Hummingbirds are among the most welcomed visitors to any outdoor space. These beautiful birds have appealing iridescent coats, and their hyperactivity is always entertaining for any bird enthusiast. But while we all love these great-looking nectar hunters, not every homeowner knows how to lure them outdoors.
To attract hummingbirds to your balcony, create a continuous blooming schedule, deadhead your flowers, use multiple feeders, grow red flowers and native flower species, use sugar solution in your feeders, install a birdbath, maintain tidy feeders, and install bird perches in your compound.
In the rest of this article, we’ll discuss each of the nine tips in great detail to help you attract hummingbirds to your balcony. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
1. Implement a Continuous Blooming Schedule
Growing plants with different blooming seasons will ensure that your balcony remains colorful and vibrant all year long. Since hummingbirds are typically attracted to flowers, continuous blooming also means that hummingbirds will frequent your balcony, especially during seasons when flower production is generally low.
So the next time you visit your local flower shop, ask your dealer for insights on the blooming seasons of the various balcony plants and buy accordingly.
READ ALSO: 8 Best Flowers for a Small Balcony
2. Deadhead Your Flowers to Enhance Blooming
Removing wilted flowers or seed heads from your balcony plants will trick them into producing more of these parts. The result will be healthier plants that bloom multiple times a year, which will make your balcony more attractive to hummingbirds.
Flowers typically lose their attraction when they fade and wilt, and cutting them off allows your plants to produce more vibrant and colorful flowers that not only appeal to hummingbirds but also improve the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.
So if you’re looking to attract hummingbirds to your balcony with the bonus of improving its aesthetics, deadheading your flowers is one way to do it.
3. Use Multiple Feeders to Discourage Male Bullies
Even though hummingbirds are relatively small birds, they can get territorial at times, more so when they are feeding. In particular, male birds are very protective of their food and can drive away other hummingbirds from your balcony by fighting them as they try to feed.
Luckily, you can leverage the number and placement of your bird feeders to discourage male bullies.
For starters, try placing multiple feeders on different sides of your house. This will not only increase the overall food supply for the hummers but also provide alternative feeding spots for birds that may be bullied off a particular feeder. However, the problem with this trick is that you may be unintentionally setting up control grounds for other male bullies.
Perhaps a more effective way to discourage feeder bullies would be to set up multiple feeding spots in the same vicinity. This will attract many hummingbirds to one area, which will reduce the bully’s “power” in the bouquet because he won’t be able to fend off all the other birds.
4. Grow Red Flowers on Your Balcony
Because hummingbirds have one of the fastest metabolic rates among birds and animals, they are always searching for nectar and insects to fuel their very active bodies. Typically, these birds feed every hour or so and are particularly fond of bright flowers.
The hummers’ preference for the color red is because the cones in their retinas have yellow-to-red pigments. In the simplest terms, these pigments act as “filters” that heighten the birds’ visual sensitivity to colors in the red-to-yellow spectrum while also reducing their ability to detect colors with shades of blue.
So when planting flowers on your balcony, be sure to include red or yellow ones. While you’re at it, make sure they have a tubular shape because flowers with this kind of shape hold more nectar, the staple food of hummingbirds.
5. Use Sugar Solution in Your Feeders
Another simple way to attract hummingbirds to your outdoors is by hanging feeders containing homemade nectar solutions around your balcony. While these birds usually feed on nectar from flowers, they’re quick learners and will frequent any place with fructose solutions, be it homemade or natural.
To make a homemade nectar solution, simply mix one cup of sugar into a bowl containing four cups of warm water. Once all the sugar has dissolved, pour the solution into the feeders and place them on your balcony next to something red, preferably a ribbon or even flowers.
Warm water is highly recommended because it dissolves sugar, salt, and other soluble solids faster than cold water. As for the red ribbons or flowers, they’re meant to increase the visibility of your feeders to hummers. Some homeowners add red food color to the sugar solution for this purpose, but it’s not recommended because the chemicals in the food color may affect the birds.
6. Install a Birdbath With Moving Water on Your Balcony
It’s no secret that hummingbirds love playing in moving water. So as a means to lure them to your balcony, it might be a good idea to install a birdbath in that area.
If you’re a DIY enthusiast, you can easily make a birdbath with moving water by simply adding a mister. A mister is an attachment for your regular garden hose with pinhole-sized openings that spray water when you turn the hose on, and its action is irresistible to hummingbirds. If you need some inspiration, take a look at this DIY hummingbird mister bird bath on Pinterest.
Alternatively, you can purchase a birdbath at your local store. If you can’t find one locally, check out VIVOHOME’s solar-powered birdbath. This eco-friendly fountain pump can be used for various applications, including in fish tanks, pools, ponds, fountains, and of course, birdbaths. It also comes with 4 easy to assemble interchangeable nozzles to support this kind of versatility, meaning you have options for each of your desired water spray style.
7. Grow Native Flower Species in Your Balcony
It is always recommended that you maintain diversity with the types of flowers on your balcony, and part of doing that is including native flower species in your planters.
Hummingbirds prefer native plants because they’re more familiar to the various hummer species than ornamental ones. Besides, including them in your balcony comes with the added benefit of less care and maintenance, as well as adding more food for the different species of hummingbirds.
Some popular examples of native flower species include; trumpet honeysuckle, red cardinal flower, bee balm, sage.
8. Maintain a Tidy Feeder
While placing feeders on your balcony will attract hummers to your balcony, they can easily stop coming back if the feeder gets too untidy or contaminated. As such, maintaining a clean and fresh feeder is critical to keeping these welcome visitors perching on your balcony for years to come.
To keep things clean and fresh, make a habit of changing the contents of your feeders every five days or so. Also, be sure to always position the feeders away from direct sunlight because high temperatures will cause the sugar solution to ferment.
In case mold starts forming inside your feeders, use hot water and vinegar to remove it. If there are any tough spots, pour a mixture of sand and water in the feeder and shake it vigorously before rinsing. Whatever you do, don’t use strong detergents to clean your feeders because the chemicals in cleaning agents may affect the birds.
9. Install Perches in Your Compound
Unlike other birds, hummers spend most of their time resting due to the high amounts of energy they spend flying. As such, setting up resting places for them can be a great way to lure them to your balcony because perches also provide a vantage position for these birds to look out for danger and hunt for small insects.
Making a hummingbird perch is easy, too. Simply stick a dry branch into the ground vertically. It doesn’t necessarily have to be on your balcony; as long as it’s in your compound (preferably at a spot near your balcony), it’ll work. It also helps if the perch is near your feeders so the birds have somewhere to rest after feeding.
We recommend dry branches as opposed to metal or plastic poles because they appear natural to hummingbirds, and the outstretched branches provide more spots for the birds to perch.
That does it for today’s discussion. Hopefully, these 9 tips will help you lure hummers to your balcony, whether you’re looking to simply admire their glittering coats or use them as pollinators for your outdoor plants. Best of luck!