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Creating a Hummingbird Garden Paperback – May 6, 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (May 6, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671892452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671892456
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marcus Schneck, founder and director of the Backyard Wildlife Association, is a natural history writer and photographer, and the author of several books on hummingbirds and butterflies, including Creating a Butterfly garden. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

HUMMERS LOVE BACKYARDS

There's no doubt about it. Most species of hummingbirds love what many of us have done with backyards. Even without any special planning or forethought, many of the brightly flowering plants that we love to have in abundance serve the tiny, feathered "helicopters" equally well.

Whether those flowers -- particularly red and orange ones -- appear on our highly manicured ornamental plants, in our flower gardens, or as part of specially designed backyard habitats for hummingbirds and/or other wild creatures, they have become meccas for the nectar-sipping birds. Such places quickly become part of a hummingbird's daily rounds, possibly warranting more than a single visit each day.

Our gardens, intentionally or otherwise, have become part of the forefront in hummingbird conservation. And these tiny birds, like so many wildlife species, need all the help they can find.

We're far removed from those days in the mid-1800s when hundreds of thousands of hummingbirds were killed and exported to Europe for use in specimen collections, ornamentation on ladies' hats and similar applications. But we've come up with even more dangerous threats in the pesticides, herbicides and all the other "cides" that we apply to our properties in the name of green lawns.

If you're thinking about attracting hummingbirds to your backyard, your first step -- the kindest, most caring thing you can do -- is to cease using all chemicals. Be assured, nearly all those pesticides and herbicides are quite deadly to your little visitors.

Copyright © 1993 Quarto Publishing Inc.


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Customer Reviews

This book taught me that hummers prefer the birdbath even more shallow then regular birds.
"webcat15"
I am not sure exactly how he surveyed their opinions, but the book is very informative and is my go-to book for plant selection.
Michael L. Sherrard
That said, there was some good basic information in this book, and it's a good jumping off point.
Kid at Heart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By "webcat15" on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
This beautiful little volume is a treasure of information. A concise 80 pages, it's packed with valuable information and 58 photos and illustrations. Including 17 of the most common hummingbirds in the United States and their regions. It provides illustrated landscaping and plant guides for each season and region, with a variety of colors. Red being designated as the color generally drawing hummingbirds first and strongest. This book taught me that hummers prefer the birdbath even more shallow then regular birds. Such a simple thing to correct! I've read several books on hummingbird gardening, but this is the first to encourage "island" planting and "layering" to attract hummingbirds. This book taught me that "island" planting increases the flower-surface area available for hummingbird use. Not only is this beneficial to attracting hummers, but is so beautiful. They encourage gardners to "layer", which is also so pleasing to the eye, not just the birds. The taller plants, in the "layering" technique, provide places for the hummingbirds to hide. Recipes for necter are included, along with instructions for taming! I enjoyed the bit of history the author included too: for ex., thousands of these little birds were exported to England in the 1800's to be added to collections and to be used on ladies hats! This book has taught me more about the hummingbird, it's habits, preferences, etc. then any other I've purchased. Also, it was one of least expensive! This book was so helpful I purchased it's "sister" on attracting butterflies. I highly recommend!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By merrymousies on August 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a very basic book but a good intro to hummingbird gardening. It recommends non-native plants in addition to native ones but you have to do your own research to determine which are which. By the time I bought this book I already knew what they hadto say and was well past it. Its very very basic - has lists of plants and drawings of gardens but doesn't tell much more. Common sense tells you that hummingbirds like flowers that are trumpt shaped and red. Other books can tell you more about the plants and its better to plant native plants anyway since they are "designed" to grow in your area and their blossoms are timed with the hummingbird migration (its the whole interdependency/web of life thing).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kid at Heart on May 17, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will preface this by saying that this is the first book I purchased on this subject, so I don't have a large pool of measurables to compare it to.

That said, there was some good basic information in this book, and it's a good jumping off point. I liked that it gave some general overviews of plants the birds like, and when they bloom, etc.

I would have liked a bit more on the specifics of the birds themselves... but perhaps that's best found in a book specific about birds, as opposed to the gardens that attract them. For some reason, I thought there might be a little more of that included though.

Overall, I'll recommed it. As stated, it's a good place to start, and using this information along with information you get from your local nursery professional should give a place to begin bringing the bird to your yard.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joe the Critic on February 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a tiny book, more of a children's book than a resource for serious gardeners. It's attractively designed and laid out, but the informational content is limited. The information on selecting plants for a hummingbird garden is not entirely accurate -- for example, wooly blue curls (trichostema lanatum) are actually not "well-adapted to various soil types". Unfortunately that's almost all the book had to say about this beautiful but temperamental western native, which requires especially well-drained soil.
Part of the problem is that this book doesn't address regional differences. Perhaps it would be suitable for residents of the east coast or Midwest. For residents of western states, I would recommend looking elsewhere, such as books on native plants or the Sunset guide to Western Gardens.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
I have a copy of this book for the sole reason that I collect books; specifically books having to do with anything about birds. We live in the Midwest and for the most part, in our area, the only hummingbird we have is the Ruby Throated. This is okay as they are fascinating little creatures. As I write this they are preparing for their fall migration and we have at least 50 of them hitting our feeders each and every day.

This little book is way too general and way to vague to be of much use. Yes, it gives the names of some species of flowers that will indeed attract hummingbirds and indeed, butterflies. This is all fine and dandy but specific information as to cultivating these flowers is minimum at best. If you are interested in creating a flower garden and have never done so, it would be best to purchase one of the many excellent gardening books now available.

Our entire acreage is covered with various flower gardens. Trust me, it is not as easy as it looks and to do it right a tremendous amount of work is involved. You cannot just dig up a spot, throw in a handful of seeds and let it go.

I was also a bit concerned that this little book; and it is little, make no mistake about that, advocates not only wildflowers, but also species which are not native to specific area, nor even this country for that matter. This is all well and good but recent years have shown that nonnative plants can and often do become invasive plants and can cause real problems. Before some of these plants are used a person needs to take a hard look at them and do their research.

I do not that at least one reviewer has mentioned the fact that this book is rather useless if you live on the west coast. I must agree with that statement.

There are better books on the market than the one being reviewed here. But that being said, I am glad I have it in my collection.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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