Are Hummingbirds Attracted to Red? Dispelling the Myths

Do you know what really attracts hummingbirds to feeders and backyards? It’s not the color red as many people think!

In this blog post, we will discuss the facts about hummingbird eyesight and what really attracts these beautiful creatures, as well as answer the question, “are hummingbirds attracted to red?”

We will also dispel some of the myths that are commonly associated with hummingbirds!

By the way, if you click on a link and then make a purchase, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Are Hummingbirds Attracted to Red?

Have you ever stopped to think about why we assume hummingbirds are attracted to the color red? If you have, you might have come to the conclusion that it’s because that’s what we hear. And, most hummingbird feeders you see for sale are, well, red. But is that actually a fact?

The answer is a little complicated.

While it’s true that hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, there are other factors at play as well.

For example, hummingbirds are also attracted to anything that is bright and colorful.  In addition, contrary to what has been assumed in the past, hummingbirds do have a sense of smell and are attracted to the scent of flowers.

If you’re looking to attract hummingbirds to your garden, you should consider adding plants with bright colored flowers.  In addition, contrary to what has been assumed in the past, hummingbirds do have a sense of smell and are attracted to the scent of flowers.

Can Hummingbirds See the Color Red?

can hummingbirds see the color red

The average hummingbird weighs less than a penny, yet its brain makes up 4.2% of its total body weight—That’s larger than the brains of most mammals! Most of this space is dedicated to the bird’s unique visual system.

A hummingbird’s eyes are positioned on the sides of its head, giving it nearly 360-degree panoramic vision. But this wide field of view comes with some trade-offs. Because their eyes are located on the sides of their heads, hummingbirds have poor depth perception.

They also see the world in less detail than we do. Scientists believe that hummingbirds can distinguish between about 1000 different shades of color, while humans can see more than 10 million.

Despite these differences, human and hummingbird eyes share some similarities. Both have cone cells, which allow us to see colors, and rod cells, which help us to see in low light levels.

However, hummingbirds have four times as many cones as we do, making hummingbird vision more sensitive to color than we are. And although they have fewer rod cells than we do, their rod cells are more sensitive to light, allowing them to see even in dim conditions.

They’re also more sensitive to warmer colors than we are, which is why they’re particularly drawn to reds and oranges.

And if that wasn’t enough, they also have something called “foveal vision.” This means that their central retina is packed with more light-sensitive cells than ours is, giving them sharp vision even when they’re flying at high speeds.

What Other Colors Are Attractive to Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are attracted to colors that are bright and intense. Reds, oranges, and yellows are all good choices, as are pinks and purples.

You can use these colors in a variety of ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Consider planting other bright colored flowers that have these colors, or hanging bird feeders that are brightly painted.

What Attracts Hummingbirds Besides Color?

what attracts hummingbirds besides color

1 | A variety of flowers with continuous blooms

Planting a variety of brightly colored flowers with continuous blooms is a great way to attract hummingbirds to your yard.

Some hummingbird-friendly flowers include impatiens, iris, petunias, and zinnias. Certainly they can be red flowers, but other brightly colored flowers are attractive to both hummers and humans!

You can also plant native species of flowers, as they are more likely to be visited by hummingbirds. In addition to providing nectar for the birds, flowers also provide them with a place to rest and drink.

So, by planting a variety of flowers in your yard, you can create a beautiful and inviting space for these amazing creatures.

2 | Misters for bathing

Hummingbirds love to bathe. You can provide a place for hummingbirds to bathe and drink by putting up a few misters around your yard. By doing this, you will not only be providing a service for these birds, but you will also likely see more of them as they flock to your yard for a refreshing mist.

Some people worry that setting up misters will require too much work, but they are actually quite easy to maintain. You’ll just need to make sure that the water pressure is high enough to create a fine mist, and that the misters are positioned so that the birds can easily reach them.

With a little effort, you can provide a welcome oasis for these fascinating creatures.

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3 | More feeders

Having more than one feeder will attract hummingbirds to your yard. The little birds are naturally curious, and they will quickly discover the new feeder. Once they find it, they will continue to visit as long as there is food available.

If you have multiple feeders, you may even see different types of hummingbirds visiting your yard. Place them about 10 feet apart. That will allow the dominant male hummingbird to ‘claim’ his feeder and still allow another feeder or two for other birds to feed.

To get the most out of your hummingbird feeders, be sure to keep them clean and filled with fresh nectar. By providing a reliable source of food, you can attract these delicate creatures to your yard and enjoy their company for many seasons to come.

4 | Spider webs

Many people are surprised to learn that spider webs can actually be helpful in attracting hummingbirds to your yard. The reason for this is that the spider silk is used by hummingbirds to build their nests.

By having spider webs in your yard, you provide a valuable resource for these birds, and they are more likely to make their home there. In addition, spider webs can also help to keep insects under control, providing another benefit to your yard.

So if you’re looking for a way to attract hummingbirds, leave spider webs in your yard.

5 | Insects

You can attract more hummingbirds to your yard by planting flowers that attract insects. Hummingbirds are attracted to the movement of insects and will often hover near a flower in order to snatch one up.

By planting a variety of flowers that bloom at different times, you can provide a steady source of food for these fascinating birds. In addition to being a fun and rewarding hobby, attracting hummingbirds to your yard can also help to pollinate your plants.

These tiny birds are important pollinators, and they will help to ensure that your flowers and vegetables thrive. So, plant some flowers, sit back, and enjoy the show as these beautiful creatures flit about your yard in search of a meal.

How about Hummingbird Feeders?

how about hummingbird feeders

You might be wondering what color your hummingbird feeder should be. Many people assume that red feeders are the best for attracting hummingbird. The most important thing is to make sure the feeder is bright enough to attract the little hummers.

Red is a bright color that they will be attracted to, so a red feeder is a good choice, but as we learned earlier, it is not a “magic color”.

You can also try yellow, pink, or orange. Hummingbirds are also attracted to shiny things, so you could try hanging a shiny object near the feeder to help attract them. If you’re not sure what will work, try a few different things and see what works best in your yard.

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Does Hummingbird Nectar Need to Be Red?

does hummingbird nectar need to be red

You may have heard that hummingbirds want red nectar, but that’s not necessarily the case. While red is certainly a color that attracts hummingbirds, they’re also attracted to bright colors like orange and yellow.

So, if you’re making your own hummingbird sugar water or buying a premixed solution, there’s no need to worry about the color. Just make sure it’s nice and sweet – hummingbirds are attracted to the sugar content in nectar, not the color.

In fact, please don’t use red food coloring in the hummer’s nectar. While red food coloring may make hummingbird nectar look more appealing, it is actually detrimental to the birds.

The simple reason is that red food coloring is not found in nature, and therefore, hummingbirds are not accustomed to digesting it. In fact, red food coloring can actually cause digestive issues in hummingbirds and may even lead to death.

So, if you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, stick to using plain sugar water without any added color. Your hummers will thank you for it!

Conclusion: Are Hummingbirds Attracted to Red?

Feeding hummingbirds is something that many bird enthusiasts love to do, and they get great enjoyment from seeing hummers visiting their yard.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard, and you don’t have to have only red colored feeders or flowers. Keep the colors bright, the food sources available, and a place for the hummers to drink and bathe. That is what attracts hummers.

By providing food, shelter, and a safe place to raise their young, you can enjoy the company of these charming birds for many years to come. So get started today and create a backyard oasis that will be sure to please both you and your tiny feathered friends!

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