Are hummingbird swings worth buying?

Perch is ideal for great garden wildlife photography

I don’t know who has more fun the hummingbirds or me, but every morning it’s a swinging good time.

Me with my coffee, Holly resting on her table, and the hummers taking turns on the swing as they make their way to one of the many feeders or native plant groupings in the garden.

Do hummingbirds use store bought swings or perches?

We’ve had the swing for about three years. At first, the hummingbirds didn’t know what to think of it and pretty much left it alone. But it wasn’t long before they took to it and made it one of their favourite landing spots in the garden.

If you are only used to seeing hummingbirds hovering at flowers or a feeder with their little wings buzzing away at more than 50 beats per second, the perch will give you the opportunity to observe them up close preening their feathers and keeping a watchful eye out for competitors.

If you look closely, you might get a good look at their long tongues that they use to lick up the nectar from tubular flowers.

Perches are available at many specialty bird stores and online sources. I purchased ours from Wild Birds Unlimited, but they are also available at Veseys and Walmart as well as Amazon.

The perch is also an excellent spot to set up a camera to photograph them at rest.

Once the hummingbirds start using the perch on a regular basis, you can set a camera up on a tripod and capture some stunning images of the little guys.

Garden wildlife photography can be very rewarding, especially when you can guide the wildlife to where you want to photograph them. You don’t need specialized camera equipment once you get them comfortable landing on the swing in your vicinity.

A good compact camera with a built-in telephoto lens is all you really need. If you are interested in getting more information, check out my post on the Best camera and lens for garden wildlife photography.

Don’t be surprised if they decide the camera is a good landing spot.

Hummingbird on swing.jpg

The swing is attached to one of our large, iron plant hooks just above a hanging container filled with Proven Winners Supertunia Vista Bubblegum and just to the right of a hummingbird feeder.

Certainly a lovely spot to go for a swing at any time of day. And if you are looking for an elegant feeder to complement the copper swing, you could do worse than this piece of garden art.

The swings can be purchased commercially or, if you are handy and up for a challenge, can be put together in an afternoon DIY project with some copper wire, beads and either a small branch or a dowel purchased from a hobby store.

Ours is made of a thick copper wire forming the main structure of the swing with a thinner copper band of wire wrapping all around the main wire. The smaller wire helps to hold the small dowel in place for the hummingbirds to sit on and twists up to the top where it holds a lovely red glass bead. I’m not sure if the bead is just for decoration or meant to attract the birds to the swing, but it’s a nice touch.

In case you didn’t know it, hummingbirds are real swingers. Researchers say that hummers spend about 80 per cent of their time perching. So a good perch that swings, is a real find for these little guys.

Now if you know anything about hummingbirds, you know they can be very territorial. Especially when there is a fresh supply of nectar.

The swing is the perfect spot to sit and rest from the enormous task of guarding the food supply, whether that is a batch of homemade nectar (4 parts boiled water to 1 part granulated sugar) or a nectar-rich flowering plant.

Don’t forget to use native flowers in your garden to attract hummingbirds. The plants offer another opportunity to photograph the birds once they begin including the native plants on their feeding routes.

We have located our swing right next to the patio where we can watch the birds on a regular basis. The more they get comfortable with you, the longer they will sit on the swing and pose for photographs.

I can’t imagine going out in the morning and not having the perch for the hummingbirds. Sure they can use a twig from a nearby tree, but providing the perfect spot for them brings them close and allows me to share my coffee time with our little garden friends.

And isn’t that why we have our gardens?

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