I put a hummingbird feeder in my front yard by my Lavatera plant, which I'm told attracts hummingbirds, & so far I haven't seen a single hummingbird. It's been out there since the 1st of July. What am I doing wrong?
You are doing nothing wrong except being understandably impatient. =) It can take a month or more for that first hummer to find your new feeder. Some have reported good luck with bright surveyor's tape tied or taped to the feeder. Your neighbors may think you're crazy, but if it gets the hummers there quicker, who cares?
You might also consider some more hummingbird attracting plants...the more, the better. The link below has some good suggestions. By the way, lavatera is not a plant I've heard as especially attractive to hummers (although I haven't heard that it's not, either). Sort of like hibiscus or Rose of Sharon, which works great for some and not so good for others. So more tubular-shaped flowers may help. Other than that...patience and vigilance. Good luck!
Here is a link that might be useful: Attracting Hummingbirds
Thanks for the advice mbuckmaster. I also read that if you put some chunks of peeled bananas on a plate & set it outside, it will attract fruit flies, in turn attracting the hummers because they love to eat fruit flies. So far, nothing, but I'm going to be patient like you said. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day, right? I'm also going to try some of the surveyor's tape you were mentioning. I hear these little creatures are attracted to the color red. I thought about putting a red scarf on the feeder.
And, no I don't care what the neighbors think. One of my neighbors has a helicopter in his driveway. Need I say more? Have a GREAT DAY!!
Got any red gift-wrapping ribbon left over from xmas? Tie a piece to the feeder and let the ends flutter in the breeze... worked great at my mom's house.
I have heard of someone painted their wooden bench a nice red and putting it in the garden. Now that would be a nice big eyecatcher to a hummingbird.
I also read somewhere where you could put up a flat feeder and place (I heard watermelon) on it and it attracts those flies too, which is where hummingbirds get their protein from and need.
Maybe try one of those nice little misters too. Butterflies also like them.
Hi to you all,
I have so enjoyed reading the wonderful posts on this site. This is my first time to post and I have lost my heart to hummers but haven't very much knowledge. This was the first year of observing them and feeding them. You see, I live in Corpus Christ, Texas in an apartment without a yard, of course. I put one feeder out, made my own nectar with 1:4 ratio sugar cane and water. I simmered it for 10 mins. as suggested and thought," oh well, if they come, great and if not, no big deal". Well,come they did!! In April, when they arrived there were as many as 16 trying to a sip, while 4 sat at the feeder! My heart soared and I bought 2 more feeders. Who can believe such a miracle of color, detail and fearlessness in one tiny creature! I went through a time of seeing many everyday and then a sparse amount came for a time and then none. I was brokenhearted until I researched and discovered that when the flowers are in full bloom and/or when nesting, they will appear less frequently. I was disappointed until about 3 weeks ago when they came back to feast at my balcony once more. I have Blackchins and Rubys for sure, and some that have defied identification. They have grown accustomed to seeing me and if you can believe it, the little blackchins will even come up to patio door and peer in at me as I sit at the computer. I have tried photographing them but they "fuss" at me so much that I've given that a rest for now and decided just to enjoy them. Well, anyhow,(sorry this is so long) today I held one of the feeders at dusk and placed my hands on the perches and the most wonderful thing happened. Although they would not land on my hands, they hovered so close to my fingers that their wings touched my fingers and then would circle in back of me and brush the back of my head! I have a tear on my cheek and a lump in throat even now. Oh how I love these babies! Now, I have a question. I will be moving in a month to a new location, near Houston to teach. What will become of these little guys? I am so worried about how they will fare without my feeders. Anyone who help me with this question, please.
Thanks so Much,
Pam in Corpus Christi
Hi, Pam, I wouldn't worry. Animals in the wild don't rely on a single source of food, so your hummers will just move on to other feeding grounds.
I wasnt familiar with lavatera , had to look it up dont think it is a good attractor of hummers. As far as the feeders go yes be patient, all of the above suggestions are good ones, but Im leaving a link to show you some of the better attracting hummer type plants. These are all good but one plant that I addd to my yard this year that has been a hummer favorite is agastache tutti fruitti. Usually any tubular or trumpet shaped flowers.
Heres one view of this 4ft hummer magnet tutti fruitti
in this shot you see black an blue on the left and coral nymph on right all hummer attractors
Here is a link that might be useful: hummer plants
Welcome Pam! Thanks for sharing your story. If you're consistent about putting your hands near the feeders, they will eventually perch on your fingers. And if you wear a red shirt or hat, you will have many more close encounters as well. Bring your feeders to Houston when you move to help those hummers out too. Enjoy them, and welcome to the hummingbird fanatic club!