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In Arkansas the Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the only visitor we are likely to see at our feeders. The male has a brilliant red throat that can look black depending on the angle of view. Occasionally, we get western species of humming birds visiting the state. They should be reported to www.arbirds.org.

Adult Male

Adult Male

Immature male

Immature male

The females throat is whitish, and immature birds resemble her, but have indistinct stripes on the throat which can show spots of red indicating an immature male.
One of the easiest ways to attract hummingbirds is to plant a mass of flowers, particularly red tubular flowers. The birds drink the nectar but they also eat the tiny insects found on all flowers, and they feed these to their young too.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush

They are also attracted to flowers like the Butterfly Bush probably more for the insects than nectar. The Cardinal Flower is a native plant that has red tubular flowers and the hummingbird is a primary pollenator of this species.
Occasionally we have a different hummingbird visit but these are more commonly seen in the winter as strays from the west wander this way. Here we see a rare visitor it’s an Allen’s Hummingbird on a feeder. If you see an unusual hummingbird particularly in the colder months let us know.
The syrup is easily made with 4 parts of water and 1 part of sugar boiled for 2 minutes to retard spoilage.
onfeeder
clean When buying a hummingbird feeder make sure it can be taken apart easily, and all surfaces can be cleaned using hot water and vinegar. A little chlorox will prevent fungi and bacterial growth. Clean every 3 or 4 days and refill with fresh syrup. A plastic feeder is lighter and more shatter resistant than glass.