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How to Attract Hummingbirds

A hummingbird eats at a feeder.
T Goebel/Shutterstock.com

Warmer weather means the return of hummingbirds, and if you’re someone who loves watching them flit and fly around, you’re not alone. Having hummingbirds in your yard is great for bird watching, and as pollinators, they can help your garden. But, how can you attract hummingbirds safely?

A combination of color, flowers, and a few helpful hacks can make it easy to bring all the birds to your yard—no milkshakes required.

Plant Red Flowers

Red tubular flowers/Firecracker plant
Ian Peter Morton/Shutterstock.com

Almost any bright red flower will attract hummingbirds, but red flowers with a tubular shape are the best for easy pollination. Tube-shaped flowers like the Firecracker plant and Tall Verbena are perfect for the long beaks of hummers, allowing them to get sweet nectar from deep within the flower.

You don’t have to plant red flowers solely, but it’s a color that hummingbirds see very well and associate with the fuel they need to keep up their energy levels.

Psukhai Watering Can for Indoor Plants

Keep your flowers happy and healthy with a daily dose of water.

Offer Sugar Water

Hummingbird sips from a feeder.

Sugar and water in the right feeder are really the only ingredients you need to attract and feed hummingbirds.

These flighty, flitting creatures need to eat pretty much constantly to keep moving. So, they’re always seeking out food, and if you provide sugar water, you’re giving them an easy meal! They can actually smell it out, thanks to their acute olfactory senses. In the same way, they can sniff out the sweet nectar from flowers, they’ll be able to smell yummy sugar water from a distance.

But be sure it’s only sugar water. Honey, molasses, red food coloring, and other additives are bad for the birds and could harm or even kill them.

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If you don't want to make your own hummingbird food, try this sweet nectar!

Make Your Feeder Easy to Find

Hummingbird flying up to red feeder by a window

Hummingbirds are great at finding food, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a little help. One of the easiest ways to attract more hummers is by making sure your feeder is easy for them to find.

Not sure where to put your hummingbird feeder? Consider putting it right by a window. Not only will it be easy to spot when they fly by, but putting your feeder by a window will reduce the risk of them crashing hard into the glass pane at top speed if they have to make a quick getaway.

Perky Pet Pinch-Waist Glass Hummingbird Feeder with Perches

Find the right location for your feeder and make it easy for hummingbirds to find their food.

Utilize Native Plants

A person waters a garden with a watering can.
DUSAN ZIDAR/Shutterstock.com

Native plants are great for the environment because they require less water and naturally adapt to their surroundings. But, they also attract native bugs. Where there are bugs, there are birds.

Hummingbirds don’t just survive on nectar. They balance out their diet with protein-rich insects, including ants, aphids, gnats, and fruit flies. By planting native plants, you won’t just be doing something good for your landscaping, but you’ll attract hummers that will keep pests away!

If you’re not sure which plants are native to your area, check out the full list from the Audobon Society.

Garden Tool Set

Get your hands dirty and plant some native flowers, shrubs, and bushes.

Provide Shelter With Shrubs

Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock

Hummingbirds don’t just need to eat—they need to feel safe, too!

By planting shrubs and bushes, you’ll create a sort of safe haven for them with your landscaping. They’ll have a quick way to hide from predators and bad weather, or just have an opportunity to take a rest. If they recognize your yard as a safe place to land, they’re likely to keep coming back.

BLACK+DECKER Electric Hedge Trimmer

The easy way to keep your shrubs trimmed and neat to provide shelter for hummingbirds.

Invest in a Bird Bath

Terra cotta bird bath in a flower garden
Sharon Epperson/Shutterstock.com

You have food and shelter down, so what else can make your yard a comfortable space for hummingbirds? How about a nice place to cool down?

Hummingbirds need places to drink and get clean, and a bird bath fits the bill. Just make sure you clean out the water about once a week to keep it fresh. You can also help the hummingbirds out by placing stones that go above the surface of the water. This will let the birds know how deep the water is so they’ll feel safer perching on the edge.

VIVOHOME 28 Inch Height Polyresin Lightweight Antique Outdoor Garden Bird Bath

A beautiful bird bath adds something special to your yard and can attract all types of birds.

Keep Your Pets Away


Hummingbirds are tiny, so it makes sense that they’re always on the lookout for things that could harm them. They’re quick to fly away when they hear a noise or suspect a predator might be near.

Unfortunately, that “predator” might be your pet.

Even if your dog would never hurt a feather on a hummingbird, the birds don’t know that. So, if your canine friend is barking at the window or running around the yard all day, hummingbirds are likely to stay away.

Even things like loud music or laughing kids could be considered scary to a hummingbird’s sensitive ears. If you don’t want to deter hummingbirds, try to keep noise levels around your yard low.

Starmark Everlasting Treat Bento Ball Tough Dog Chew Toy Large

Keep your furry friend busy and away from the window!

Decorate for a Party

A woman waters a garden outdoors.
Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

While you don’t literally need to throw a hummingbird party, if you’re having trouble attracting them to your yard, consider adding bright and vibrant colors by hanging streamers. Consider how fast hummingbirds are flying, and how short the window is for them to determine where they can find food.

They could just be overlooking your flowers or feeder. So, by adding some bright red or pink streamers, you’re more likely to catch their eye, and they’ll have a better chance of noticing the food sources you’ve set out for them.

Coceca 12 Rolls 984ft Crepe Paper Streamers

Ain't no party like a hummingbird party!

When it comes down to it, the needs and wants of hummingbirds are pretty simple. They’re attracted to vibrant colors (especially red), on a constant hunt for food, and want a safe place to rest and build their nests.

If you can provide some of these basic hummingbird amenities, you’re likely to attract more of them to your yard each year, providing you with hours of birdwatching entertainment—and fewer bugs in your garden!

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
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