A favorite wildlife watching feature in the Arizona desert is watching those amazing and beautiful hummingbirds that inhabit the Scottsdale landscape. You can pull them within viewing distance by creating and environment that naturally attracts them. Plus, it’s not as difficult as you might think – even in the desert landscape of Scottsdale.
Here are a few tips to help you attract these lovely creatures to your own yard in Scottsdale:
1) Plant native desert plants that draw hummingbirds
Hummingbirds love ocotillo, saguaro cactus, Palo Verde trees, agave, yucca and desert willow, particularly when flowering. They are available and many local nurseries. As these are built for the hot desert environment, you shouldn’t have much trouble keeping them alive, and they are part of many desert landscaping themes common in Scottsdale.
Red is a color that hummingbirds are especially drawn to, so try to incorporate red into your design.
2) Also add flowering non-native vegetation that provide them with nectar for food
In addition to desert natives, hummingbirds are also attracted to a variety of common landscape plants that are not originally from this area. Some good choices include:
- Bee balm
- Cardinal flower
- Coral honeysuckle
- Hummingbird sage
- Scarlet gilia
Once you have the right plants, you need to make sure they’re healthy. Hummingbirds are attracted to nectar, so keep an eye on your plants and make sure they’re blooming. Deadheading is also important – removing spent flowers will encourage new growth and more nectar
3) Put out hummingbird feeders
To supplement the natural nectar sources, you can also set up hummingbird feeders around your yard. Be sure to clean them regularly and change the sugar water solution often so it doesn’t spoil. You can make your own by mixing four parts water to one part sugar. Avoid using red dye. You can find hummingbird feeders at many Phoenix-area stores that sell birding supplies, some hardware stores, or online.
4) Make a water source available
Another way to attract hummingbirds is to provide a water source for them to drink and bathe in. A small fountain or birdbath is ideal, but anything that will give them access to fresh, water will work. Just be sure to keep it clean and free of debris. Moving water is especially enticing, so a waterfall or bubbling fountain will really get their attention.
5) Carefully position the food source and the water
Place your hummingbird feeders and water sources near native plants so the hummingbirds will have everything they need in one spot, but make sure it’s open open enough so hummingbirds can easily spot them.
6) Give them a place to rest
Hummingbirds use a lot of energy, so you should also provide hummingbirds with places to perch. Thin branches that sway in the breeze are perfect for them, and they love being
7) The best time to view hummingbirds
The best time to see hummingbirds in the desert is in the early morning or late afternoon. During these times, hummingbirds are actively searching for food. Hummingbirds in the Phoenix area are most active during spring, in March and April. This is when the desert flowers are in bloom and hummingbirds are looking for food.
Fun facts about hummingbirds
- The hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world — so small that it can fit in the palm of your hand
- While most hummingbirds are found in North and South America, there is also a species that resides in Africa.
- These fascinating creatures can fly at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour and are able to hover in mid-air, making them a truly unique bird.
- The hummingbird. is a very special bird because it can fly backwards.
- There are many different types,, but the two most common in Scottsdale are the Costa’s Hummingbird and the Anna’s Hummingbird.
- The Costa’s Hummingbird is a small bird with iridescent green plumage. The male has a violet-red throat and gorget (the area of bare skin on a hummingbird’s neck), while the female has a white throat. These hummingbirds are found in open desert habitats and can often be seen feeding on flowers or perching on cacti.
- The Anna’s Hummingbird is larger than the Costa’s Hummingbird and has a green back and flanks with a grayish-white belly. The male has a reddish throat, while the female has a white throat with some streaks of red.
If you’re interested in seeing hummingbirds, Scottsdale is a great place to start! By following these simple tips, you’ll be sure to attract these amazing creatures to your yard.