Hummingbirds are some of the most incredible creatures on planet Earth. They are the only bird known to fly backwards, they migrate upwards of 4,000 miles, and they beat their wings more than 50 times per second. All that exercise uses up a lot of calories so these small but mighty birds need a lot of sugar water from bird feeders.
The best hummingbird feeder is easy to clean and refill, doesn’t leak, will last for seasons, and will attract these beautiful birds.
This feeder checks off all the boxes. The bright red color adds beauty to your yard and easily attracts birds to you. Assembly and disassembly is easy to manage and it is easy to clean.
Hummingbirds come in multiple sizes and all the colors of the rainbow, so choosing the perfect feeder can help to add a lot of variety to your area. There are so many wonderful kinds of hummingbird feeders to choose from, but the best of the best all share the above listed features.
What Makes the Best Feeder?
Hummingbirds will eat bugs and tree sap when nectar isn’t readily available, so your use of a feeder can really help give the nutrients they need to survive. Hummingbirds are known to be loyal to a feeder and visit the same locations year after year. If your feeder looks like a flower, with a bright red color like above, you’ll have more success.
The dark red color of this feeder also helps to keep your sugar water from spoiling too soon. This feeder also has silicone flowers for the birds to sip from, which won’t leak or wear down quickly like rubber in the outdoor elements. Leaky reservoirs attract ants and other pests, which is just another reason to love this feeder.
You’ll want to be able to check the supply of sugar water from a distance, so red, see-through materials seem to have the best of both worlds. The hummingbird feeder above is made of red glass, making it easy to check the nectar levels from your window.
Depending on the area that you live in, you could be getting hummingbird visitors all year long. These birds are known to typically migrate to warmer climates in the winter, but late migrators can pass by until early to mid fall. This is why it is a good idea to pay attention to how much nectar is being used each month so they get the right amount.
Don’t worry about your feeder discouraging the birds from migrating south for the winter. Migratory instincts are impossible to ignore, no matter how tasty that nectar is. They may fight like dogs over the sugar water in the warm months, but if you do choose to keep it out until November, you’ll only be providing a quick pit stop for a late migrator.
Small But Mighty
Hummingbirds are surprisingly aggressive and territorial with their nectar supply. In the wild, a meadow of flowers can only produce so much nectar, so the same idea transfers with your feeder. Sometimes you can get overly territorial birds wanting to protect their nectar from other hummingbirds, so providing multiple feeders is a good idea if you can.
For being as territorial as they are, hummingbirds are almost as lazy as humans in their defense, so they will try to use the least amount of energy possible to protect their nectar supply. There is a series of “scare tactics” hummingbirds will use to intimidate potential threats before they physically attack.
- If an aggressive hummingbird senses another bird eyeing their feeder, they will start making loud noises and singing their song faster or louder to tell the potential intruder to think twice.
- If that doesn’t do the trick, males will puff out their brightly colored throat and assume the threat posture to show strength and a willingness to fight.
- Other birds will spread their wings and flare their crown feathers to show dominance.
- Diving and chasing are other aggressive behaviors that hummingbirds display to fend off intruders coming for their food supply.
- As a last resort, hummingbirds will fight off threats using their beaks and talons.
The feeder we recommend is large enough that two hummingbirds can sit on opposite ends of the bowl and not see each other. This certainly helps prevent any outdoor skirmishes that may be occurring.
However, if you notice these aggressive behaviors from the hummingbirds that use your feeder, you might need to consider precautionary measures to keep your garden flooded with birds. Although entertaining, these hostile behaviors can discourage other, less aggressive birds from coming to your yard, and no one wants that.
The More the Merrier!
These overly aggressive hummingbirds are known as bird bullies and will chase away other birds from feeding off their supply of nectar. This can easily be prevented by providing multiple feeders and moving some out of view of others, like around a corner. Putting a few feeders in multiple locations around the yard will discourage bad behavior.
A consumer favorite when it comes to feeders provides plenty of perch space for the less aggressive types, and when properly spread out, you should be able to see many hummingbirds feed in your yard daily! Perching allows hummingbirds to relax and feed for longer, which keeps them happier overall.
The only downside to this feeder that is considered to be one of the best is that the feeder is not super large, and you would potentially need multiple feeders if you get dozens of hungry hummingbirds. The quality you get for the price is certainly worth it though, and at around $30 per feeder, you won’t find a better deal to buy multiples in.
Sugar Water Recipe
The best feeder is a busy feeder. The most successful sugar water recipe is one part sugar to four parts water. It is imperative that you avoid sugar alternatives, even brown sugar or powdered sugar. Regular table sugar will give you the best results and keep your birds happy.
Hot water usually will be enough to fully dissolve the sugar into the water, but you can always boil your mixture to be sure. If you’re unsure if your water is sufficiently clean, boiling will also help give you peace of mind and your hummingbirds the mixture they need.
Hummingbirds may be attracted to bright flowers, but there’s no need to color the sugar water with food coloring. Aside from the fact that nectar is naturally clear, the best feeders are red in color and have flower-like openings. This should be more than enough to attract hummingbirds to you.
Sugar water can spoil inside your feeder, and that won’t be good for your little winged friends, so it is important to both change out the sugar water at least twice a week and wash the container in the meantime. This is made all the easier with the above recommendation which comes with all dishwasher safe parts.
You can simply toss the whole thing, taken apart first, in the dishwasher and then refill once the cycle is complete. If you don’t want to wait that long, rinsing the bowl and silicone gaskets out with a vinegar water mixture should do the trick.
Hummingbirds are so magical with their speed, ability to hover, and tendency to quickly flit from place to place. They almost seem like the fairies of the animal kingdom, so cute in their appearance and so feisty in their interactions with each other! It is always fun to look out for hummingbirds as you grow accustomed to their feeding times and habits.
Ultimately, the best hummingbird feeder is the one that will work. Hopefully with this highly recommended feeder and these helpful tips, you can get used to seeing hummingbirds happy and hovering all over your yard the entire season through, year after year.
If you love birds and feeders but hate that the squirrels keep eating all your birdseed, you can always look into keeping them out of your backyard or purchasing a squirrel proof feeder. Be sure to also checkout our list for the best oriole feeders!