Attracting Hummingbirds

Tips on Attracting Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are fascinating little visitors, and when we start seeing them in our backyard, we know the warmer weather is approaching as they migrate north. Native flowers are the best source of nectar, but a nectar powder or concentrate can give them a needed energy boost to help them along their journey.

The most common hummingbirds seen in Atlantic Canada are the Ruby-throated and Rufous. Here are some tips on attracting hummingbirds to your backyard.

  1. Choose a Feeder: Make sure your feeder is easy to open and clean. Red feeders attract hummingbirds as the flowers pollinated by hummingbirds are often red. The port size is important when choosing a hummingbird feeder because if your ports are too small, they will not allow the nectar out and will be difficult for hummingbirds to use. Ports that are too large may leak and allow insects to get in. Consider adding bee guards, which snap over ports.
  2. Choose a Nectar: Hummingbirds love sweet formulas and will eat nectar and sugar water all season. At Feeds’n Needs, we have many different ready-to-use nectar options available, ranging from powder concentrates, liquid concentrates and instant concentrates. Never use honey in your feeders. Honey fosters bacterial and fungal growth and ferments faster than sugar water.
  3. Change Your Nectar Regularly: Scrub feeders with hot water and a clean bottle brush and refill every three days. If it is hot out, you should clean and refill your feeders more often. Discard the nectar and clean your feeder immediately if there are any signs of cloudy water or mould. Always rinse feeders in hot or boiling water before adding fresh nectar. A consistently clean feeder will ensure regular feedings.
  4. Attract Hummingbirds to Your Backyard: Plant native plants near your hummingbird feeder. Colourful plants, predominantly red, will attract hummingbirds as they have good colour vision.
  5. Feeder Placement: Hummingbirds prefer feeders near trees and shrubs to rest and observe their surroundings. Set feeders in areas protected from the wind. Make sure your feeder is safe from cats and other predators.
  6. When to Put Up and Take Down Feeders: Set up and fill your hummingbird feeder before the first spring hummingbirds arrive. Male hummingbirds arrive a few days before females and young birds.

Hummingbird season is here, and our stores have a large selection of feeders and supplies. Check out this interactive hummingbird migration map to track them this Spring!



Fun Facts About Hummingbirds (

Feeding and attracting hummingbirds – Birds Canada | Oiseaux Canada

Sarah Huggard

Store Manager, Saint John NB