How to Create an Ideal Hummingbird Habitat

Provide safe landings and perches Hummingbirds hover, fly backward, and dash straight ahead at 20–30 mph, so they'd appreciate a place to rest.   

“Hummingbirds like to have a perch,” says Sandy Lockerman, a federally registered Harrisburg bird bander who estimates she has banded 4,000 hummingbirds in 12 years. She explains, “They'll sit and make sure nobody else is coming, watch for bugs and rest.  

Avoid Trapping Hummingbirds Perches, baths, and feeders should be kept away from garages, screened-in porches, sheds, and decks for further protection. Hummingbirds naturally fly aloft in enclosed spaces.   

“People will often find them on the floor exhausted.” Sandy suggests lifting a broom to liberate a hummingbird in an enclosed location. “It will rest on the bristles,” she explains. “Then slowly lower and take the broom outside. The bird will see a clear path and fly.”  

Serve Various Nectars Give nectar-producing plants and sugar-water feeders. Hummingbirds have alternative food source if one is unavailable. Sandy explains, “People worry about going away and their feeder going empty. I tell them hummingbirds see feeders as flowers.  

Hummingbirds will look for other flowers if the blossom dies. Sandy grows salvias, penstemons, bee balm, petunias, and jewelweed in her city. “Planting all kinds of natives in the yard is best,” she explains. “While drinking nectar, they might even grab a bug or two.”  

Avoid Pesticides in Hummingbird Habitats Sandy advises against pesticides. They diminish pests, which hummingbirds and other birds eat, and soil pesticides are absorbed into plant nectar.   

Safety Tips for Sugar-Water Feeders If situated properly, a sugar-water feeder protects hummingbirds from window strikes and predators like snakes and cats while providing great views.   

Sandy advises 6 feet from a house, 5 feet off the ground, and 15 feet from a plant or tree. Keep seed and suet feeders apart from sugar-water feeders.