Tiny, elusive hummingbirds are some of nature’s most marvelous gifts, and it’s a wonderful surprise to find them in your yard. Now, the US Fish and Wildlife Service is stepping up to protect these precious birds.
PREPARE FOR SPRING SURPRISES
Workers at the service issued a reminder to be careful when you’re cleaning, pruning or mowing to get your garden ready for spring. Hummingbirds can build nests in the most unexpected places including hanging feeders, plant pots and the forked branches of trees and shrubs.
Hummingbirds build detailed, intricate homes that they decorate with lichens and moss. They build them in the early spring when the weather starts to turn warm.
TINY EGGS AND NESTS
In most cases, you’ll see them after March. If you live in a warm, sunny region, you might be lucky enough to see hummingbirds all year. In cold, northern climates, you might have to wait until the end of May.
Their nests and eggs are so tiny they’d be easy to miss if you didn’t know their location. As a picture from the government agency shows, a hummingbird’s nest is about the size of a fingernail and the eggs are the size and shape of jelly beans.
To keep these potential visitors safe, move slowly when you’re pruning or cutting shrubs and trees.
HELP HUMMINGBIRDS FEEL AT HOME
If you want to go further and attract these colorful, buzzing birds to your yard, follow these pointers:
- Set out sugar feeders.
- Plant brightly colored flowers.
- Install a water feature with moving or bubbling water.
- Leave spiderwebs alone because hummingbirds use spider silk to build their nests.
- Plant native grasses and plants because hummingbirds prefer them for shelter and building materials.
ENJOY LASTING BEAUTY
Like all birds, hummingbirds are threatened by habitat loss. You can help them by creating a yard that’s welcoming and safe. Hummingbirds return to their same nests every year, so you’ll enjoy their visits for years to come.
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