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Does rain dilute hummingbird feeders?

Does rain dilute hummingbird feeders?

Water when mixed with any substance, usually dilutes it. Since the rainy season will arrive soon, many of you who have your feeders up might have a question in mind related to rain. You might be thinking, can your hummingbird feeder nectar become diluted by rainwater or not.

Continue reading this article to know in detail about this topic.

Does rainwater get into the hummingbird feeders?

As water can flow anywhere, chances are there it can enter the feeder and dilute the nectar in case if the feeder is not properly installed. The rainwater entered into the feeder can dilute it and sometimes can even completely spoil the nectar if it is polluted. There are few situations in which rainwater can enter the feeder.

Rainwater can enter through cheap feeders

When it rains, it is obvious that the feeders that are hung outside become wet. But here, the build quality of the hummingbird feeder plays a major role. If the feeder quality is good and all the other parts are properly fixed, then the water won’t seep inside. But, if the feeder is cheap or of bad quality with the parts having a gap between them, then the water can easily seep into it and dilute the nectar.

Rain gets in, and the nectar runs out

When the rainwater seeps into the feeder through gaps between the joints, then there are chances of the nectar spilling out. But the nectar will only spill out of the feeder when the excess rainwater enters the feeder and reaches the open parts of the joints. Hence, to keep the nectar safe, you must ensure that there are no gaps in the hummingbird feeder.

Nectar can be diluted

When excess rainwater gets mixed with the nectar, it can completely spoil it, especially when the nectar is made at home with the help of water and sugar. This ratio is 1:4, which means 1 part of water and 4 parts of sugar. But when an extra 1 part of the water is added to the homemade nectar, then the nectar measurements & quality is affected, and the nectar becomes weak.

Does rain dilute hummingbird feeders?

Many of us always think that rainwater is a pure form of water. But it is not true as rainwater contains various chemicals that are harmful to health. Even though some of the birds fly in the rain, the elements of rainwater are still harmful to them and can sometimes even cause severe illness to the ones who are weak. Let’s have a look at how rainwater dilutes the sweet nectar in hummingbird feeders.         

Toxic elements in rainwater

Rainwater contains toxic chemicals which are harmful to the health of the birds. It is usually a mixture of electrolytes that contains different amounts of ions. The various chemical compounds present in rainwater are potassium, sodium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, sulphate ions, bicarbonate, and other major constituents, nitrate, nitrite, nitrogen, ammonia, and other nitrogen-nous compounds.

Consumption of nectar from the feeder mixed with such contaminated rainwater can harm the health of the birds and even spoil the hummingbird’s food.

The mixture of dust particles

Our air contains various dust particles, which is a combination of soil particles, dead skin cells, hairs, clothing fibers, dust mites, bacteria, bits of dead bugs, pollen, and microscopic specs. When it rains, these dust particles get mixed with the rainwater. Sometimes when there are heavy storms, the dust from the trees can even stick to the feeders and slide into the gaps of the feeder, thus spoiling it.

Harmful gases from the factory

Due to the mixture of harmful gases released in the air from industrial chimneys, the air has become very polluted. Therefore when it rains, the harmful gases in the air mixes with the rainwater and comes down to the land. This polluted rainwater can enter the hummingbird feeder if there are gaps between the joints of the feeder.

If this polluted rainwater enters the feeder, it can easily spoil the nectar, which can harm the hummingbird and stop them from coming to your feeder.

Sometimes the rain is acidic

When it rains, we can’t visually determine whether the rain is acidic or not. The sulphates and nitrogen oxides from the air combine with the water droplets to form acid rain. The acidic nature of the rain can only be checked with the pH indicator. Usually, the pH of acid rain is low as 2 and higher than 4. Therefore, if this acid rainwater gets into the feeder then it will not only spoil the nectar from the feeder but also cause breathing illness to the birds.

Contaminants from the rooftops

When it rains, the rainwater falls on the rooftops of the houses and the balcony. The roof usually contains a lot of dust particles, including the twigs of the trees, or if the birds like pigeons or sparrows have bought any other nesting material. When it rains, then there are chances that the rainwater containing these dust particles enters the gaps of the hummingbird feeder and dilutes the sweet nectar that you had kept for the hummingbirds.

Based on all of the above, we can easily conclude as below.

Rain water can dilute the hummingbird feeders. It can dilute the nectar as it increases water ratio, if it has collected toxic elements, collected contaminants from the rooftops, dust or harmful gases from factory. Also rain water will be acidic and hence can dilute the feeders.

How do you protect hummingbird feeders from rainwater?

Many of us keep the hummingbird feeders out in the yard or balcony to attract the tiny birds to our feeders. This works well in all seasons except the rain, as sometimes the rain can easily enter the feeder and dilute the nectar if the feeder is not of good quality. So here are some of the tips for you that can be helpful in keeping the feeders safe in the rain.

Install a rain guard

Rain guards for the bird feeders are available in the local stores or any stores where you can find all the household items. These guards in the form of a dome or plate, are made of plastic and are usually transparent in appearance. It not only protects the feeders from letting the rain seep in the feeder but also protects your tiny guests from rain and act as an umbrella for them while they are feeding.

Move feeders inside

If you have installed the feeder on the poles in the garden, then it is advised to remove it from there and place it under an awning, covered porch or patio. Make sure that the feeder is easily visible to the tiny hummingbirds from a distance and, at the same time, remains dry despite the rain. Please don’t keep it to the inner side of the shelter.

Attach a baffle

If the rain guards are not available in your nearby local stores, then you can even install baffles. These baffles are used to keep the squirrels away from the feeders when they are placed lower the feeders. If you are not sure how to property put the baffles, then you can take the help of the shopkeeper who sell birds feeders as they are usually birdwatchers and know how to correctly install it to prevent rain falling on the feeder.

Modify the drainage

You may notice that the feeders usually have small holes below the feeder to drain out the water if the birds have come to the feeders after having a small bath. But in the rainy season, you can manually make these holes larger with the help of the drill so that no extra water gets collected at the feeder base.

Do hummingbirds come out on rainy days?

Hummingbirds can fly and survive when the rain is not too harsh. They can go from one place to another in search of food as they are tough survivors. For surviving the rainy season, they have two special characteristics. The first one is that they have the ability to shake and remove the excess water from the body while flying in the rain. And the second one is adjusting the body position while flying in the rain. They can hover fast even in the light rain, to maintain their flight.

Do hummingbirds eat from feeders in the rain?

As the birds love to have a bath in the puddles or the birdbath, then they won’t be afraid of flying to the feeders in the rain. Therefore, even hummingbirds can come to your feeders to eat the nectar when there is light rain. Usually, when rain is light, and the winds are less stormy, the flight experience is smooth, and the droplets of rainwater won’t be harsh on their tiny body. If your region has these tiny creatures then you can definitely hang the feeder with sweet nectar.

Can hummingbird feeders be in the rain?

It is recommended not to hang the feeders completely outside the balcony or in the garden, as the rainwater can seep into the gaps of the feeders. You can place them a bit inner side of the shelter so that it is protected from the rain, and also the tiny feeders can come there and enjoy their sweet nectar comfortably. Ensure that the feeder is not placed completely inside your house as it won’t be clearly visible to the hummingbirds, and hence you might find no birds near your feeder.

Can the rainwater completely spoil the nectar?

The addition of little water or a few drops of rainwater won’t completely spoil the nectar inside the hummingbird feeder. The addition of this little water will only weaken the nectar mixture. And ultimately, it gives less energy to these tiny birds during the flight. The better the nectar quality, the more energy the tiny hummingbirds will be able to get to use it during their flight. Hence you must ensure that the feeders are not completely outside in the rainy weather.

Should you clean the hummingbird’s feeder in the rain?

Keeping the hummingbird feeders clean is one of the best ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Even if its raining, it is recommended to clean the feeder and replace the nectar with the new ones every 3-4 days. This will not only keep the feeders clean, but also you can provide fresh nectar to the hummingbirds. Also, keeping the nectar for a long time in the feeder can ferment the sugar in the nectar and turn it into alcohol.

Can mold or fungus grow in the feeder in the rainy season?

As most of the feeders are made of plastic, there are very few chances of mold or fungus developing on it. But, if you keep the nectar for a long time in the feeder without replacing it with a new one, then the chances of developing mold or fungus increase. This is kind of poisonous for the hummingbirds and hence if they drink such nectar then it can cause them serious illness. Remove any type of mold and fungus from the feeders to avoid any harm to the hummers.

Can the ants access the nectar in the rainy season?

During the rainy season, the ant moat, which is present on almost every hummingbird feeder, is constantly filled with water. Therefore, even if the ant tries to come down from the hanging pole of the feeder, it won’t be able to access the sweet nectar that you have kept for the tiny hummingbirds. Even if its not the rainy season, you can still pour in some water in the ant moat to prevent them from eating the nectar.

Does the size of the raindrop affect the hummingbird?

The size of the raindrops is not a concern for hummingbirds. They survive all size raindrops and in fact, adapt to the change by adjusting their body position and flight patterns. The pressure or force of the raindrop doesn’t make the hummingbird fall to the ground, and hence they can easily adjust their flight and movement.


Rainfall is expected in a year, and hence you must install a good quality hummingbird feeder to prevent any leakages. There are very few chances of water entering the feeder and diluting the nectar with a good feeder. Diluted nectar gives these tiny birds less energy to enjoy their migration journey; therefore, ensure that you protect the nectar using various ways when the rain arrives.

I hope this article has answered all your questions and has been helpful to you.