Edmonton, Alberta

A Hummer in Every Yard


Not a Hum V but a Hum B, that is - Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in as many back yards as possible, to be more specific.

Attracting hummingbirds to your yard is the goal of an initiative being taken by Wild Birds Unlimited this Spring and Summer. The project aims to encourage people with yards, gardens, flower boxes and hanging baskets to use their garden space to plant flowers, put out feeders, and decorations that will attract hummingbirds.

Anyone who has seen hummingbirds up close knows their unique and captivating magic. We are often asked the question, “Do we get hummingbirds in the Edmonton area?” The answer is “yes” and you may have seen some. But regrettably we don’t get as many as we could. Many people in rural areas have lots of hummingbirds and you can too. The Hummer Summer Project encourages people to do the things required to make your yard attractive to hummingbirds.

Edmonton’s Michael Wiens knows a lot about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, the variety we see in Central and Northern Alberta. He published a book called Jewel of the North summarizing his techniques for attracting hummers and his careful observations of them in his yards in and outside of the city over seven years.You might call him a Hummingbird Whisperer as he has been able to attract large numbers to his yard year after year. In fact last summer saw an unprecedented number of hummers both in and outside of the city.

The first hummingbirds arrive in the Edmonton area every year between May 10 and May 20. Thousands fly over our yards as they either return to their old nesting areas, or the young, who don’t yet have a territory, search for their own space. It’s these young hummers we are aiming to attract by providing them with a territory that they and their future family members will return to year after year – in your garden.

“By planning your backyard garden in advance you can greatly increase the chances of attracting hummers to your yard,” according to Wiens. This involves using types of annuals and perennials that hummingbirds can get nectar from, knowing where to place plants in your yard, and the types of feeders to use and where to position them. At the store we will be offering advice on flower seeds so you can start your own flowers for attracting hummingbirds. In March we will feature Michael Wiens in the store to answer all your questions and later in the Spring we will be emphasizing bedding plants and flowering baskets. We also will have a large selection of hummingbird feeders in a wide range of prices. No purchase necessary for our advice.

Come in to the store to find flower seeds for hummingbirds, information on hummingbird feeders, plus tips on gardening for hummers and hummingbird feeding. Let’s all have “a Hummer Summer!”