So I'm thinking Spring! I got out my hummingbird feeders, washed them out, filled them, and hung them up on the back deck. I love sitting out on the deck and having the hummingbirds flying around me. They're actually quite social and not as skittish around people as I anticipated. Although they fly away if you try to approach them, they will fly around you if you're sitting relatively still.
My hummingbird feeders are probably the least expensive you can buy. I bought my first one at WallyWorld a few years ago for just a few dollars, along with a packet of hummingbird nectar for $1.99. Once the birds arrive, you will be replacing the nectar every few days, so I dropped the idea of having a feeder and took it down after the initial packet of nectar was gone.
But last year I discovered the home recipe for Hummingbird Nectar. It is: one part sugar to four parts water. I boil up 2 cups of water and add a half cup of sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. I let the mixture cool for the afternoon before putting it in the feeder. Notice there is no red dye or coloring, which I'm sure is better for the birds.
Normally I put my feeders up around the 4th of April. Within a week I will see a hummingbird or two, and within three weeks there is a non-stop flight path to my feeders. I have had as many as eight birds at a time at the feeders (though they don't like to share and chase each other away frequently). Because of our early Spring and sightings as close as Kentucky already, I'm putting my feeders up today.
Here's the type of feeder I use:
But you can get feeders that are much more ornate (I don't think the birds care, but you might want something more decorative.)
But whichever feeder you choose, you can use this Hummingbird Migration Map of 2011 to get an estimate of when Hummingbirds may arrive in your area.
Or use the current 2012 migration map to see when the birds are approaching your area and to report your own hummingbird sightings!
It's a fun hobby, and as inexpensive as you want it to be, depending on which feeder(s) you choose. If you want more information, here's a great link to check out.
Life is good!