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How Long Will It Take for Hummingbirds to Find a Feeder?

How Long Will It Take for Hummingbirds to Find a Feeder?

What else can you make happier than hummingbirds visiting your feeders? Nothing! So, you have decided to install a hummingbird feeder in your home. But, are you wondering about how long it will take for hummingbirds to find a feeder? You have visited the correct resource. Stay tuned!

Hummingbirds will find a feeder in 1-2 days or quicker if it has all the needed facilities, easy visibility and is placed in the locations where they regularly visit, or on the way of their migration routes. However, it may vary from days to weeks for them to find a new feeder.

How do hummingbirds find feeders? 

Hummingbirds keep flying. They barely rest anywhere. Have you ever wondered how they notice feeders and know what’s inside it? Let’s get some justifying answers right below! 

1. They keep looking for food

Hummingbirds have a rapid metabolism. They need more energy than other birds daily. So, hummers consume small amounts of food every 10-15 minutes. Their diets are energy rich and sugary which supplies them enough nutrients to fly quickly from one place to the other.

So, they are eager to find new and easily accessible food sources. Feeders and flower gardens are their favorite sources of food. It’s highly likely that hummingbirds fly above your home searching food with their eyes and senses wide open. They can spot your feeder and visit your home in a short span. 

2. They have an excellent vision

Hummingbirds have far better vision than humans. Since they spend considerable time looking for easy food sources, they are blessed with excellent eyesight. They can spot your feeder from large distances even when flying.

Some hummers can see the food from above and get attracted towards your food. So, they can spot multiple feeders when flying and visit some or all of them to gather high-energy food for themselves. Thanks to their outstanding vision, they always find bird feeders and never starve to death. 

3. They love floral arrangements

Flowers and leaves attract hummingbirds. Their natural food sources are flowers, after all. So, they visit flower gardens and backyard trees to meet their dietary requirements. They look for floral arrangements in hummingbird feeders and get attracted to them. So, many people install feeders with flowery suckers to attract hummingbirds. 

When they fly, they look for feeders and flowers. Since your feeder has floral arrangements, they become prominent to the hummers. They will spot your feeders thanks to their excellent vision. The flowery suckers will give the birds an impression that they will get enough sugar from the flowers on your feeder.

4. Bright colors attract them

Hummingbirds get attracted to bright colors. They love bright and vibrant flowers in red, yellow, and orange. Why so? It’s because bright colors indicate high sugar content. And that’s what hummingbirds need! They require high energy to maintain their swift body movements and flying speed. 

So, if you have a brightly colored hummingbird feeder, they will visit your home more often. Besides, these birds can easily spot your feeder if you mix small amounts of food coloring in their sugar syrup. They can see bright colors and get attracted to them from great heights. 

5. Memory to remember feeders

Over time, feeding hummingbirds have become more common. You might have observed that many families have started feeding them by installing feeders in their gardens and backyards. Hummers have a strong memory. They can remember the shape and structure of feeders. Since feeders are common in many homes, they have become well-acquainted with such eateries.

So, they can match your feeder’s shape with the ones they had visited earlier. They know such objects contain food and are easily accessible to them. A sharp memory makes it simple to identify feeders and find them from great heights.

How long will it take for hummingbirds to find a feeder? 

It’s unlikely that hummingbirds will visit your feeder the moment you install it. They take time to trust you, your intentions, and the quality of food you provide. Also, they might take some time to identify your feeder as a source of food. 

Hummingbirds might take some hours, days, months, or even years to visit your feeder.

Hummingbird rich regions will attract hummers quickly

If you are in a region which is hummingbird rich, and you took care of all the factors like good plants, right colors, filled up feeders, easily visible feeders, hummers will visit quickly.

It can take 1-2 days to get hummingbirds in your feeder. However, if the area around the feeder remains crowded or surrounded by common predators like cats, it might delay for hummers to showing up at your feeder. It might take up to a week for the first visitor to land on your feeder.

It might just take couple of days for repeating hummingbirds

Things will be quicker for you if you always had feeders installed in your property. In your case, hummingbirds already know that your home serves them with quality food and the right environment. So, if you install a new feeder, it will attract hummingbirds almost instantly or in a few hours.

For the best results, you can install the new feeder besides the old ones. It will help you get hummers in almost no time.

Lot quicker when it is on migration route

Migrating hummingbirds are hungry. They need more energy to travel long distances. So, they consume more food than usual when migrating. It means you can see hummers on your feeder more quickly if your home is located in the middle of their migration route.

The hungry hummers will visit your new feeder in almost 2-3 days of installation, provided you have kept the feeder sufficiently visible to the creatures.

Giving them personal space brings hummers to your new feeder quickly

Your behavior towards them. If you keep wandering near your feeder, they are unlikely to visit you. They can get scared if you keep guarding the feeder. As they need some time to trust you and the feeder, leave the area and watch where it goes. Give them some space and increase the chances of them visiting your home in almost a week.

The right type of hummingbird feeder brings them quickly

The type of hummingbird feeder can influence the time taken by the hummers to come to your home. If you have a metal box feeder that doesn’t look natural, they will take more time (from week to months) to identify it as a source of food and visit your home. However, the natural feeders will get hummers in less than a week.

Quickly get more hummingbirds by giving them high-quality food

The food quality can affect the time taken by the hummingbirds to visit your feeders and orchard. They will stay away from your home if your food has less sugar than their requirement. It’s because less sugar means less energy which is hazardous for tiny birds. However, high-quality sugar syrup will bring them to your feeder in 4-5 days.

Dull and diluted sugar water takes more time to attract hummingbirds

Hummingbirds can take more time to visit your feeder if the nectar you provide isn’t appealing. They have an affinity for bright colors. So, if your sugar syrup is watery and transparent, it’s guaranteed that the hummers will take longer than usual to visit your feeder (over 15 days). However, bright and concentrated solutions will bring hummers in almost a week.

Hidden feeders take more time to attract hummers

Hummingbird feeders should remain visible to the birds in flight. You cannot bring hummers into your garden if they are hidden and away from their line of flights. They might never come to hidden feeders. So, it’s better to keep the feeders in an open area. It will attract hummers almost instantly (in hummingbird-rich regions) or in a few days (3-5 usually). Although you can landscape the feeder with plants and flowers, please ensure that the feeder remains visible to the hummers in flight.

Feeders will take some time to become chirpy if the hummers have distant nests from your location

Many times, hummingbirds make faraway nests. You might not get hummers in some weeks or months of installing feeders in your home if they don’t live near your home. However, they can soon make your home chirpy if they live near you and find your feeder within 2-3 days of installation.

Get hummers quickly during winters and migration seasons

Do you know? Hummingbirds have different feeding patterns according to various seasons. They might not be too interested to drink nectar from your feeder in hot and humid seasons. If you install a feeder in the summer, you will likely get hummers within a week. However, you can expect a high appetite during winters and migration seasons. So, your feeders will become populated within 2-3 days in winters.

The hummers need more energy to survive and sustain their metabolism during these seasons. So, they will quickly find your feeder when the hummers need more energy-rich food.

Besides these reasons, hummingbirds might not visit your home because that’s not the optimum time to hang feeders in your garden. 

Moving on, let’s understand when it’s the best time to hang hummingbird feeders in your home. 

When is the best time to hang hummingbird feeders?

Do you know? Some seasons and times are perfect to hang hummingbird feeders in your home. It might take extensive time for a bird to visit your property if you hang the feeders at the wrong time, especially when you have installed the feeder for the first time in your home. You should be careful to find the best time when you can get hummers on your property. So, let’s understand the times when your feeders can get birds. 

Make use of Cold winters to help them

Winters are harsh for hummingbirds. They need more energy during the cold season to survive in the chilling weather. Hummingbirds already have a raging metabolism. They need energy-rich food to maintain their activities without giving up on the cold weather. So, they eat more during winters. And that’s the best time to hang hummingbird feeders on your property and make your gardens more chirpy. 

The best time to hang hummingbird feeders will be from mid-December to early March in the USA.

Utilize the Migration period

Hummingbirds travel long distances during migration. Generally, they gain more bodyweight before migration to maintain their normal body processes. So, they consume more food to meet their increased dietary requirements. You can hang hummingbird feeders on your property when the migration period approaches in your region and the birds start traveling to other areas. 

Know your region’s arrival time

As you know, hummingbirds migrate from one region to another for some months. You can know the schedule when hummers visited your area during migration previously. It’s best to hang feeders on your property during those times to get more visitors to your feeders. 

To get the perfect feeder hanging time in your region, it’s better to understand the hummingbirds’ migration route. Typically, hummers spend their winters in the Mexican region. In early February, the hummers migrate to the southern or western USA. During spring, they shift towards the northern states in the country.

So, you can hang feeders in the second-last and last week of January if you live in southern states like Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, etc. However, it’s better to hang a feeder in late winter before spring in northern states like Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, etc.

Despite following the above times, you might not get hummers to your feeders at many instances. Let’s understand more! 

What can distract a hummingbird from your new feeder? 

Is your feeder empty without hummingbirds? Well, it can happen due to many reasons despite your efforts. Let’s understand the reasons that can distract a hummingbird from your new feeder.

1. Your nectar isn’t nourishing

Many times, people provide a dilute sugar solution in feeders. It cannot help hummingbirds meet their dietary requirements. So, they might leave your feeder and visit more places for nutrient-rich food sources. 

2. You don’t mix food colors in sugar syrup

Food colors make the sugar syrup look more energy-rich. You might not get hummingbirds in your property if you don’t mix food colors in their food. It becomes difficult for them to identify your food and they might fly past them. However, beware of any harmful colors, you should not use them. It is better not to color them than to use such products.

3. Your feeder doesn’t have a natural shape

Do you have a metal bird feeder? It might appear shiny and sleek to you, but not to the hummers. And that’s why birds aren’t visiting your feeder. They love objects that look like flowers and branches get more hummers. 

4. The feeder is hidden 

The positioning of your hummingbird feeder might not be correct. It might remain hidden and out of sight of the bird’s line of flight. So, the hummers might fly past your feeders without knowing about your food. 

5. Predators are in vicinity

Hummingbirds remain cautious of their surroundings. They might not visit your home if the feeder remains surrounded with predators like cats. 

6. You don’t leave the feeder alone

New hummingbird lovers don’t leave the feeders alone. They keep encircling the feeders to see if any bird visits them. It can be a risky move, scaring the birds away from the feeders. 

7. Birds don’t have nearby nests

Hummingbirds cannot visit your feeder if they live far away from your home. They will likely visit you more if a nest is nearby your property. 

How do you make hummingbirds come to your feeder?

Hummingbirds can be a challenging heart to win. You might require investing more time than usual to attract them to your feeder. However, you can follow a few steps to bring hummers to your feeder. Let’s review them right below. 

1. Make concentrated sugar syrup

Make an energy rich nectar recipe for hummingbirds by mixing sugar and water in the ratio of 1:4. It will taste delicious to the hummingbirds and attract them to your feeders. So, they will likely consume nectar from your feeders containing such sugar syrup. 

2. Choose a natural feeder

Don’t go for an artificial-looking feeder. Go for brightly colored feeders having floral suckers and natural motifs. It will help you attract the birds from a long distance to your home. So, you will get more birds to your home in a short span. 

3. Hang feeders at the best time

As already discussed, hanging hummingbird feeders have some best times. It’s better to hang the feeders on your property during those instances to attract more hummingbirds without hassles. The most suitable moments are winters, migrations, and arrival seasons for the hummingbirds. 

4. Leave the feeders alone

It can be exciting to frequently look at the bird feeders to check on arriving hummingbirds. However, you might scare the new birds if you keep hovering near the feeder. They might not visit you if you breach their privacy. 

5. Hang the feeder in an obvious place

You might hang the feeder in a crowded and bushy place, away from the sight of hummingbirds. They won’t visit your feeder if they can’t see it. So, hang the feeder in an obvious place where the birds can see their new food source. 

6. Keep predators away

Don’t leave your feeders surrounded by predators like cats. Hummingbirds won’t visit your feeder if they see such creatures wandering or relaxing around the bird feeders. So, keep your feeder in a safe place away from harmful animals to safeguard hummingbirds. 

7. Mix red food color in the syrup

Red color attracts hummingbirds. They will identify your nectar from long distances if it has sufficient red coloring. As red color indicates high energy nectar in nature, they will get attracted towards your sugar syrup if you mix red food coloring in the solution. 

8. Don’t scare the birds

Gentle hand gestures and movements can scare the hummingbirds. Since these creatures are small, they are aware of what’s happening around them. So, it’s better if you stay calm and quiet near the hummingbirds as whispering might scare them away from your feeders permanently. 


Hummingbirds don’t have a fixed time to visit your feeders. It can vary from a few days to months and years depending on multiple factors. However, you can follow the above steps to bring hummingbirds to your feeders. Don’t worry! They will come to your home soon and visit your feeder.