General Information

  • Hummingbirds are the tiniest birds in the world.
  • Hummingbirds are the second largest family of birds in the Western Hemisphere.
  • There are more than 300 types of species of hummingbirds, 5 of which are common in San Diego.
  • A hummingbird’s brain is 4.2% of its body weight, the largest proportion in the bird kingdom.
  • Baby hummingbirds will remain in the nest for 3 weeks.
  • A hummingbird can fly forward and backward, sideways, upside-down, and  hover in mid-air while their wings beat about 70 times per second
  • Hummingbirds need to eat on average 7 times per hour for about 30-60 seconds.
  • Their diet consists of nectar from flowers and small soft insects for protein.
  • Instead of sleeping, a hummingbird will slow its metabolic rate known as “torpor”
  • It can take up to an hour for a hummingbird to fully recover from torpor, often appearing as though they are dead.
  • Many plants rely on hummingbirds for pollination.

 

Ways to Discourage

There aren’t many issues with Hummingbirds visiting a home owner’s garden but here are a few tips for problems that may arise.

  • To discourage a bullying male hummingbird from terrorizing other birds trying to feed, group all of your feeders in a tight clump. In late summer, when adults and the young birds from the first brood are all trying to visit the feeders, territorial male hummers will get tired and overwhelmed. Soon they will just give up and let everyone feed in peace.
  • Bees like hummingbird feeders as much as the birds do.  They are a critical species in the ecosystem and colonies around the world are dying off, so it is important not to harm any bees if trying to prevent them from using a hummingbird feeder.
  • To prevent bees, avoid using the glass bottle feeders.  In warm climates like San Diego, the glass heats up and the nectar expands allowing it to leak out and attract bees.
  • Choosing a feeder with no yellow will help, or one that is commercially designed to discourage bees is another solution.

Please do not use any type of insecticides, oils, Vicks Vapor Rub, Pam Cooking Spray, Duct Tape, Off, Skin-so-soft, or Vaseline on your hummingbird feeder. All of these methods are harmful.