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Hummingbirds are one of the most exciting things to see in your garden. Here's how you can help them show up more often.

It's hard to explain why the appearance of a hummingbird in our gardens always makes us so happy, but there's no denying that it does. At least 9 species of hummingbirds have been spotted in North Carolina, and while most are rare, ruby-throated hummingbirds are a common sight here in summer and fall. 

If you want to attract more of these tiny, magnificent birds to your garden, our real estate agents have some ideas about how to do it. And now is the time. Here in North Carolina, ruby-throated hummingbirds are most common in September and October as they make their way back down south from their northern summer haunts. 

Get a Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbird feeders are proven to attract their intended guests, provided that they are well placed and filled with hummingbirds' preferred food. Look for hummingbird feeders with some red on them, as this color has been shown to entice these dainty birds to feed. If a hummingbird spots something bright red, it's likely to swoop down to give it a look. 

Consider Feeder Placement

You know the first rule of real estate—location, location, location! The placement of your hummingbird feeder is important not only for helping the birds find it, but keeping them out of harm's way. The location of your hummingbird feeder should be: 

  • Easily visible. Look for a place where your hummingbird feeder can catch the eye of passing hummers. Ideally, it should receive at least some sunlight to be easily seen. 

  • Partially shaded. Sunlight helps hummingbirds spot your feeder, but too much direct sunlight can also cause the nectar inside to spoil quickly. Look for a spot that is shaded during the hottest part of the afternoon, but illuminated during the morning and/or evening. 

  • Out of the reach of cats. Hang your feeder about 5 feet off the ground, and avoid hanging it directly above shrubs and bushes that cats and other animals could use to reach it. 

  • Away from other bird feeders. Hummingbirds can be territorial, as can other birds. If you have other bird feeders or birdhouses on your property, make sure they're all spaced well away from hummingbird feeders. 

Plant a Hummingbird Garden

It's no secret that hummingbirds love flowers, and not only those with red blossoms. Any brightly-colored blooms can attract hummingbirds, but they're especially fond of tubular and bell-shaped flowers, from which their beaks are perfectly designed to sip the nectar. Great hummingbird flowers for North Carolina include cardinal flowers, daylilies, foxgloves, hollyhocks, honeysuckle, lupines, salvia, trumpet vine, and wild columbine. 

Feed Them the Good Stuff

The recipe for hummingbird food is simple: boil 4 parts water and 1 part sugar, and let it cool completely before filling your hummingbird feeder. Don't add red food coloring, as it's harmful to hummingbirds. And be sure to change the 'nectar' every few days (more if it's directly exposed to the sun). If you see the liquid getting cloudy, it's spoiled. 

Provide a Perch

As active as hummingbirds may often seem, they actually spend about 80% of the day perched. To encourage them to take up long-term residence on your property, provide places where they can rest, hide and nest. Trees, shrubs, and conifers are their favorite spots, especially trees with exposed sticks and twigs where they can easily perch and build a nest in a sheltered place. 

Contact us today to learn more about how to attract more hummingbirds to your North Carolina home. And be sure to talk with our real estate agents about finding the perfect Southport home for sale.