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How often to change hummingbird feeder water?

How often to change hummingbird feeder water?

Clean water is the basic necessity for living. And so, even the birds and animals must have access to clean water similar to humans. We must always ensure that the feeders in our balcony or outside our garden for hummingbirds contain clean water. In this article, let us see how often we have to change the water in the feeder.

What type of water is kept in the hummingbird feeder?

Hummingbirds usually prefer drinking sugar water as it is their dietary food. Still, they are fine with the normal fresh and clean water as well. But most of the time, we keep sugar water in the feeders to attract these birds, as most of us are unaware that adding too much sugar to their diet can damage their liver. Therefore, while making their sugar water mixture, you can take 1 part of the sugar with 4 parts of the water. You can keep both normal and sugar water in the feeder if you wish.

How often to change the hummingbird feeder water?

As we clean the utensils after eating our food, we must also clean the hummingbird feeders. As the feeder mainly contains water, the frequency of changing it varies as per different situations or conditions.

The frequency of changing the hummingbird feeder water varies depending on season, feeder type, placement of feeder. You can change hummingbird feeder water 2-3 days a week in summer season, 2 weeks once in winter season, daily in case feeder gets bad due to factors like weather, winds, location.

Change hummingbird feeder water 2-3 days a week in summer Season

In the summer season and whenever the weather is hot, we must empty and clean the feeder 2-3 days a week. But, if the hummingbirds that come to your feeder empty the feeder quickly or in greater frequency, then you must clean it every time its empty. You can make use of the tap water to clean.

Winter Season

In the winter season, you can clean the feeder once in a week if you are keeping sugar water in it. But, if you are keeping normal water, you can change it once in 2 weeks, as in this weather birds hardly drink any water from the feeder. Ensure that the water is clean and not contaminated for the birds safety.

Location of residence impacts frequency of changing sugar water

If you live in an area with a lot of dust or sand nearby or in an area where the wind blows frequently, then you must change the water in the feeder daily. Due to wind, the tiny dust particles may settle down on water and contaminate it.

Feeder Type

If you have kept a DIY wide port feeder in your balcony or yard, you might have to clean it or change the water daily. And if you have kept a feeder with a narrow port for the hummingbird, then you can change it every 3 to 5 days or once a week when the weather is a bit cold or in the winter season.

Place of keeping or hanging the feeder

The placement of the feeder is also important to decide when the feeder water can be changed. For example, suppose you are hanging the feeder on the tree branch. In that case, you will have to change the water daily as there are chances that the dead insects or bugs might fall in it or sometimes even the dried leaves, making it difficult for the hummingbird to drink the water from it.

On the other hand, if you have placed the feeder on the table in the balcony or in the window, you can change the water once a week, as there are minimal chances of anything falling in it.

Tips for cleaning the hummingbird feeder while changing the water

As you are changing the water in hummingbird feeder, below are important tips to follow. These also sometimes affect how often can you change the water in the hummingbird feeder.

  • When you are changing the water of the hummingbird feeder, ensure that you first clean it before refilling. But, these feeders are a bit tricky to clean and so here are some of the tips that might prove helpful to you in this situation.
  • To clean the inner side of the bottle, first rinse it with warm and soapy water, empty it and then scrub the interior with the bottle scrub.
  • Some hummingbird feeders might have an extra O ring washer inside the lower part of the base, which should be cleaned too.
  • To clean the bee guards found in the feeder, you need to remove them and soak in the soap water for a few minutes and then rub it with the bottle brush.
  • The large flower-like petals on the feeder can be easily removed by popping them out from inside. Then, you can easily clean them with scrub and warm soapy water.
  • For cleaning the button flower petals, you need to remove the base and then squeeze the tabs to push the petals buttons out for cleaning it with soap water and bottle scrub.

How to maintain a hummingbird feeder

Check out this video to know how to maintain a hummingbird feeder.

Frequently Asked Questions

For how many days can you leave water in a hummingbird feeder?

The water in the hummingbird feeder can be kept for a week. But, it depends on various situations. But before filling it, ensure that you clean it properly to prevent the formation of molds in it.

Is it safe putting plain water in a hummingbird feeder?

Yes, hummingbirds drink plain water. Instead of making use of direct tap water, you can use filtered water as tap water might sometimes contain chemicals used for cleaning purposes and this may harm the bird’s health.

In how many days can you change the sugar water in the feeder?

Sugar water doesn’t last for a long while in the feeders. If the weather is very hot, then it might get spoiled within 2 days, and if the weather is cold, then it might last for 4-5 days.


Feeder water is the only thing that can attract various species of the hummingbirds to your yard or balcony. Therefore you must always clean the feeder and pour some fresh water in it to provide a clean source of water to the native hummingbirds as well as to the migrating birds.

If you know any other tips on when and how to clean the feeder water, then do let us know in the comment section below.