The Bottom Line:
Many backyard birders strive to attract multiple hummingbirds to their yard, and The Hummer Garden: How to Increase Your Hummingbird Population can help. Ideal for novices and those just getting started attracting hummingbirds, this brief guide offers personal, enthusiastic advice for growing a successful hummingbird garden, including extensive plant lists that will nurture these flying jewels with food, water and shelter.
While poor formatting and grammatical mistakes can be distracting, there is no mistaking the authors' enthusiasm for hummingbirds and for sharing these wonderful birds with others.
- Enthusiastic tone engages and encourages readers to achieve their own hummingbird garden success.
- Extensive plant lists can be useful resources for choosing ideal hummingbird trees, shrubs and flowers.
- Inconsistent formatting and spelling and grammatical errors present an unprofessional appearance and can be distracting.
- Lacks practical garden tips such as planting and layout, but does encourage forethought to design a garden with hummingbirds in mind.
- Provides a biographical list of useful websites, but has no list of additional books or other detailed resources readers could also use.
- Title: The Hummer Garden: How to Increase Your Hummingbird Population
- Authors: Lisa Cockrell and Chad Martin
- Publisher: Laurel Rose Publishing
- Publication Date: June 2013
- Format: Softcover (electronic and audio editions also available)
- Page Count: 46
- ISBN: 978-1-940-54356-7
- Price: $10.99 (USD; rates vary for different editions)
Review – The Hummer Garden
Few birds inspire such devotion and enthusiasm as hummingbirds, and Lisa Cockrell and Chad Martin share their enthusiasm in The Hummer Garden, along with their years of experience and personal tips that have successfully attracted more than 100 hummingbirds daily to their garden.
While this book is simply written, that style is consistent for beginning birders or anyone who hasn't yet attracted backyard hummingbirds.
The book reads similar to a birding journal or notebook dedicated solely to hummingbirds, and includes a range of useful, practical information that can help any reader establish a successful and productive hummingbird garden. Of particular interest are the extensive plant lists of more than 55 recommended trees, shrubs, vines and flowers, many of which the authors have personally seen attract hummingbirds. Brief descriptions are given of each plant, allowing readers to choose the varieties that will be most visually appealing and suitable for their individual yards. Included is a USDA hardiness map, though the individual plant descriptions do not include hardiness zone recommendations and birders will need to consult their local garden center or nursery for the best choices.
Hummingbird feeders are discussed as a vital part of any hummingbird garden, and the authors include a classic hummingbird nectar recipe and their own tips for easy preparation and use. Different types of hummingbird feeders are discussed, and several are recommended from the authors' personal experience.
Also covered are potential problems that may be found in hummingbird gardens, such as stinging insects and hummingbird predators. While understanding these problems are critical for planning a safe and effective hummingbird garden, the book offers very little in the way of solutions or tips to minimize negative issues.
A brief overview of five of the most common hummingbirds in the United States is included so readers can recognize the hummers that visit their yard, including:
While the authors' experience is largely with eastern hummingbirds, particularly the ruby-throated hummingbird, it is disappointing that the overview has no mention of the most widespread western hummingbirds, including the black-chinned hummingbird, broad-tailed hummingbird and calliope hummingbird.
Despite this lack, however, the general hummingbird garden information is just as applicable to western backyard birders as it is to eastern gardens.
Finally, the book includes a bibliographic list of informative websites readers can consult to learn more about hummingbirds. While some of the sites on the list are just general research sites (not specific for birds or hummingbirds), others are rich resources that offer a great deal of information about hummingbirds.
Lisa Cockrell says, "if you hang even one feeder, and plant even one plant, then I believe they will come." With the advice from The Hummer Garden, readers can hang many feeders and plant many plants to create their own customized, hummingbird-friendly garden where they will enjoy visits from these stunning birds for years to come.
Order The Hummer Garden today and start attracting backyard hummingbirds!
Photo – Female Hummingbird at a Flower © S. Carter
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the author. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.