Saturday, March 12, 2011

Part II: Inviting Sweetness: Create a Garden to Feast On

Building a Hummingbird Habitat is fun and produces long-lasting results. You will enjoy frequent visits from these marvelous little birds. That's not all. You will find yourself amidst a variety of nature's other birds, bees, and butterflies who will be willing to share part of their lives and journey with you.

Larger birds may dart down to your feeder or flowers to gather their daily nourishment and then jet back to the location of their nests, making it easier for you to spot where they are staying for the season. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, come from mysterious places, it seems. But, because their nests are so tiny, you may not notice one that is in plain view!

I already have planted some perennial blooming plants in my garden that will naturally attract the Hummingbirds found in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York. And, after conducting my study about them, I have found flowering plants to list for you if you would like to start your own Hummingbird Habitat
    Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)Bee Balm
  • Salvia (Salvia spp.)
  • Foxglove
  • Impatiens
  • Red morning glory (Ipomoea spp.)
  • Trumpet creeper
  • Lilac
  • Forsythia
  • Hollyhock (Alcea rosea)
  • Jewelweed
  • Buddleia
  • Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)
  • Bee Balm also known as Bergomot
  • Scarlet Sage (Salvia splendens)

Foxglove comes in many colors

Many plants pollinated by hummingbirds produce flowers in shades of red, orange, and bright pink. These plants may bloom in the shade, partial sun, or very sunny areas. They may be lower to the ground or on vines. Hummers prefer trumpet types flowering shapes that are usually hanging for easy access to their sickle-like bills.

 Most insects that compete for food with
Hummingbirds cannot see the colors that the birds do.  Hummingbirds can see wavelengths into the near-ultraviolet. So flowers that are mostly pollinated by Hummingbirds are relatively inconspicuous to most insects, which leaves plenty of nectar for hummers. Hummingbird-pollinated flowers also produce a greater concentration of sugars, sometimes higher than 25% sucrose rather than the fructose flowers that insects gravitate to.

It may take a year or two of your time and some patience to develop a lovely Hummingbird Habitat. However, there will be no more interesting spot in your garden than this special place. If you can manage to locate it right outside of a window you will be able to watch all of God's beautiful creatures just steps away. Perhaps I will create mine near my kitchen window at 1922 Starkey House Bed & Breakfast.

This YouTube video show how one man got a Hummer to eat right from his hand through an open window!

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