It is a great experience to feel your hummingbird feeder with nectar and leaving it out for the hummingbird. However, besides hummingbirds, many other creatures love and feed on nectar, so you ought to prepare for any interference.
Ants and bats will find their way to the Hummingbird feeder and steal the nectar, especially at night. Similarly, squirrels, among other animals, many of which carry diseases such as rabies, will drain the feeder to the last drop by drinking the sweet sugar water.
In addition to being bothersome, these uninvited guests bother the tiny hummingbirds and pose a significant threat to humans. This mysterious disappearance of nectar from the feeder prompted me to start looking for the culprit. I would keep an eye out on the feeders every night for any activity. Fortunately, my search didn’t last long, and I finally caught up with the sneaky raccoon. That caught me surprised since I didn’t expect to see a raccoon feeding on the sweet nectar.
What Drains The Hummingbird Feeder At Night?
Many organisms would love to taste the sugar-filled nectar given a chance- even if it involves visiting the feeder in the darkness of the night. Most of these animals, birds, and insects carry germs and contaminants. Moreover, insects such as wasps, yellow jackets, and bees will hostilely chase away the hummingbirds to enjoy the nectar. Similarly, oriels and other nectar-loving birds tend to occasionally visit the feeder to get their share of the sweet water. Here are some of the main intruders you should watch out for and keep away from the hummingbird feeders.
Having ants in a hummingbird feeder is like a ticking bomb. They will continuously steal nectar while at the same time bringing disease and contamination that can affect both humans and birds.
Have you ever filled your hummingbird before nighttime only to wake up and find it empty? Well, one major culprit is the bat. These animals bring forth diseases such as rabies. As a result, you have to place countermeasures to help combat this menace.
Bees have for a long time been attacking hummingbirds and even scare them away to enjoy the nectar by themselves. More interestingly, however, is the fact that bees never share their feeders with hummingbirds.
Wasps, Yellow Jackets, And Hornets Among Other Insects
Due to increased deforestation and global warming, keeping hornets, wasps, and yellow jackets, among others flying insects away from hummingbird feeders, has become increasingly complex by the day. Noted for their aggressiveness, such insects may go as far as stinging hummingbirds in an attempt to chase them away.
Squirrels And Raccoons
This group also includes bears known for feeding on the sugar water in hummingbird feeders to the last drop. Placing barriers can help ensure the feeders remain out of reach from squirrels.
Orioles And Other Birds
Similar to hummingbirds, most birds such as orioles love nectar and would go through anything to have their share of the sugar water. Unlike other animals, they tend to raid feeders even during the day.
Tips To Consider When Choosing A Hummingbird Feeder
Are you comfortable selecting a hummingbird feeder without any professional assistance? If not, consider going through this post to get crucial tips to help you select a suitable feeder.
Since leaking hummingbird feeders attract ants, ensure that your specific feeder features hand moats to help keep these insects away. Otherwise, ants are always attracted to the sugar and may invade the feeder. However, if your feeder doesn’t have an ant moat, worry mot. You can purchase separate ant traps and guards.
Bottle or dish feeder
There are two main types of hummingbird feeders; dish feeders, known as saucer feeders, and bottle feeders. Using the dish feeder is relatively easy, where you only have to place the nectar below the feeding ports. Due to its rather straightforward design, the hummingbirds can start feeding as soon as you pour the nectar into the dish and replace the top.
Another advantage of using the dish feeder is that it features a relatively easy cleaning process. Moreover, unlike other feeder types, this one is not inclined towards leaking problems.
On the other hand, vacuum feeders, commonly known as vacuum, take after a bottle’s typical shape. The feeder holds nectar above the feeding ports and lowers as much nectar depending on the eaten amount.
A significant opinion of bird watchers believes that bottle feeders have a more stylish appearance but tend to be more challenging to clean. Usually, you’ll need the help of a brush to reach the inner of the bottle. Another downside to using bottle feeders is their high tendency to leak. However, since different hummingbird enthusiasts have varying preferences, you are free to decide which feeder type to use.
Although this is not a major requirement, consider using a feeder that allows hummingbirds to rest. They enjoy it when eating and with a place to relax.
Consider using a hummingbird feeder made from sturdy glass and plastic. In addition to standing up well, such feeders are robust and do not break easily upon falling.
Size and capacity
Another factor worth considering before purchasing a hummingbird feeder is its nectar capacity. Most bird watchers prefer massive feeders that can hold up to 32 oz of nectar. However, as much as most people prefer high-capacity feeders, you have to factor in the number of hummingbirds visiting your feeder. This is to prevent wasting most of your nectar which will typically spoil after five days.
Another alternative to having a single massive feeder is spacing several smaller ones around your yard. Moreover, with several feeders, many birds can feed at once without fear of a bully hummingbird which prevents other hummingbirds from feeding on the nectar.
Additionally, remember that the small size should not trick you into thinking that a hummingbird doesn’t consume much. You might find it surprising that a sizeable number of birds can clear a single feeder within no time. Also, despite their small size, hummingbirds are very terrestrial and can be aggressive towards one another.
Lastly, unless you are an avid bird watcher, you might not realize how common it is for a dominant hummingbird to prevent other hummers from visiting a feeder in an attempt to protect it. Thus, with several feeders, the dominant hummingbird cannot protect all of them at once. Moreover, having different feeders allows you to test with different feeder styles and different locations to see which one works best.
Pick feeders with bright colors
Similar to bees, red and other bright colors tend to attract hummingbirds. As such most flowers have bright petals, which help attract the birds. And since most hummingbirds prefer to locate their food source as quickly and conveniently as possible, ensure that your hummingbird feeder displays bright colors predominantly.
However, I do not recommend dyeing your nectar with food coloring to attract the songbirds. Instead, food colors contain harmful chemicals that can harm your hummers. Moreover, since the original nectar is clear and transparent, dyeing your sugar water further worsens it.
What are the best hummingbird feeders?
If you are a bird enthusiast, then the spring and summer seasons should remind and make you anticipate the return of the tiny feathered hummingbirds. How prepared are you in terms of luring these fascinating birds into your yard with the season rolling in?
Any bird watcher would understand that a hummingbird prefers nectar to the bird seeds that you may already have. Fortunately, making nectar is a rather simple process that doesn’t require any expertise. With granulated sugar and some water you may already have in your kitchen, you are set to start making your nectar.
Creating nectar on your own isn’t something to worry about. Instead, take time to find a suitable feeder that can hold your nectar sufficiently. After finding the perfect feeder to use, take some time to locate a spot in your yard or garden, especially where there is a partial shade, to hang the feeder.
Afterward, fill the feeders with nectar and wait for a view from these pleasant birds. However, just like how there are many ways to catch a mouse, there is more than one way to attract these pollinators. In this post, I have the best selection of feeders in the market to help you with this step.
First Nature Feeder
The First Nature feeder has for a long time topped the list for the best hummingbird feeder. In addition to having a high-quality and robust build, this product has attracted five-star reviews from its users. The hummingbird features a red base that can’t miss the eye, a perch that enables viewing, and about ten feeder ports.
This product is a favorite for many due to its anti-leak capabilities provided by an anti-leak sealing ring. Also, many reviewers attest that it also has a seamless cleaning process.
Perky-Pet Rose Glass Feeder
With its pink color, this Perky Rose Gold glass feeder attracts hummingbirds from far. Moreover, it features a wide top which allows for easy filling and refilling. Also, since it features a rather simple cleaning process, do not hesitate to acquire this fun glass feeder.
Perky-Pet Mason Jar Feeder
This blue hummingbird feeder has a string appearance and takes after vintage mason jars. It features white and yellow flowers at its base, which serve as the feeding ports. Also, with its massive capacity, this feeder holds up to 32 oz of nectar.
Bolite Bottle Glass Feeder
When talking about rustic charm, the Bolite vintage hummingbird feeder comes into mind. This vintage bottle has a 25 oz capacity to hold nectar and allows for up to five simultaneous feedings. Moreover, it features a wide mouth which comes into handy when refilling the feeder. Additionally, you can also remove the base should you want to clean the feeder. Lastly, many bird watchers prefer purchasing this feeder since its manufacturers offer refunds and case replacement if you encounter any major issues with the product.
Despite its relatively simple design, the circle feeder is known for being multi-functional. When the summer season is over, and the hummingbirds disappear, you can covert the feeder by removing the lid and filling birdseed in it to attract songbirds during the winter.
Window Mount Feeder
Although it has a smaller design than other feeders, you will appreciate how it enables you to have an up-close look at the visiting hummingbirds. The feeder features suction cups on its back, allowing you to attach them to the back of your window. As a result, there will be no straining when trying to get a glimpse of the action.
Weather Guard Hummingbird Feeder
This feeder allows hummingbirds to feed even in the rain without fear of getting soaked. With its weather guard feature, you can hang the feeder anywhere so long as you can view the birds.
Aspects HummZinger Feeder
This is a 12 oz feeder that includes a high view perch that allows feeding hummingbirds to rest. As a result, it is suitable for experienced and amateur bird watchers since it offers a decent action view. Besides being a bestseller on Amazon, the feeder features a red top that comes out easily for efficient cleaning.
Perky-Pet Hanging Feeder
A significant upside to using this feeder is that it doesn’t attract bees. Since bees are enemies of the hummingbird and compete for the nectar, this feature is enough to make you purchase the hanging feeder. Although it has only one feeding port, it also includes a hanging rod to allow you to place it above a planter box.
Birds Choice Feeder
Another great bucolic option with numerous enviable reviews is the bird’s choice glass feeder. Holding up to 32 oz of nectar, this massive feeder offers more nectar to the birds, and in return, you get more viewing time.
It can be pretty frustrating when you try attracting hummingbirds to your yard and instead get pesky raccoons and squirrels. These intruders can drain your feeder overnight, meaning no more nectar for the hummingbirds. As a result, the birds could stop visiting your spot, and you’ll lose this exciting sight.