No matter where in North America you live, you have a good chance of hosting hummingbirds in your yard. Some regions are real hot spots like the Southwest, which boasts more than 20 species while other areas, such as the Great Plains and locales east of the Mississippi, may see only a single species, the reliable ruby-throated hummingbird. Most of the 339 hummingbird species stick to Central and South America (and the islands off those coasts). Some species, particularly the rufous hummingbird, are rapidly changing their habits and expanding their range; the rufous now winters regularly in the South and may show up at feeders just about anywhere in North America.

The good news is that hummingbirds stray far and wide (and fast: up to 50 miles per hour in a tailwind), so if you prepare a welcoming garden, you are likely to have a visitor. Here are a few ways to say, “Come on in!”

SERVE UP SWEETS

Flower nectar is Mother Nature’s version of sugar water, and hummingbirds love it right from the flower and served up in feeders. For the jaw-dropping experience of seeing these birds at close range, put up a nectar feeder close to a window. You can even get the kind that sticks to your window with suction cups. Continue reading “Make hummingbirds feel at home”