The Southwind Extension District had a great program recently on landscaping to attract hummingbirds. The program speaker, Chuck Otte, gave the attendees information on the hummingbird season, nesting habits, food sources and feeder tips. I will highlight some of his information in hopes that it will help you be more successful in attracting hummingbirds to your landscape.
Although there are approximately 360 species of hummingbirds between North and South America, 99.99% of all hummingbirds found in our area will be the Ruby-throated. Their furious spring migration starts in April and continues until early May. Once the migration is complete, hummingbirds settle into nesting mode.
Nests are built in June, with the female determining the site location. The Ruby-throated hummingbird nests will be built near the tip of a down-sloping tree branch with a fairly open area below and the canopy above. Popular tree species for nest building include oak, yellow birch, pine and hackberry. Hummingbirds generally prefer deciduous tree species over conifers. The nesting site will be determined based upon availability of nectar sources and insects. The nests are small — no larger than the size of a quarter.