There are about 360 species of hummingbirds native to the Americas. Though they can be found in Alaska, most are found in warmer climates. These tiny birds can measure as small as 3 inches in length and weigh as little as .07 oz!
A hummingbird’s diet mainly consists of nectar, but they also enjoy a healthy diet meal of insects and spiders.
Birdbaths are a pleasure to have in your yard if you want to catch birds having their daily beauty treatment. But while most birds do well with a traditional birdbath, hummingbirds need something a little different. These colorful little birds need an appropriate water source for their bathing and preening.
What sources of water are best for Hummingbirds?
An average birdbath is too large for the hummingbird. These birds are so small that they need a very shallow water source. An average-sized birdbath can actually be harmful to the hummingbird.
One could certainly add several stones to a regular birdbath to decrease the depth of the water, but there are better water sources for these little birds.
Adding a mist sprinkler to your garden hose can easily create a mist that helps to water flowers, and at the same time, it can provide water to hummingbirds.
If you have a mister, place it near a tree with large leaves. This is a very effective way to provide water for hummingbirds.
The sound alone will attract them, and they will also gravitate towards the wet leaves. The hummingbird will rub herself against the leaves to bath, or so she may even fly through the mist if it’s light enough.
Fountains are very enjoyable for the hummingbird, as they are drawn to the shallow spots where water spills over the rims and ledges of the bath. These are also excellent perches for the birds to enjoy the water.
Fountains with small bubblers are a wonderful option as they give the hummingbird a large amount of space to bathe in the water where they can feel safe.
A slow dripper that is positioned on a birdbath in a certain way is another great option. Position the dripper to splash over rocks or leaves so the hummingbird can rub against them to bathe.
You may also see her stand under small drips to absorb the water. The dripping noise will also attract the hummingbird.
Tips on Keeping Water Sources for Hummingbirds
- Be sure to clean the nozzles on your hoses and spigots so that the water flow is fresh and steady. Check them frequently to make sure the water flow is not being interrupted.
- Provide additional perches for hummingbirds to dry off and clean themselves. They are a pleasure to watch, so be sure to position the perches where you can get a good view of their activity. Dainty branches, wires, or clotheslines all make excellent hummingbird perches.
- Consistently monitor the water flow and depth of your hummingbird bath. You always want to be sure that it is suitable for them as you don’t want to cause them any harm. Adding some extra pebbles can easily adjust the water depth and keep the bathing area from being dangerous.
- Hummingbirds are easy prey for snakes, cats, or birds of prey. All will happily enjoy the hummingbird as a meal or snack. So keeping the water source away from these animals can help ensure the hummingbird’s safety. You can easily provide shelter in a thorny bush or tree where the hummingbird can hide if she feels threatened.
- By planting nectar-rich flowers, such as beebalm, honeysuckle, or fuchsia, near water, the hummingbirds will usually stay nearby. They will enjoy bathing and feeding in one spot. Bright orange or red flowers will also easily attract the hummingbirds, and they will hopefully notice the water source provided.
Does Hummingbirds drink water?
Unlike most birds, the hummingbird does not visit water sources to drink. The hummingbird gets its hydration from the nectar and sugar water they love so much.
However, they do still benefit from water to bathe in. The hummingbird needs to be able to bathe in order to keep its feathers in top condition.
Hummingbirds are spectacular little birds with their array of colors. They are a pleasure to watch, and by providing an appropriate water source, you can help keep them healthy.
Following these tips will help you create an ideal place for them to bathe. If done right, the hummingbirds will continue to flock to the baths in your yard for years to come.
If you want to know more about hummingbirds, check out “Can hummingbirds walk?”