You can encourage your hummingbirds to nest in your area by providing nesting material for them. Natural cotton batting, [real] cotton balls, cattail fluff, plant down (ie: dandelion fluff, thistledown) and feather down (like from an old jacket) are a few examples of good nesting material. Hummingbirds also use lichens, leaf fuzz, and spider webs but the hummingbirds are probably better at collecting these materials than you.
Never use dryer lint as it’s full of chemicals, perfumes and long strands. All of which are dangerous for birds, especially small ones. If you’re providing another material, make sure it’s free of chemicals, perfumes and doesn’t contain long strands.
But how do you contain these materials to offer them? One of those cheap suet cages works great! Chances are you’ve already got one. If you prefer a little more crafty look, a grapevine ball from the craft store does a great job holding nesting material. DIY Grapevine Nesting Ball A rain hood over your offerings will keep them dry and usable plus you won’t have to replace them after a rain.
You can also create a location on which they can build their nest…
If you suspect that your yard doesn’t have many suitable nesting sites, you can take matters in to your own hands. Here’s an easy How-To for creating nesting sites and supports. It could be just what your hummingbirds need to convince them that your yard is verrry hummingbird-friendly. Avoid locations with a lot of bird traffic.
If you find a hummingbird nest, keep your distance! It’ll drive you crazy because you’ll be dying to see those teeny little babies but you don’t want to interrupt even one feeding visit from mom. You also don’t want to stress her. Their lives are already stressful enough. And certainly never touch the nest. One more thing, if you get a picture of a nest, we’d love to see it!