Their shining iridescent colors and ‘humming of wings’ make hummingbirds among the most beautiful and fascinating birds to attract. The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only species of hummingbird found in northern New Jersey. Male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have a brilliant, metallic-red throat that can appear black in the shade, while females have a white throat. Both have bright iridescent green backs and wings.
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is the only Hummingbird that breeds in the eastern US. Hummingbirds migrate seasonally and are attracted to woodland edges and openings near streams where their favorite nectar producing plants grow. The nectar provides the necessary energy for the Hummingbird’s rapid flight movement – a Hummingbird may beat its wings up to 75 times per second.
Although Hummingbirds feed from nectar-bearing flowers of all colors, they are mainly attracted to bright red, pink, and orange tubular flowers. The most important thing you can do to attract these birds to your garden is to plant flowering annuals, perennials, shrubs & trees.
Also, these birds will eagerly come to special feeders that are stocked with sugar water. There are several models of Hummingbird feeders available to suit your budget and taste. It’s recommended to fill the feeders daily, with fresh “nectar solution”. Every four to five days clean the feeder thoroughly with hot water and a little vinegar to prevent mold establishment. Scrub the feeder with a bottle brush and rinse thoroughly before refilling.
The following garden plants provide color and nectar that can help attract Hummingbirds to your garden:
- Red Columbine
- Scarlet Sage
- Trumpet Vine
- Four O’clock
- Bee Balm
A garden with a combination of these flowers (and a nectar feeder!) can assist in attracting these unique birds to your garden.
All of these annuals and perennials are available at Rutgers Nursery and Landscape in their respective seasons. Our staff is always willing to assist in all of your gardening projects.