A simple way to attract hummingbirds closer to your home is by setting out a sugar-water feeder. Use a formula of one part sugar to four parts boiled water to produce a solution that approximates that found in natural flower nectar. Never use honey or sugar substitues. Place the feeders outside by early April and leave them up until at least November 1. This will provide for both early spring ruby-throats and late fall migrants, as well as the other three species of hummingbirds. Other birds such as orioles and chickadees also may be attracted to your hummingbird feeder. Feeders may be left out with fresh nectar as long as birds drink from them. The hummingbirds will migrate when they are ready, so leaving feeders up later will provide an additional energy source for any stragglers. Sometimes, hummingbirds will not use feeders during part of the summer. During this time, they are feeding off nectar from flowering plants and gleaning insects from flowers or the air for their young.
Place feeders in the shade. If more than one is used, place them far apart to avoid competition from the territorial hummingbirds. During cool weather, replace nectar and clean feeders at least once a week; during warm or hot weather, replace nectar and clean feeders every three or four days.
A better way to attract hummingbirds is by planting flowers. This provides both a natural nectar source for the birds and beautiful flowers for you to view. Flowering plants also provide protein in the form of aphids and other small insects and spiders. In general choose plants with tubular-shaped flowers that are reddish or pink in color. We recommend the following: coral honeysuckle, red buckeye, American columbine, Indian paintbrush, beard tongue, bee balm, and trumpet creeper.