrimental to these nestlings and should be avoided at all costs.