One of the most common questions received at nature centres in North America is, "How do I attract hummingbirds to my yard/garden/balcony?"
Here are some hints:
Make sure you have hummingbirds where you live. In most of North America there is at least one species during summer months. There are more southern than northern species, but in much of Canada there is at least one; in the extreme west, the Rufous Hummingbird, and in the east, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.
Make sure you have appropriately attractive habitat in and around your yard/garden/balcony. Trees and shrubs provide cover, preening spots, and possible nest sites.
Flowers or things that look like flowers. Flowering shrubs such as red-flowering currant, and hanging baskets, especially containing Fuchsia, will draw them. In the absence of flowers, red faux flowers or red ribbons attached to branches can work. So can a floral-patterned bathing suit hung on a line. So can falling asleep in the sun wearing mirror-lensed sunglasses. (They attack their own reflections. It's an exhilarating way to wake up.)
A sugar-water feeder is needed to keep them coming back on a regular basis, or attract them in the first place in the absence of other attractants. These can be purchased at gardening stores, pet shops and elsewhere. Don't bother with the red-coloured "food" mix. The red dye is unnecessary, and who knows what it does to a tiny bird. Most sources recommend a table sugar:boiled water ratio of 1:4 (by volume). For Rufous Hummingbirds, sweeter mixes are often recommended. I use 1:3. Don't fill the feeder to the top unless you are receiving heavy traffic, because the solution will spoil, faster in hot weather. Change it at least once a week. Hang the feeder somewhere near cover, but where you can see it.
The latter point (where you can see it) is important, because you will want to monitor it. A lot of people hang up a feeder, don't see any hummers, and believe they have been overlooked or rejected. Not necessarily so! Feeding visits may be brief, hit and run, and if there are only one or a few visitors, the fluid level may not go down much. Be patient. Sit outside and read a book near the feeder. You'll hear the buzz of the hummers' wings, even if you don't see the bird.
When to put up feeders? Now, if you haven't already.
How do I attract shopping carts to my ditch?
Easy. Dig a ditch at the edge of your property. Fill it with ordinary water. The shopping carts will find you. See here, here, here, and here. Recently, Wanderin' Weeta observed a beauty.