Are you looking to attract hummingbirds to your Phoenix, Arizona garden? Lucky you because Arizona is home to 16 species of hummers. Most of them live in southeastern Arizona.
Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world measuring a mere 2-8″ and and some species weighing less than an ounce. You have a good chance of attracting hummingbirds to your yard if you create a garden with their needs in mind. 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.
If you’re looking to attract these tiny flower kisser’s you’ll need to create a welcoming habitat. You can also supplement flowers with sugar water.
Choose the area or areas of your yard where you want flowers, determine the amount of sun that area is getting every day, and also consider a viewing area.
You’ll want to choose an appropriate plant for the location. It is also nice to sit and watch the hummingbirds, so if you have a spot near a window or near your backyard patio you’ll have an even better chance of seeing them up close.
Hummingbird Garden in Phoenix: Arizona Plants that Attract Hummingbirds
A combination of some or all of these plants are a sure bet to attract the hummers to your Phoenix Arizona garden:
One mainstay plant in our garden is Salvia Greggi or Autumn Sage because it is an easy plant to take care of and hummingbirds love it.
Pentas are a great annual plant to add to your hummingbird garden. The butterflies like these flowers too. Penstemon is one of my favorite desert plants and their tubular flowers attract the hummingbirds.
Some other popular flowers that attract these tiny birds includes:
- Bee Balm
- Mexican Bush Sage
- Firecracker Bush
- Desert Honeysuckle
- Mexican Flame Vine
- Red Bird of Paradise
- Hong Kong Orchid Tree
Create a Hummingbird Habitat in Your Backyard
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.
Attract Hummingbirds To Your Phoenix Garden
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.
Supplemental Hummingbird Feeding Recipe
To encourage hummingbirds to return every season you may need to supplement feeding with a hummingbird feeder. 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 supplemental hummingbird feeders
- 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
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 the hummers and have attracted three regulars to our yard.
Best Time of Day for Viewing
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.
The most commonly seen hummingbirds in the low desert of Phoenix, Arizona 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 personally see the Anna’s Hummingbirds year round in our yard. Another good spot to view Hummingbird’s is at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.
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.
Great Spots to View Hummingbirds in Southeastern Arizona include:
- 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.