We love these jewels of the sky! These beautiful birds arrive in Utah in late April/mid-May and stay through September. It's best to prepare your habitat before hummingbirds arrive. However, it's not too late to attract these fascinating birds to your yard.
Many migratory hummingbirds, the breeding natives, arrive in Utah sometime in April or early May. It varies year to year depending on changing environmental factors. Like many wild animals, the male of the species is much more flashy than the female. They normally have colorful throats and tails and sometimes will whistle as they fly.
The best way to attract these jewels of the sky is to provide the necessities for their perfect habitat. The more of these you can provide in your own backyard the better chance you will have of daily hummingbird visitors. We've put together 5 guiding principles to make the perfect Hummingbird Habitat in your Utah yard.
When you bring up hummingbirds most people think immediately of red sugar water. But, that's not the only way to attract hummingbirds. A hummingbird feeder is a great way to supplement native sources of nectar in your yard. However, using native and non-native plants is the best source for these active birds.
Thoughtful plantings of native nectar sources can provide an uninterrupted food source throughout their stay. Because hummingbirds are well adapted to native plants they are the best way to invite hummingbirds to your yard. Native plants also make your yard a perfect nesting spot year after year.
Consider adding the following fantastic sources of nectar to your landscape.
We have the best Hummingbird Feeder Recipe. Again, we want to make sure and point out that a hummingbird feeder should be used as a second source of food for these busy little birds.
Supplemental feeders should be filled with a solution of four parts water to one part white sugar. Feeders can ferment if left too long. Keep your feeder fresh by cleaning them well and replacing sugar water before it begins to ferment.
Sometimes hummingbirds become territorial of a feeder. To avoid this behavior feeders should hang at a distance from each other or out of sight from one another.
Shallow water attracts hummingbirds. Traditional birdbaths tend to be too deep for these tiny birds. As a solution, you can fill your birdbath part way with pebbles and rocks to make them more suitable. We have a variety of birdbaths available at the nursery and filler too!
Hummingbirds also like moving / natural bird baths. They will bathe in sprinklers, misters and water droplets that have collected on large leaves. Planting Cannas and Hostas in your yard will create a natural birdbath for hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds will create their home in a place with natural materials readily available. Providing perching sites, nesting sites and nesting material is a great way to encourage hummingbirds to take up residence in your yard. And keep them from using your yard as just a pass through.
Trees, shrubs and vines offer protection from predators. These are also the perfect place to build a nest. Preferable nesting materials include moss, lichens, and fur. Pappus from seeds such as dandelions, thistle, aster and asclepias cotton also make great nesting materials. Surprisingly, spider webs are an especially important nest component.
Nature is it's own best exterminating system. Spiders and insects are a protein-packed meal for hummingbirds. We knew we loved these busy little birds!
Hummingbirds also use spider webs for nest building. Keeping an organic garden will allow nature to work at it's best. A well-balanced backyard ecosystem is essential for providing sources of protein.
For more information on hummingbirds visit
Utah is home to 900 amazing and diverse native bees. They are proficient and essential pollinators. Compared to honey bees, native bees are better at pollinating apple, squash, melon, tomatoes and native plants. Unfortunately, native bee populations are in decline due in part to habitat loss and pesticide use. You can make a difference by supporting a native bee population right in your own backyard.
Provide Sources of Nectar and Pollen
It's important to supply nectar and pollen from early spring, as soon as bees become active, through late fall. You should incorporate native plants as much as possible. Native bees have evolved with native plants for thousands of years and are mutually adapted to each other.
Provide Nesting Sites
Many native bees nest in the ground and only require a bare patch of soil in a sunny location that won't be disturbed. Some bees use mud to build their nests so an available mud patch is appreciated. Many bees nest in tree snags, a hub of biodiversity given they pose no hazard. You can also buy or build bee houses. Directions for building a bee house for native bees can be found Xerces Society or at Green Bean Connection.
To shop bee houses and supplies visit Crown Bees for an extensive selection.
Provide clean shallow water that is easy to get in and out of. A gently sloped rock placed in a bird bath or saucer works well. This helps our local butterflies too! You can read more butterflies in our Butterfly Blog.
Go Pesticide Free
Tolerate some damage to plants as part of a greater ecology which often balances itself out beautifully without pesticide intervention.