The Allegheny County's recent order places restrictions on county-wide gatherings and events effective July 3rd. In following these orders, the National Aviary will be closed for one week beginning July 3, 2020. Please check back next week for more information. The National Aviary will continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Allegheny County Health Department to do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. To support our flock during this difficult time visit aviary.org/Make-a-Donation.

The Allegheny County's recent order places restrictions on county-wide gatherings and events effective July 3rd. In following these orders, the National Aviary will be closed for one week beginning July 3, 2020. Please check back next week for more information. The National Aviary will continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Allegheny County Health Department to do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. To support our flock during this difficult time visit aviary.org/Make-a-Donation.

How can I attract hummingbirds?

How can I attract hummingbirds to my yard?

Hummingbirds are found only in the Western Hemisphere. The Ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird to nest east of the Mississippi River. It can live in all climates and will lower its body temperatures to endure short cold spells.

If you plan to feed hummingbirds during the summer, you may want to put up a feeder as early as the beginning of April. This is when the first Ruby-throats may appear in Pennsylvania and your feeder could serve as a valuable food source until more flowers bloom or in case of a late frost. Hummingbirds can still be found in Pennsylvania through mid to late October.

To attract hummingbirds to your feeder in the spring, mix a nectar of one cup sugar to  four cups of water. Do not add any coloring to the nectar mix. The feeder itself will attract the birds. With a few minutes of stirring, the sugar will dissolve in cold water right out of your tap.  Put any unused necatr solution in your refrigerator until it is needed.  Your feeders should be rinsed out well and receive fresh nectar every few days, and perhaps more often if the feeder is in direct sun.  Feeders with insect guards will help deter ants and bees, as will a coating of petroleum jelly on the hanger.
 
Hummingbirds are very attracted by the color red. If you would like to landscape your yard to lure them, we suggest you plant bee balm (Monarda) didyma) or cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis), which are two of the most hummingbird-attractive perennial wildflower species.  Both of these bloom in July and August, when young hummingbirds are on the wing and when all hummingbirds are preparing for migration.  Hanging baskets with cultivated red tubular flowers of any kind also will attract hummers!