Water, Bugs and Spiderwebs: More Ways to Attract Hummingbirds

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Want more hummingbirds in your yard? Hummingbirds need bugs to eat, water and places to perch. Plus discover why you need to learn to love spiderwebs.

Hummingbird feeders are one of the best and easiest ways to attract hummingbirds to your garden. But why stop there? Hummingbirds need much more to be happy and healthy. Use the tips below and give them places to bathe and rest, additional foods like bugs to eat, and the right materials to build their tiny nests.

A female Anna's hummingbird plays in the water of a fountain.Courtesy J.B. Smith

1. Hummingbirds Like to Take Baths

Like all birds, hummingbirds bathe to keep their feathers in top condition. They’re especially fond of misters and fountains, where they seem to love playing in the spray. Give them a place to bathe by adding a simple solar-powered fountain to your existing bird bath, or go the extra mile and build your own hummingbird mister to attract hummingbirds in need of a shower.

2. Hummingbirds Eat Bugs

We all know hummingbirds love nectar from flowers and sugar water. But did you know that bugs make a up a large part of their diet too, especially during nesting season? Gnats, flies, mosquitoes, and spiders provide the protein these diminutive birds need. So while it’s tempting to try to clear as many pesky insects from your yard as possible, don’t. Instead, attract hummingbirds to eat the bugs. You can even try to bring in more fruit flies by putting out overripe bananas or other fruit.

Check out your essential guide to hummingbird food.

Hummingbird nest, do hummingbirds eat bugsCourtesy Willie Powell

3. Hummingbirds Use Spiderwebs to Build Nests

In addition to eating bugs, many hummingbirds use spiderweb silk to build and anchor their tiny nests. The unique flexibility of spiderweb silk allows the nest to expand as the baby hummers grow from the size of jellybean eggs to full-grown birds in the space of just a few weeks. During nesting season (mid to late spring in cold-winter climates, and year-round in warm areas), allow spiderwebs to accumulate in your garden rather than knocking them down. This may help attract hummingbirds looking for a place to nest.

Check out 10 adorable pictures of baby hummingbirds.

4. Plant Trees for Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds, especially males, sometimes arrive in their northern nesting grounds before flowers have started to bloom. Where can they find the sweet treats they need for energy? Tree sap! Hummingbirds are known to follow sapsuckers around and drink sap from the holes they drill in trees like maple, birch, and hickory. Plant some of these trees in your own yard to attract hummingbirds that arrive in early spring, along with their sapsucker friends.

Discover 13 jaw-dropping facts about hummingbirds.

Linda-Sue-Mohrmann Attract HummingbirdsPhoto Credit: Linda Sue Mohrmann

5. Hummingbird Swings and Perches

Though hummingbirds are well-known for their ability to hover as they feed, they definitely need places to sit and rest. Plant shrubs near your hummingbird feeders where they can perch and scope out the situation. You can also buy special hummingbird swings for them to enjoy. Or you can build a DIY hummingbird swing.

Jill Staake
Jill lives in Tampa, Florida, and writes about gardening, butterflies, outdoor projects and birding. When she's not gardening, you'll find he reading, traveling and happily digging her toes into the sand on the beach.