Tips for choosing Hummingbird Feeders
There are certain features you should look for.
There are many shapes and sizes to choose from. Designs
such as pie or saucer shaped, tubes and many others.
Some have perches for the little birds to land on.
You can see a good selection of feeders
in The Nature Store.
You can make your own hummingbird feeder with a
bottle, rubber cork, and the drinking tube from a pet
hamster water bottle. Add some red to attract
hummingbirds. Paint the port or use a
ribbon. It is not a good idea to use colored
While most feeders will attract birds there are some basic
guidelines to follow that will make both you and the
Here are some tips.
- Probably the most important design feature to look for
is ease of disassembly and cleaning. The larger
ones are easier to clean. A dishrag, a small bottle
brush such as an old toothbrush will work. Pipe cleaners
are also good for cleaning. There are special
brushes sold for cleaning hummingbird feeder ports.
Wash your hummingbird feeders thoroughly with hot, soapy
water, and rinse completely, every time you refill
them. Keep a eye out for molds.
- Perches are great. Hummingbirds use a tremendous
amount of energy hovering and prefer to sit when they
feed if they are able to do so.
- Red is the most attractive color to hummingbirds.
You are better off not coloring the sugar water.
- Ants love sugar so look for built in ant moats.
You can also get add-on ant moats.
- bees and wasps are also pests that love nectar.
Bee guards will help. The most attractive color to
bees and wasps is yellow. Some shapes such as
saucer feeders will discourage bees.
Smear a bit of petroleum jelly around the feeder port to
discourage both ants and bees.
- Rain guards help if you get a hummingbird feeder with
feeding ports located on top of the solution
reservoir. Rain will dilute and possibly
contaminate the mixture. You can also get rain
guards to hang on your feeder.
- Saucer feeders are better than bottle feeders in direct
sunlight. Bottle feeders will leak as they warm
up. The sun will cause the sugar solution to spoil
Where to Put Hummingbird Feeders
Place your feeders where Hummingbirds are most likely to
see them such as, near flowers. Flowers
offer the birds energy in exchange for pollination.
Feeders make a good substitute. They also eat insects
and spiders for protein.
After they get in the habit of visiting you can move it
closer to a window if you want. This not only lets you
watch the birds but you can see when the sugar is low.
If you have a garden area with flowers Hummingbirds like,
that is a good place.
Once hummingbirds discover where a feeder is, the
birds will keep coming back daily even bringing their young.
They will return year after year to the same feeders.
During migration the traffic can increase.
Many people like to put them by a window so they can
watch. You can get window feeders that attach to the
If your feeder is within 15 feet of a window move it so it
is only a few inches away. Windows are dangerous because the
birds will fly into them. They are less likely to if
the feeder is either farther than 15 feet or just a few
inches from the window.
Hummingbirds are more likely to visit your feeders if
there is cover close by. They spend a great deal of
time perched in trees or bushes where they are
protected. They prefer to fly only a short distance
A shady spot keeps feeders cool and reduces
spoilage. On the other hand the Hummingbirds colors
come out in sunlight. The answer is a compromise.
Try to a place where the feeder is in shade for a good part
of the day.
Sometimes a single Hummingbird will dominate a feeder so
spreading several around is a good idea.
The standard recipe for sugar water is 1 part white sugar
for 4 parts water. Bring water to a boil over low heat
and stir in the sugar. Boiling kills mold spores, but
do not over boil. Cool the mixture and fill the
feeder. Store sugar water in the refrigerator.
Do not use honey because it spoils easily and has bacteria
in it that can cause a fatal fungal tongue disease.
How often do Hummingbirds need to eat? If you
check 5 websites or read 5 books you will get 5 different
answers to this. So here is mine. Hummingbirds
need to eat very frequently because they use a lot of energy
For information on feeders for other birds visit Bird Feeders. For
information on food and feeding for other birds Food - Feeding. For
more about Hummingbirds
or to hear their song and wing sound.