I love hummingbirds. These tiny birds are amazing and so fun to watch. Are you looking to attract hummingbirds to your Phoenix, Arizona garden? Find out what plants to grow and how to create a hummingbird garden that hummingbirds will want to visit every day.
Lucky you because Arizona is home to 16 species of these pretty flower kissers. With the right plants you can create a hummingbird garden in Phoenix and attract several species of hummingbirds.
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Everything You Need to Know to Create a Hummingbird Garden
- Hummingbird FAQs
- What plants in Arizona attract Hummingbirds?
- Create a Hummingbird Habitat
- How to make Supplemental Food for Hummingbirds
- How to take care of your Hummingbird Feeder
- Best Time to Spot Hummingbirds in Your Yard
- Great Spots in Arizona to see Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world measuring a mere 2-8″ and and some species weighing less than an ounce. In Portugese hummingbird means “flower kisser.”
Hummingbirds have a notoriously high wing-beat rate. This fast motion is what generates the “hum” for which the hummingbird is named.
The largest hummingbird has an average wing-beat rate of 8-10 beats per second, while the smallest hummingbirds have an average wing-beat rate of 80 beats per second. Interestingly, they are the only bird able to fly backwards.
You have a good chance of attracting hummingbirds to your yard if you create a garden with their needs in mind.
How to Set Up a Welcoming Habitat
If you’re looking to attract these tiny flower kissers you’ll need to create a welcoming habitat. There are a few things to keep in mind before you start designing.
- Hummingbirds prefer to make nests in small trees and dense shrubs that are near a reliable food source.
- Choose an area of your yard where you want flowers and determine the amount of sun that area is getting every day
- Remember to include a viewing area in your design. Choose to provide food sources near a window, your patio, or near a seating area in your yard. This will give you a comfortable spot to view the hummingbirds.
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How to Attract Hummingbirds
Each day, a hummingbird consumes more than the equivalent of their own body weight in nectar. This high sugar intake results in a very high metabolism rate. In fact hummingbirds have the highest metabolism rate in all of the animal kingdom with the exception of insects.
To maintain this metabolic rate the average hummingbird will visit 100 flowers each day looking for nectar.
They seek out not just any flowers, but those that give them a 25% sugar content in the nectar. So you can see how important it is to have a lot of flowers they love in order to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Hummingbirds meet their needs for protein and minerals by preying on insects and spiders.
What Flowers Attract Hummingbirds?
If you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden you must provide them the flowers that they desire. Hummingbirds tend to pollinate red, bright pink and orange tubular shaped flowers.
Below is a list of stunning flowers for a hummingbird garden in Phoenix. A combination of some or all of these plants are a sure bet to attract these fascinating birds.
- Bee Balm
- Desert Honeysuckle
- Desert Willow
- Fairy Duster
- Firecracker Bush
- Hong Kong Orchid tree
- Mexican Bush Sage
- Mexican Flame Vine
- Red Bird of Paradise
- Salvia Greggi or Autumn Sage
You can also supplement feeding with sugar water.
Supplemental Hummingbird Feeding Recipe
To encourage hummingbirds to return every season you may need to supplement feeding with a hummingbird feeder. Best of all you only need two ingredients: water and sugar. To mimic nature provide a 25% sugar to water solution.
- Boil 4 cups of water
- Stir in 1 cup of sugar
- Once sugar has resolved remove the pot from the stove to cool.
- When formula has cooled pour into your hummingbird feeders
- Do not use dye. Putting red dye in your water is not necessary and can harm hummingbirds
I can fill three hummingbird feeders with this recipe.
How to take Care of Your Hummingbird Feeder
It is very important to regularly clean and change the nectar in your hummingbird feeder. Mold can quickly grow inside the feeder, contaminate your water, physically harm and kill hummingbirds that visit.
Keep your hummingbirds safe! During the summer months change the nectar twice per week. During the cooler season once per week should be sufficient.
The inside of the feeder can be cleaned with a mixture of hot water and vinegar. A baby bottle brush cleaner can be helpful in this regard
Purchasing a hummingbird feeder that is “top fill” makes it much easier to clean.
A Welcoming Yard can become a Hummingbird Habitat
Create a hummingbird garden in Phoenix, Arizona by providing an inviting hummingbird habitat. To mimic nature you are providing a 25% sugar to water solution.
While a feeder and one or two plants may attract a hummingbird, to invite him or her to keep coming back it is best to create a habitat of flowering plants.
This not only provides a home for insects that hummingbirds need for protein, but also to provide enough sugar to sustain a hummingbird’s daily intake. These little guys need a lot of sugar to keep up their metabolism and they are competing with bees and other wildlife to survive.
We’ve spent the last few years creating a welcoming habitat for hummingbirds and have attracted three regulars to our yard.
Best Time of Day for Viewing Hummingbirds in your Phoenix Garden
Early morning and early evenings are the best time of day for us to view them. They seem to have very little fear of us and often sit on the tomato cages just grooming or resting on a tree branch. We just bought a motion camera and hope to catch them feeding soon.
Hummingbird Species Most Likely Viewed in a Hummingbird Garden in Phoenix
In the low desert the most common hummingbirds include:
- Anna’s Hummingbird
- Black Chinned Hummingbird
- Costas Hummingbird
Hummingbirds have a notoriously high wing-beat rate. This fast motion is what generates the “hum” for which the hummingbird is named. The largest hummingbird has an average wing-beat rate of 8-10 beats per second, while the smallest hummingbirds have an average wing-beat rate of 80 beats per second. Interestingly, they are the only bird able to fly backwards.
We see Anna’s Hummingbirds year round in our yard. There is one that will fly in place at face level if he sees me outside.
Southeastern Arizona has some of the best hummingbird sightings in the U.S. Usually in the month of August you can see 14 species of hummingbirds, most of which you won’t find in other parts of the United States.
Visit Hummingbird Gardens in Arizona
- Madera Canyon| Ramsey Canyon
- Portal Peak Lodge
- Patagonia/Sonoita Creek Preserve|
- San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area
If you don’t have time to visit the canyons mentioned above, The Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix and the Sonoran Desert Museum in Tucson are great places to spot your favorite hummingbirds. If you’re quiet you can hear them before you’ll see them.