When photographer Erin Wallis and her family moved into their Vancouver Island, British Columbia home in 2016, they were surprised by how many Rufous Hummingbirds visited her new neighbor’s feeders. Excited by the activity, the family set up their own feeder, and over the course of a few very calm and patient years, her daughter Maisie acclimated the small birds to her presence.
By dissolving one cup of refined white sugar with four cups of water (and no red dye, Audubon recipe here), Wallis and her family have created a sanctuary for the birds. They also make sure to clean the feeders every few days. She writes:
We started with one feeder and now I have 8 of them… When the feeders are the most crazy I am refilling 6-8 feeders twice a day. So Wild! These are migrating rufous hummingbirds that travel from Mexico to Alaska annually and have been coming here for years. I’ve read that they have remarkable memories so they remember feeders/flowers along the way and they are said to also recognize faces as well. Judging by their reaction… I know they remember her and trust her. Look at them!!
Here’s another video of her efforts from 2019:
And though there are many trusting hummingbirds in the videos above, it started slow. If you try this activity with your family, be patient! Here’s Maisie in 2017:
We use and recommend Couronne Company’s easy-to-clean Hummble Bold Hummingbird Feeders.
Watch these hummingbirds videos next:
• Hummingbird hatchlings in their nest with mother Rosie
• UCLA’s Hummingbird Whisperer
• Over thirty hummingbirds splash & chatter in a bird bath
• Hummingbird Battleground in the Talamanca Mountains
• What Happens When You Put a Hummingbird in a Wind Tunnel?
Bonus from Wangari Maathai: “I will be a hummingbird.”