Hummingbirds aren't born knowing to seek out red flowers. Each hummingbird must learn the association between each flower and quality food.
I think we can learn something from this!
Hummingbirds learn by trial-and-error which flowers are the source of the best quality food. They discover that plants like Bee Balm (Monarda), Coralbells (Heuchera hybrids), Scarlet Sage (Salvia coccinea) and Cardinal Flower (Lobeia carinalis) and other nectar-bearing plants are excellent sources of quality food.
By high quality food in your hummingbird feeders, I mean
- FRESH - the newer the nectar, the better. Never cloudy, never containing mold. Even in my northern clime, I've been trying to change my nectar every 2-3 days.
- CLEAR - with no artificial dyes. Just a plain sugar and water mix that most closely mimics flower nectar. Read 5 good reasons to NOT use red nectar.
- CLEAN FEEDERS - no mold inside or in the hard-to-reach ports. If your hummingbird feeder is hard to clean, get one that is easier to clean and guess what? You'll clean it more! Good for the birds, and good for you when you get to see MORE birds!