Local Hummingbirds

Two species of hummingbirds can be found in our area. The tiny Rufous Hummingbird has traveled up to 3,000 miles in its migration back to Portland each spring. Anna’s Hummingbird is larger, ranging in size from 3 • to 4 inches in length, more commonly seen, and can be spotted in our area year-round. Hummingbirds can fly up to sixty miles per hour in many directions - forwards, up, down, sideways, and even upside down briefly. Despite their maneuverability in the air, they cannot walk.

These acrobatic dive-bombers are so entertaining. It is worth making some effort to attract them to your property. They like colorful plants that are covered with nectar-bearing flowers. Plant natives such as columbine, paintbrush, fireweed, salvia, honeysuckle, red-flowering currant, madrone tree, salmonberry, and salal. Plant annuals such as petunia, nasturtium, snapdragon, and red salvia. Do not plant a butterfly bush, even though hummingbirds are attracted to them. This bush is invasive!

Put up a hummingbird feeder filled with a sugar-water solution made of 4 cups water to 1 cup sugar. The solution should be boiled for 1-2 minutes, cooled before pouring into the feeder. For the health of hummingbirds, do not add red dye or use honey or artificial sweeteners. Feeders should be washed out weekly with a bit of vinegar, then rinsed with hot water. Scrub off any mold or mildew on the feeder with a small cleaning brush. There are many hummingbird feeder designs. If you are purchasing a new one, you might consider ones that are drip-free, deter ants seeking the sugar solution, or bees and wasps that rob the liquid.

(Source: Backyard Bird Shop literature and web search)
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