Building a Birdhouse for the Hummingbird
Ruby-throated hummingbirds are very curious species and are easily drawn to feeders. They can also get used to the presence of people in a short time. If you’re wearing something red, chances are they will swoop down on you on the belief that you are a possible food source.
Hanging feeders especially those located at windows attract many of these birds. Those that consider the feeder as their territory may be seen perching nearby during the day to protect the food source against intruders. So if you’re fond of bird watching, installing bird houses and feeders is a great way to attract them to your backyard. It’s a matter of improving the habitat in your yard. Apart from bird houses, you can plant different trees, shrubs and flowers as possible nesting sites and winter shelter for them.
In providing a bird house, you have the option to build it yourself or buy a custom-made one from bird shops. It’s easy though to build a bird house if you have the right materials and tools. A simple nest box will do but of course, you can choose a design that suits your taste. Important considerations in building a birdhouse for hummingbirds are the box height, depth, floor dimensions, diameter of entrance hole and height of the hole above the box floor.
Wood is the most ideal material for birdhouses. It’s not only durable but has insulating properties. Thick bald cypress and red cedar are highly recommended. It does not matter whether the wood is slab, rough-cut or finished so long as it is not pressure-treated with chemicals. The size will depend on the kind of birds you want to attract.
As for feeders, hummingbirds are attracted to those that contain a solution of one part sugar to four parts water. This may be so because these birds consume the nectar of flowers most of the time which may taste the same as this solution. Boil this to prevent fermentation and change the solution at least once a week. Once a bird finds a feeder, it will return many times so long as it hangs in place. It has been noted that a hummingbird that returns in spring after eight months of absence will always look for the feeder where it last fed. And although it is usually attracted to bright colors, it does not show a strong preference for any specific color of feeders. The location of the feeder is more important for them.