Simple Tips To Help Protect Hummingbirds From High Summer Heat

Hummingbirds prefer warm climates for their abundance of delicious flower nectar, but even for these creatures, sweltering temperatures make it harder to thrive. When hummingbirds visit your garden in search of sustenance this summer, you can provide them with a much-needed refuge from the high heat. These simple tips will attract hummingbirds to your yard and keep them coming back all season long.

By frequently replenishing your feeder with hydrating nectar and creating optimal environments for nourishment, cooling, and resting, your backyard will be nothing short of a hummingbird paradise. It's easy to create a sanctuary for these beautiful birds, especially if you have a green thumb. The most effective way you can help them thrive in the summer heat is by ensuring that your feeder is free of contaminants and full of nutritious nectar. Once the hummingbirds discover your bountiful backyard refuge, you won't be able to keep them away.

A solid supply of nectar helps hummingbirds thrive in hot weather

The best thing you can do for hummingbirds in high heat is to provide a steady and uncontaminated nectar supply. A 2023 study published in Ecology and Evolution found that, because hummingbirds don't typically drink water, they may forage for nectar more frequently on hot days to keep up with their hydration needs. In the summer, use four times the amount of water to nectar to help the birds quench their thirst.

During peak summer months, hot weather can cause the nectar in your feeder to ferment and develop bacteria. That's why it's important to change hummingbird feeder nectar daily in the summer, especially if they visit frequently. If your nectar has gone bad, it will have a cloudy appearance or black residue, which indicates mold. Both are harmful to these birds and should be avoided by emptying and refilling the feeder each day. To clean it, rinse it thoroughly and allow it to dry completely before refilling. To disinfect the feeder, soak it in hot tap water mixed with diluted vinegar or bleach, rinse well, and let it dry.

Another way to provide nourishment for these birds is to plant flowers that hummingbirds absolutely love. These include orange and red tubular flowers like petunias, zinnias, trumpet honeysuckle, and daylilies. Combined with native plants, bushes, trees, and minimal pesticide use, your yard will be a summertime haven for these beautiful birds.

Other ways to help hummingbirds stay healthy in the summer

Although hummingbirds don't drink water, they do bathe in it from time to time. A low-pressure misting device is ideal to help them cool down and refresh, however, a drip fountain will also work well. Install the water source close to a shrub or shady tree for the optimal setup. In extreme heat events, hummingbirds seek refuge in the shade, according to the Ecology and Evolution study.

Small insects and pollen are a significant source of nourishment for hummingbirds. In hot weather, you can help the birds conserve their energy by providing abundant food sources. Firstly, avoid using pesticides as much as possible. Fill your yard with native plants that attract pollinators, as well as large-leafed plants for nesting. You can even give the hummingbirds a fruit fly feast by hanging a basket of fruit peels near your feeder. All of this effort is worth it for the colorful swarm of hummingbirds that will fill your yard this summer.