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Jewels with wings. That would be a fair description of hummingbirds. Elusive, shy, delicate, they fill flower beds and blossoming shrubs with a touch of spring magic. If you would enjoy having hummingbirds grace your front porch or yard, read the following tips. It may be easier to entice these tiny visitors than you thought!

Hummingbirds are attracted by bright colors. If you'd like to get up close and personal with a hummingbird, try this! Put on something vividly colorful, such as a red cap or a bright pink shirt. Then go outside to an area where you've spotted hummingbirds and sit or stand very still. If there are hummers around, they will want to check out the brilliant new flower in their area! Don't be alarmed if they come close--they won't hurt you. Their beaks look dangerously long and pointed, but this is so they can insert them into the flowers and buds they draw nectar from.

Hummingbirds require lots of food to fuel their high energy lifestyle. If you'd like to supplement their diet and make your porch or yard a hummer diner, simply fill a feeder with an appropriate food, hang it in an easy-to-get-to location and wait for the hungry little birds to find your fly-in cafe.

Feeders are available in most drug stores, grocery and department stores. The best models will have several feeding ports located around the base, with little perches for the hummingbirds to rest on while dining. Look for a red feeder as hummers are attracted to the bright color. If you end up purchasing a clear feeder, you can add a drop of non-toxic food coloring to the nectar.

Prepackaged hummingbird nectar is readily available, but did you know that you can make your own? Here's a simple recipe: Use one part sugar to four parts water. Stir together well, boil, then let cool. Pour into your feeder and hang in a convenient location. With a little patience, you will soon be rewarded with hungry guests!

It's important to make sure you clean the feeders regularly. Sugar water can spoil in the hot sun, and the feeder ports can become clogged. Wash the feeders thoroughly with boiling water, and don't use soap or other cleaning materials that could kill or otherwise harm the fragile little birds. With regular cleanings and good care, a feeder will last several seasons.

Good luck. By following the suggestions above, you may soon find yourself experiencing the joys of hummingbirds!