Hummingbird feeders are a great way to keep hummingbirds around your home, but they're not without their challenges. In this article you'll learn how to choose the right type of feeder and how to set up your feeder so that it's both easy to use and attractive to your visitors.
Choosing a feeder is one of those things that can seem daunting at first. There are so many choices! How do you know which ones will be best for your needs? What about size? Colors? How high should the feeder be from the ground level? All good questions. But let's start with some answers.
How to Choose a Feeder
The first thing you need to consider when choosing a feeder is whether or not you want to attract hummingbirds using nectar only, or if you'd like to use sugar water as well. ( what are the best hummingbird feeders )Nectar-only feeders are usually smaller in diameter than sugar-water feeders and have a spout that fits snugly into the feeder cup. Sugar-water feeders are a bit larger and have a wider spout that allows more room for the birds to sip without having to bend over too much. The biggest difference between the two types of feeders lies in where they sit on your property. If you plan on keeping your feeder outside, a nectar-only feeder would work better since it doesn't take up any real estate inside the house. And if you're concerned about attracting bees, wasps, or ants, a nectar-only feeder is your best choice.
If you'd rather keep a hummingbird feeder inside, then that means you'll need to supplement the nectar with sugar water. It won't be nearly as messy, but you'll still have to replace the sugar water every now and again. This also means that you might have to clean the feeder more often. Some people just don't like cleaning, but if you really love hummingbirds and think you won't mind the chore, then a sugar-water feeder might be for you.
In either case, there are several other factors to consider when choosing a feeder. You want to make sure that you buy a feeder that will hold enough liquid. A few drops of water may look pretty cute to your little visitors, but after a while it gets old. Also, make sure that the spout of the feeder is wide enough to allow your hummers to drink easily. Finally, pick a color that will match your yard and your taste. Do you prefer bright colors like red and blue, or are you more partial to earth tones like browns and greens? Whatever your preference, go with it!
There are all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials out there that you could use to build a hummingbird feeder. It's up to you to decide what looks best in your yard. Keep in mind that you'll need to find something sturdy that holds together well. That said, here are some popular designs to get you started...
A plastic tub feeder with a lid
These come in a variety of colors and sizes. They're inexpensive, easy to assemble, and very durable. A downside is that they tend to leak more than most feeders. Some people find that they can't leave them out year round because they drip all winter long, while others find that the dripping never stops.
A clear glass hummingbird feeder
This design is beautiful and works well as an indoor feeder as well as an outdoor feeder. Glass hummingbird feeders are generally made by molding the glass in molds, though they sometimes are handmade. There are a lot of different glass designs available, including clear glass, purple glass, and a wide range of colored glass. Glass hummingbird feeders are relatively expensive compared to the other options, but they look nice, are easy to clean, and last almost forever.
A plastic hanging feeder
Plastic hanging feeders aren't quite as common these days. They're not nearly as easy to repair and maintain as glass or wooden hummingbird feeders, and they have a reputation for being less durable. Still, they're a popular option among bird lovers.
A wood hummingbird feeder
Wooden hummingbird feeders are a classic design that has been used for centuries. Their appeal lies partly in their beauty and partly in the fact that they're fairly easy to build. You can find wooden hummingbird feeders in a variety of styles; some are designed to hang off the side of a tree, while others are designed to stand upright. Wood feeders are typically made from cedar, cypress, or pine. There are also metal hummingbird feeders available, although metal feeders aren't nearly as common anymore since the introduction of glass and plastic feeders.
Once you've decided how you'd like to set up your feeder, you'll need to figure out how to fill it. Here are a few tips...
Place the feeder directly above the flowers or fruit that you'd like to attract hummingbirds. If you've got a feeder that sits on a pole or post, position it in such a way that the flowers hang down below the feeder.
Fill the feeder twice a day. Don't worry; once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to do it without spilling a drop. Just remember to put fresh food in the feeder each morning, and empty the old stuff (and wash it!) before nightfall.
Keep the feeder filled until the food runs out. When you switch foods, always change the old food first and leave the new food in the feeder overnight. That way you'll avoid the possibility of spillage.
Don't use anything toxic to feed hummingbirds. Never use antifreeze, gasoline, kerosene, or anything else that's poisonous. Instead, try using a mix of plain tap water and sugar water. Sugar water alone isn't as sweet tasting as honey, but it's still plenty tasty for hummingbirds.
Clean the feeder regularly. Make sure that you wipe the feeder out thoroughly with a damp cloth. Don't forget the spout! Always make sure that everything is dry before putting the feeder back out in the sun.
And finally, if you've successfully installed your feeder, don't forget to enjoy watching your hummingbirds. They're absolutely worth the effort. Hummingbirds Plus - Best Hummingbird Feeders