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Attracting Hummingbirds

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) are the most widely ranging of the world's 338 species of hummingbirds, all of which nest ONLY in the Western Hemisphere. Spring migration patterns bring them to the Twin Cities area on or around May 1st and throughout the northern part of the state by May 10th.


The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is often found in the ecotome, or edge between woodland and meadow. In this habitat the birds are close to mature trees, in which they typically nest, as well as near a profusion of flowering plants that supply nectar and support small insects, both of which make up its diet. It is a bird that has adapted well to human development, but only if there is adequate shelter, space and food. They are found more frequently in and around hardwood forests than among pines when breeding.

There is no question that hummingbirds make use of the sugar water from your feeders like as a source of quick energy. They primarily rely on nectar from plants, where they may also be gobbling up tiny insects and spiders, both excellent sources of protein. A great idea is to plant a hummingbird garden using plants that naturally attract them and provide food and shelter.


Purchase a nectar feeder specifically designed for hummingbirds like the Glory hummingbird feeder or this Jubilee feeder and use with a nectar mix. Make sure to keep your feeders clean with a nectar feeder cleanser for the safety of the birds, and to avoid gunky build-up.

Hummingbird feeders are meant to hang. So place them in a location where it is convenient for you to refill as well as view your new guests. They are best if also located out of the wind and in the shade.

Good Plants for a Hummingbird Garden

Hummingbirds are more likely to be attracted to plants that are in areas protected from heavy winds. They are attracted to plants that are red and orange. They also are specially adapted to feed from plants that have tubular or trumpet shaped flowers.


Perennial Vines



  • Fuchsia
  • Impatiens
  • Morning Glory
  • Nasturtium
  • Nicotiana