The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Hummingbird Nectar Feeder

Hummingbird feeder
Hummingbird feeder

Hummingbirds are amazing little birds that can hover in midair and fly backwards. They get energy from drinking nectar from flowers using their long, tube-shaped tongues. You can attract hummingbirds to your yard by putting up a feeder filled with homemade nectar. Choosing the right feeder is important so the hummingbirds keep coming back.

What Makes a Hummingbird Nectar Feeder the Best?

The best hummingbird feeder has some key features:

  • Easy to clean. Nectar can grow mold if left out too long. A feeder you can take apart makes cleaning easier.
  • Leakproof. Look for a tight seal so nectar doesn’t drip out.
  • Ant and bee proof. Special moats can keep crawling insects out.
  • Multiple feeding ports. This allows more hummingbirds to feed at once.
  • Durable materials. Feeders can crack if cheaply made or left out in winter weather.

Key Features of a Top-Rated Hummingbird Feeder

The highest rated feeders have these things in common:

  • Glass or plastic bottle. Glass won’t absorb smells. Plastic is lighter. Both are easy to clean.
  • Metal parts. Metal hanging wires, bases, and feeding ports last longer than plastic.
  • Built-in ant moats. These little water moats stop ants from reaching the nectar.
  • At least 4 feeding ports. More ports means less waiting for hungry hummers.

Pros & Cons of Glass Hummingbird Feeders

ProsCons
Doesn’t absorb smellsHeavier than plastic
Lasts many yearsCan crack or chip
Easy to scrub cleanShould bring inside when freezing

Considerations for a Wild Bird Feeder

Hummingbird feeders are only for our special little hovering friends. Seed and suet feeders will attract lots of other backyard birds like sparrows, woodpeckers, chickadees and more. Here’s what to look for in an all-purpose bird feeder:

  • Wide, sturdy base and perches
  • Drain holes in bottom to keep seed dry
  • Squirrel baffles to stop food thieves
  • Cover to keep seed sheltered

Importance of Backyard Bird Bath

Birds need water for drinking and bathing. A bird bath or small pond gives them a place to splash and clean their feathers. Things to know:

  • Change water every few days to prevent mosquitoes
  • Add a dripper or mister for moving water
  • Put in partial sun/shade so the water doesn’t get too hot
  • Use a heater in winter so the water stays liquid

Factors of Attraction: Perch, Port, and Ant Moat

Hummingbird Feeders Factors of Attraction Perch Port and Ant Moat
Hummingbird Feeders Factors of Attraction Perch Port and Ant Moat

To design the perfect hummingbird feeding station:

Perch

  • Having a perch allows the hummingbird to rest and survey the area while feeding, expending less energy than hovering. This is more energy efficient for the bird.
  • A perch gives the hummingbird a 360 degree view to watch for competitors and predators while feeding.
  • Feeders without a perch force the hummingbird to hover and fly backwards to gain perspective, using more energy.

Port

  • The nectar ports should resemble flowers to attract hummingbirds’ natural curiosity[2].
  • More ports allow multiple hummingbirds to feed at once.
  • Bottle-style ports that are drip-free and bee-proof are preferred.

Ant Moat

  • An ant moat is an essential barrier to prevent ants and other insects from accessing the nectar.
  • Ant moats allow rainwater to pass through to prevent dilution of the nectar.
  • Well-designed ant moats with overflow drainage prevent water accumulation that allows insects to climb over the barrier.

The most attractive feeders have an easy to clean design with perches, multiple ports styled like flowers, and an effective ant barrier system. These features work together to invite hummingbirds to feed while deterring problematic insects.

Choosing the right feeder will have hummingbirds buzzing happily around your yard all summer! It’s fun to watch these colorful little birds hover at the flowers and feeders. With the right habitat, you can attract many species of hummers.

10 Best Hummingbird Feeders to Invest In

Hummingbirds are special little birds that can hover while they drink nectar from flowers. You can make your yard inviting to hummers by putting up feeders filled with homemade sugary nectar. Choosing a good quality feeder will keep these tiny birds buzzing around your garden all summer. Here are 10 great options to try:

1. Perky-Pet® Hummingbird Nectar Feeder

Perky Pet® Hummingbird Nectar Feeder
Perky Pet® Hummingbird Nectar Feeder

This popular feeder has:

  • Red plastic bottle to attract hummers
  • Built-in ant guard moat
  • 8 feeding ports
  • Easy to fill and clean

2. Glass Hummingbird Feeder for Outdoors

Glass Hummingbird Feeder for Outdoors
Glass Hummingbird Feeder for Outdoors

Features of this outdoor feeder:

  • Glass bottle won’t absorb smells
  • Copper flower feeding ports
  • Holds 20 ounces of nectar
  • Drain plug makes cleaning fast

3. Muse Garden Hummingbird Feeder

Muse Garden Hummingbird Feeder
Muse Garden Hummingbird Feeder

What makes this one unique:

  • Saucer-style feeding area
  • Ant moat to keep insects out
  • Durable polymer plastic
  • Holds 13 ounces of nectar

4. Kingsyard Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Kingsyard Glass Hummingbird Feeder
Kingsyard Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Benefits of this feeder:

  • Hand blown glass bottle
  • Built-in perch for tired hummers
  • Wide mouth for easy filling
  • Holds 20 ounces when full

5. Wild Bird Feeder with Perch

Wild Bird Feeder with Perch
Wild Bird Feeder with Perch

Standout features:

  • Cedar wood perch for resting
  • Blown glass container
  • Ant guard prevents bugs
  • Holds 12 ounces of nectar

6. Aspects HummZinger HighView Feeder

Aspects HummZinger HighView Feeder
Aspects HummZinger HighView Feeder

This saucer feeder has:

  • Built-in ant moat and bee guards
  • Perches for resting
  • Easy to clean and fill
  • Lifetime guarantee

7. More Birds Vintage Hummingbird Feeder

More Birds Vintage Hummingbird Feeder
More Birds Vintage Hummingbird Feeder

This decorative feeder features:

  • Glass bottle with metal base
  • Vintage-style design
  • 5 flower feeding ports
  • Holds up to 20 ounces

8. LUJII Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeder

LUJII Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeder
LUJII Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeder

This unique feeder is:

  • Hand-blown decorative glass
  • Leak-proof gasket seal
  • 4 feeding ports
  • Holds 36 ounces

9. Birds Choice 8-Ounce Hummingbird Feeder

Birds Choice 8 Ounce Hummingbird Feeder
Birds Choice 8 Ounce Hummingbird Feeder

Great features:

  • 8 ounce glass reservoir
  • 8 feeding ports
  • Plastic base comes apart to clean
  • Good for smaller yards

10. Perky-Pet Window Mount Feeder

Perky Pet Window Mount Feeder
Perky Pet Window Mount Feeder

Benefits of this window feeder:

  • Clear plastic reservoir
  • Suction cup mount
  • 2 feeding ports with perch
  • Holds 8 ounces of nectar

Be sure to clean your feeder every few days in summer to keep the nectar fresh. Use one part sugar to four parts water and never use food coloring or honey. Investing in a good feeder will have lovely hummingbirds visiting your yard for years to come!

Additional Attraction Options for Wild Birds

Putting up feeders is a great way to bring colorful, fun birds to your yard. But you can try other things too that will make your yard extra inviting. Here are some ideas:

Investing in a Birdhouse

Many birds nest in holes or cavities like old woodpecker holes. You can buy or build a simple birdhouse and hang it up high to give birds like chickadees, titmice, wrens, and bluebirds a safe place to raise their families. Things to know:

  • Make sure the hole is the right size for the bird you want
  • Face the hole away from wind and rain
  • Clean it out every fall after nesting season

Setting up Mealworms for Songbirds

Mealworms are a treat that will have robins, bluebirds, and other insect-loving birds flocking to your yard. You can buy dried mealworms and put them in platform feeders or mesh bags. The birds will happily gobble them up!

Understanding Durability and Ant Moats

Good hummingbird feeders should last for many years. Look for durable glass or plastic bottles. Metal parts like wires, hooks, and feeding ports should be made well so they don’t rust or bend.

Ant moats are little water reservoirs that surround the feeding ports. Ants hate getting wet, so the water stops them from crawling to the yummy nectar!

Bluebird Feeders: Are They Worth It?

Bluebirds eat both insects and berries. While specialized bluebird feeders are available, these colorful birds likely won’t use feeders much. They prefer hunting insects in open grassy areas and only occasionally eat fruit.

To really attract bluebirds:

  • Put up bluebird nesting boxes
  • Plant berry bushes and native wildflowers

The Benefit of Window Hummingbird Feeders

One fun option is a window-mounted hummingbird feeder. The suction cups allow it to attach right to the glass. This gives you an up-close view of these magical little birds!

Window feeders should be small, holding only 8 ounces of nectar. Be sure to refill it every 2 days so the sugar water stays fresh. Watching the aerobatic hummers hover and feed is a great backyard treat!

Adding feeders, houses, bird baths, and plants will have your yard buzzing with life in no time! Learn your local birds and what they like best so you can make your backyard a bird haven.

Maintenance of Hummingbird Feeders

Putting up a feeder is a great way to attract lovely hummingbirds to your yard. But you’ll need to properly care for your feeder so it stays clean and full. Here’s what you need to know:

The Importance of Cleaning Your Feeder

It’s very important to wash your hummingbird feeder every 3-5 days in summer. The sugar water can grow icky black mold if left out too long. Here are cleaning tips:

  • Take the feeder apart and remove stuck-on gunk
  • Use a bottle brush to scrub inside
  • Rinse all parts with hot water
  • Let the feeder air dry before refilling

Filling, Refilling and Nectar Capacity

The nectar recipe is easy – just mix one part white sugar with four parts hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool before filling your feeder.

Refill when the level gets low rather than letting it go empty. Hummingbirds can remember reliable food sources.

Look for a feeder that holds at least 12 ounces of nectar. More capacity means less frequent refilling.

High-Quality Feeders and Rust Resistance

Your feeder should be made to last for many years outdoors. Look for:

  • Glass or plastic bottle that won’t crack
  • Metal parts made of good quality steel or copper
  • Tight seals to prevent leaks

Easy To Use Hummingbird Feeders

Convenience features to consider:

  • Wide mouth for fast, easy filling
  • Parts that come apart for thorough cleaning
  • Hanging wires and hooks that make hanging simple

Using a Built-in Ant Moat

Many feeders have little water moats around the feeding ports. These stop ants and other crawling bugs from getting to the yummy nectar! Just be sure to keep the moat filled with water.

Caring for your feeder will keep it working properly for seasons to come. And clean nectar will have the hummingbirds buzzing happily around your yard all summer long!

DIY Techniques and Tips for Your Hummingbird Feeders

Putting up a feeder is a fun way to attract lovely, buzzing hummingbirds to your yard. And you can get creative with homemade nectar and unique feeders. Here are some DIY ideas to try:

Making Your Own Nectar at Home

It’s easy to whip up yummy homemade nectar that hummingbirds will love. Here’s the simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 cups water

Instructions:

  1. Boil the water and stir in the sugar until dissolved
  2. Let the mixture cool completely before filling your feeder

Never use food coloring or honey which can harm the birds.

Methods to Attract Hummingbirds

Try these tricks to bring in more colorful hummers:

  • Move your feeder often so hummers explore new spots
  • Use red feeders and flowers which attract the birds
  • Add a mister for drips and splashes that catch their eye
  • Plant lots of nectar-rich flowers like fuchsia and bee balm

Creating a Bird Sanctuary in Your Backyard

Turn your yard into a nature oasis with:

  • Feeders for seeds, nectar, and fruit
  • Birdbaths for splashing and drinking
  • Nest boxes for raising baby birds
  • Native plants that provide food and shelter

It’ll soon be buzzing with happy birds!

DIY Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeders

Feeling crafty? Decorate plain glass bottles with:

  • Glitter, sequins, ribbons, and gems
  • Paint designs with glass paint pens
  • Attach faux flowers and vines

Then add a hanger and filling caps. So cute!

Keeping Your Feeder Clean and Refill-Friendly

To make cleaning and filling a breeze, look for feeders with:

  • A wide mouth for easy hand access
  • A drain plug for complete emptying
  • Parts that fully come apart for thorough scrubbing
  • Tight seals to prevent messy leaks

Getting creative with your own DIY feeders and nectar will have hummingbirds flocking to your handcrafted habitat in no time!

FAQs:

Q: What is the capacity in oz of the best hummingbird feeder for my yard?

A: The ideal capacity for a hummingbird feeder for your yard largely depends on the number of hummingbirds you expect to feed. A 16 oz hummingbird feeder strikes a good balance, providing enough nectar without requiring frequent refills.

Q: Are there any hummingbird feeders with easy to clean features?

A: Yes, many hummingbird feeders are designed with easy to clean features. Look for feeders that can be easily disassembled and washed with soapy water, such as those made by Kettle Moraine and First Nature. These typically have wide openings to facilitate thorough cleaning.

Q: How important is it to have a hummingbird feeder with bee guards?

A: Having a hummingbird feeder with bee guards is very important if you want to ensure that nectar is reserved for hummingbirds. Bee guards prevent bees from accessing the nectar while still allowing hummingbirds to feed through the specially designed feeding ports.

Q: What type of hummingbird feeder is best for attracting birds to my yard?

A: A hummingbird feeder that mimics the appearance of flowers, offers multiple feeding ports, and is brightly colored tends to attract more hummingbirds. Feeders with a 16 oz nectar capacity that also include ant and bee guards are especially effective.

Q: How can I ensure my hummingbird feeder is easy to fill?

A: Choose a hummingbird feeder that has a wide opening and is designed for easy filling. Kettle Moraine and other brands made in the USA often offer feeders that are not only easy to fill but also prevent spills and leaks during the filling process.

Q: Can I find a hanging hummingbird feeder that is also resistant to ants?

A: Yes, many hanging hummingbird feeders come equipped with built-in ant guards to keep ants away from the nectar. This is a must-have feature if you plan to hang your feeder in a yard prone to ant invasions.

Q: Are there replacement parts available for my hummingbird feeder?

A: For many brands, such as Kettle Moraine and First Nature, replacement parts are readily available. This means you can easily replace a broken feeding port or damaged ant guard. However, availability may take some time depending on your location and the specific part needed.

Q: What is the advantage of having a 16 oz nectar capacity in my hummingbird feeder?

A: A 16 oz hummingbird feeder offers the advantage of holding a generous amount of nectar, reducing the need for frequent refills. It’s an ideal size for homeowners who have a busy yard with many visiting hummingbirds.