Along the way I’ve discovered several amazing books and websites regarding hummingbirds and wanted to share…
The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley
Hummingbirds of North America: The Photographic Guide by Steve N.G. Howell
The Secret Lives of Hummingbirds by David Wentworth Lazaroff
The Complete Book of Hummingbirds by Tony Tilford
Hummingbird Journey North (migration patterns)
Audubon e.g. please also see nectar sources by region
New Jersey Audubon
The Wisconsin Gardener (Kathi & Michael Rock)
World of Hummingbirds
Hummingbird Society: Hummingbird 101
I started gardening in 2004, creating a perennial raised-bed garden (always remember that raised beds need extra watering!). When my husband and I returned from our Cape May trip early June, after discovering the presence of hummingbirds, I decided to read more on the topic (a resource post will follow this one). Transforming my old perennial garden into a hummingbird garden has been a great source of joy for me! Through this process, I’ve rediscovered my passion for gardening; sadly I had abandoned my perennial garden for a few years minus some basic pruning, post Fall & winter cleanup, and fertilizing (meaning there were no new plant installations/landscaping for a while). Even with the recent new plant additions, I have kept a few of my previous perennials, namely Dragon’s Blood, daylily, bleeding hearts, and miniature roses. The others since have been transferred to a neighboring garden patch which we usually refer to as “The Bowling Pin” because of its shape. I saw a question posted to The Hummingbird Society Facebook site (hope you will decide to join!) regarding the perfect zone-specific plants and flowers to establish in one’s garden to successfully attract these birds. My best advice is to consult with your local nursery; they can be a wealth of information and you will have the confidence in knowing your purchase will have a higher potential to thrive in your garden. I know, shameless plug here to support your local small business, but you know how much I love small businesses ;)! My local nursery even had a printout highlighting perennials versus annuals (was very thankful for this list)!
The following are for Zone 6 (keep in mind these are dependent on sunlight and water conditions in your garden):
There may be more hummingbird-attractive plants I have not included on my list; I don’t consider it comprehensive since I’m still learning like you. I will try to update as I encounter them in the future. I hope this list will be helpful to all of you in Zone 6! Seems like nectar-producing species, red (hummers can see color), and/or tubular-shaped flowers (in which they typically find their bugs of choice here) are the way to go ;). Remember to set out your nectar feeder(s) and keep them very clean and full. The hummingbirds will become more and more reliant as nectar-producing flowers diminsh with the progression through summer into autumn. Also, place your feeders near these hummer-friendly plants. Hummingbirds love a place in which they can enjoy opportunities for shade, part sun, full sun, and cover (mature trees & shrubs) as a protection against potential danger. I suspect this is why they’ve chosen to remain in our garden for this reason.
Below, is a picture of my hummingbird garden in the middle of its transformation, enjoy =)…
As always, happy gardening!