It’s easy to make your own hotspot or visit a public one!
Q: What is a Hummingbird Hotspot?
A: A Hummingbird Hotspot is an area that provides food for hummingbirds. It can be a small space or large and provides either nectar producing plants or a hummingbird feeder. If you like you can set up both feeders and plants for the hummingbirds to enjoy.
Q: How do I make my own Hummingbird Hotspot?
A: Your hotspot can be as small or large, as simple or complex as you like. Hummingbirds love nectar producing flowers and some of their favorites are those with red or pink tubular flowers (see our Plants page). Penstemons can be grown from seed (plant them in fall or winter) and they bloom in early spring. Chuparosa is a huge favorite with hummingbirds and this shrub with bright red flowers is easy to maintain. Desert Honeysuckle and Autumn Sage are also great nectar rich plants and will look beautiful in your hummingbird hotspot. Between these different plants there will be blooms for the birds to feed from nearly year round.
ADD your Hotspot to our Hotspot Map! It’s EASY! Help us inspire others to create Hotspots and cover Tucson with hummer-friendly feeding locations!
By creating a Hummingbird Hotspot, you meet the criteria for the Hummingbird Level of our Habitat at Home program!
Habitat at HomeCreate a beautiful, water-saving landscape that attracts birds and other wildlife
Registration now open!
There are many styles of feeders available but it is important that what you choose is easy to take apart and clean. Find a shady area to hang your feeder(s); the edge of your roof or from a gardening hook are good options. Fill your feeder with nectar that you can make yourself. The recommended sugar water mix is 1 part refined white table sugar dissolved in 4 parts clean hot water; let it cool before adding to the feeder. Please DO NOT add red dye, it is unnecessary! Nectar can be premade and stored in a bottle in your refrigerator. It is important to take down your feeder every few days, take it apart and clean it thoroughly, and fill it back up with fresh nectar. In the summer change the feeder every other day—the more frequently you do this the more hummingbirds will visit your Hotspot.
Q: What do I do once I have made my Hummingbird Hotspot?
A: Map it! Visit tucsonaudubon.org/hotspots and add your hotspot to our interactive map. This will help inspire others to make their own and you can see how many people are participating. You can also find out about public Hummingbird Hotspots that you can visit. You can map your spot as a private yard or a public entry location.
Q: This is fun! What else can I do?
A: Take your Hotspot to the next level with our Habitat at Home program! Enlarge and enhance your space by planting native trees and shrubs that benefit birds and other wildlife. We’ll help you in this step-by-step process. Your landscape will attract hummingbirds for you to enjoy and also provide an area for the hummingbirds to spend time eating and resting. If you are lucky you may even have a female build a nest nearby. To make your Hotspot attractive to hummingbird mothers you need to make sure there are small insects present for her to use as protein-rich snacks for the babies and spider webs for her to build her nest. Visit our Paton Center for Hummingbirds in Patagonia to see how amazing a Hotspot can be!
Truly anyone can do this. Planting and maintaining two nectar-producing plants creates nearly year-round food for hummingbirds.
Tucson Audubon's Paton Center for Hummingbirds
The Paton Center for Hummingbirds is a place to explore and experience the special birds of southeast Arizona. It is dedicated to the celebration and conservation of hummingbirds—and all of southeast Arizona’s astounding biodiversity—through recreation, education, and sustainable living.