Hummingbird Garden Tours

Ruby-thHumm on ornament-w-sigHi Gang,

Hummingbird activity has exploded in our garden. Young are off the nest & flying about. Birds from the north are on the move south through our area. Females are busy with their 2nd (or maybe even 3rd) nest. Territorial males are busy, busy, busy as they dash about chasing several hummingbirds away from each of the five feeders we’ve hung and their favorite flowers. It’s quite a show. Makes your head spin.

Ruby-th Humm on Cardinal Flower by Pat Sutton
Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Cardinal Flower

With the heat this summer we’ve been cleaning out the feeders and refilling every few days with fresh solution. In our garden they’re also feeding on Cardinal Flower (which is in full bloom), many different salvias (Black and Blue, Blue Ensign, Texas Sage, Salvia Indigo Spires, Belize Sage, and others), Cannas, the 2nd bloom of Bee Balm, Cuphea David verity, Orange Cuphea, Mexican Sunflowers, Trumpet Creeper, and some still-blooming Coral Honeysuckle. Insects are plentiful in the garden and an abundance of fruit flies over my dish of gooey fruit for the butterflies also attracts the hummingbirds and keeps their diet rich in protein.

Can’t wait to share it all with you during the next set of “Tours of Private Wildlife Gardens,” August 12, 13, & 14 — this time focusing on “Hummingbird Gardens.” My garden will be on the August 12 (Friday) “North: Goshen to Dennisville” tour.

Tours of Private HUMMINGBIRD Gardens

Friday, August 12: NORTH “Goshen to Dennisville”

Saturday, August 13: SOUTH “Cape Island”

Sunday, August 14: MID-COUNTY “North Cape May to Rio Grande”

10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

At the peak of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration, we’ll savor an array of diverse gardens that have hosted nesting hummingbirds since May and are now drawing in dozens of migrants. Native nectar plants, healthy insect populations, water sources, and adequate cover are key elements of each garden.


Limit: 25 per tour. Nine Tours in 2011 / Cost per tour: $30 members (NJ Audubon), $40 nonmembers.  (Join three tours at a discounted rate of $75 members, $100 nonmembers.)  These tours require preregistration with payment.  You may register by phone at 609.898.8848 with a credit card or send payment to the Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (noting which tours and full names of registrants).

This is the 20th year I’ve been leading these tours of private backyard wildlife gardens. Yowee! In September (23, 24, & 25) we’ll be focusing on Monarch Butterfly Gardens!

Ruby-thHummingbird-at SalviaIndigoSpires-SuttonGDN-8-3-10(001)-w-sig
Ruby-throated Hummingbird at Salvia Indigo Spires

These wildlife-friendly gardens offer so many ideas in the way of design, use of space, plant combinations, native plants that are lovely AND beneficial to wildlife, “chocolate cake” nectar plants, key caterpillar plants, great shrub ideas, “how to” create your own meadow ideas, garden accents and features like misters, dragonfly ponds, arbors . . .

Imagine getting a glimpse into private backyard wildlife gardens, interacting with the artists who created them, having each and every garden and wildlife question answered, and enjoying it with a group of fellow wildlife gardeners.

Hope to see some of you there !