The Noisy Reason Hummingbirds Are Avoiding Your Yard

Hummingbirds, with their colorful iridescent feathers, are a great addition to any backyard or garden. However, because of the skittish and careful nature of these beautiful birds, they can be harder to attract than many people realize. If you have put out a hummingbird feeder with plenty of delicious nectar inside but you still aren't attracting any hummers, then there might be something about your yard that is deterring them. While hummingbirds could be avoiding your yard for a few different reasons, including the presence of cats or other predators, lack of a bird bath, or even pesticide use, one reason you may not have thought about is noise.

In fact, hummingbirds are quite sensitive to noise and sudden unnatural sounds can easily scare them away. These hummingbird-deterring sounds can include anything, from road traffic and loud music to dogs barking and wind chimes — although some wind chimes made of metal or bamboo seem to be okay. So, if noise is an issue in your yard, try placing your hummingbird feeders in the quietest area away from the road and closer to more natural noise sources (like swaying trees or a water fountain).

Why hummingbirds don't like loud noises

When compared to other birds, hummingbirds may dislike loud noises even more because of their sensitive ears. In fact, according to The New York Times, recent scientific research has discovered that hummers make high-pitched chirps to communicate with each other — and what's special about these chirps is that they are "well above the normal hearing range of birds" meaning that hummers can also likely hear well above the normal range of birds. In fact, while humans can hear sounds between one and four kilohertz and most birds can hear sounds below eight or nine kilohertz, hummingbird communication happens above ten kilohertz. This means that noises that don't seem too loud or startling to us (or even other birds), may be loud and frightening to a hummer's sensitive hearing.

Besides startling hummingbirds, areas plagued with noise may keep the hummers away simply because the noise interferes with their communication. Hummingbirds rely on high-pitched communication, such as chirping or ruffling their feathers to work with other hummers and attract mates. So, if the noises in your yard are muffling or drowning out their communication attempts, they may move on to find a quieter habitat.

Ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard

Once you've moved your hummingbird feeder to a quieter location, you can go about making the feeder area more attractive to the colorful little birds. One way to do this is to add more red to your yard because hummingbirds are scientifically proven to be attracted to warm colors like red, orange, and pink. You can do this by planting red-hued flowers, buying a hummingbird feeder with a red base, decorating the feeder pole with red ribbons, or even by buying red-hued garden decorations. The color red tells a hummer that food is nearby and that it should go and investigate.

Once you've attracted hummingbirds to your yard, you can do a few things to make sure they want to stay. The first is to add a bird bath or water fountain because hummingbirds prefer to have water nearby for drinking and bathing. You can also plant flowers that hummers love, like bee balm, hostas, honeysuckle, trumpet flowers, cane lilies, and zinnias. Lastly, you should make sure that the nectar in your feeder is always fresh by changing it every few days and making sure the feeder is regularly cleaned.

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