Best Hummingbird Feeders – a listing of the top rated hummingbird feeders for 2018. Reviews, selection tips, brands and more.
Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that have a lifespan of between three and five years. Both male and female hummingbirds vigorously defend their food supply and the surrounding area against intruders. They use a combination of speed and buzzing wings to intimidate intruders. The rapid movement of the wings produces a distinct buzz, which increases and decreases according to the speed of the beats.
When the rhythm is fast, the buzzing turns into a continuous high note. They are capable of swinging up and down like a pendulum to show aggressiveness to intruders. The ruby-throated hummingbird is the most common species in some parts of North America.
It measures between 2.9 inches and a little more than 3.5 inches from the tip of its beak to the end of its tail. Since the species is the same size as a large insect, it is often confused, especially at dusk with butterfly sphinxes whose size, shape and manner of flying are similar. The hummingbird can reach flying speeds of 49 miles per hour (79km/h).
The most remarkable feature of the hummingbird is its way of flying. It moves at an incredible speed, changes direction quickly and disappears like a tiny arrow. When in motion, its pointed wings seem to disappear. Using high-speed photography, scientists have been able to establish that they reach a rate of 55 to 75 beats per second.
Top 10 Hummingbird Feeders
This unit comes with a suction cup that can be attached to a window. It has the capacity to hold eight ounces of nectar and features two feeding ports. It is shatterproof and can attract birds with its bright red color.
This unit comes with a rounded feeder base that attracts birds with its bright red color. The feeder provides a convenient way to prevent ants from invading the reservoir by allowing you to fill the cap with water.
The PineBush PINE88155 feeder offers three pineapple perches and a reservoir with a capacity of 22 ounces. Its large tank makes it easier to cater to the needs of a large flock.
The Aspects ASP143 feeder comes with an integrated wrap around the perch. This is aimed at making the birds to feel comfortable and thus encourage them to stay for longer. The unit also features a brass stem, an integrated nectar scale and a built-in ant moat.
This product can be detached for easy cleaning and comes with a 32-ounce reservoir capacity. The kit includes an ant guard, transparent inverted bottle and nectar.
The More Birds Hummingbird Feeder boasts a large reservoir capacity and multiple red flower ports. Its wide mouth bottle can be cleaned with ease.
This product offers an integrated insect and ant moat to ensure a worry-free bird watching. It also features a detachable cover designed to simplify the cleaning process.
This feeder makes it easier to view inside the container thanks to the 8-ounce glass reservoir. It has a wrap around the perch ring and eight feeding ports.
With this unit, you can enjoy watching the birds feeding from five ports. The product includes a red elixir bottle and a 13-ounce reservoir. However, it does not feature a perch.
The Grateful Gnome feeder comes with inspirational designs, including a colorful glass and a blue egg with flowers. The unit can hold 30 ounces of nectar and has four feeding ports.
Types of Feeders
Hummingbird feeders come in two basic variants: inverted and saucer feeders. Each of these styles has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Inverted bottle units are the most popular type of hummingbird feeders. They were created by Laurence Webster at a time when hummingbird feeding was still unpopular. These units have an inverted bottle attached to a base.
Syrup is poured on top and small holes at the bottom allow hummingbirds to insert their beaks and sip the nectar. A vacuum holds the rest of the liquid in the upper bottle. Most of these feeders have a glass or plastic container, which makes it easier to see inside. One of the main benefits of these feeders is that users find it easy to determine when a refill is needed. They hold more materials than saucer type feeders.
Saucers have a simpler design and a flat bottom with small holes. Like inverted units, these holes allow birds to insert beaks and consume the nectar. The saucers are much easier to fill than inverted feeders but hold less nectar.
Glass and plastic are the most common materials used to build hummingbird feeders. Plastic weighs less but it is not durable. Metal and glass feeders are heavier but can last longer.
Feeders can hang from a tree or other elevated structure. Others can be attached or mounted on a post or porch railing. It is possible to attach small feeders to a window with suction cups. Other considerations in choosing a hummingbird feeder include the number of feed holes and color.
The market is filled with different types of hummingbird feeder brands from which to choose. By comparing different models and designs offered by the brands, you can find a feeder that best fits your backyard hummingbirds, garden and personal preferences.
Love My Birds
Love My Birds is one of the popular brands available on the market. It offers innovative designs, such as the Hum Hum Feeding System. Buyers take advantage of feeders that are durable, attractive and practical. Multiple units can be combined, each with an integrated ant ditch, perches and multiple feed holes.
Perky-Pet offers a wide array of bird feeders with multiple ports, removable perches, bee guards and tempered glass tanks. The units do not become discolored with time and can withstand regular use.
Some of the products boast a simple design that is ideal for flower boxes, hanging pots and other small spaces. The feeders make it easier to fill and incorporate a bee guard. Units from Perky-Pet are an excellent choice for easy feeding.
Aspects is another prominent brand that offers practical feeder designs, including the HummZinger Excel. The brand manufactures units with a saucer-like design. The products have several power ports and large perches to accommodate multiple birds. They are easy to fill and clean; the units can be suspended or mounted on a pole.
This brand manufactures window-mounted feeders for a close-up view of hummingbirds. Some products have removable perches that encourage birds to rest. Dual power ports are widely spaced for exceptional views.
Best-1 offers simple but practical feeders to suit varying needs. The bottle design and the wide mouth of some feeders make refilling easier. The presence of multiple ports and perches is sure to attract hummingbirds. The large capacity is also convenient for a large flock.
How to Clean a Hummingbird Feeder
Cleaning a hummingbird feeder is a simple and vital task. The containers must be cleaned every two days. Keeping the units clean ensures that the beautiful birds are always happy and healthy. You should visually inspect nectar feeders on a regular basis.
Hummingbirds do not drink spoiled nectar. If the nectar is cloudy, it is spoiled and the condition promotes mold growth. Avoid adding fresh nectar to a feeder that already has nectar in it. Clean the unit before refilling.
There are different types of feeders made from various types of materials. They can be made of plastic, glass or metal. Some units are attractive and delicate but they are functional and easy to maintain. You should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning.
Check the inside before cleaning to see if there is mold and proceed to clean the feed holes. You can also use fine sand or white rice with raw water and swish inside the feeder to clean the hard-to-reach areas. Sand or rice is effective at removing mold. It is not necessary to use soap. If you use soap, apply a small amount and rinse well. Soap may leave residue that hummingbirds will notice.
Make an effort to perform deep cleaning at least once a month. Sterilize the feeder to remove traces of mold and other contaminants. If you do not want to use a bucket, a kitchen sink works well. Mix one cup of unscented bleach with one gallon of water. Let your feeder soak in this mixture for about an hour, then scrub with a soft brush. Rinse the unit thoroughly. If you are not keen on using bleach, you can opt for full-strength white vinegar. Regularly cleaning the feeders helps keep them in good condition.
How to Keep Bees and Ants Away from your Hummingbird Feeder
Nectar attract wasps, bees and ants. Fortunately, you should find it is easy to block ants from coming to eat the nectar. If ants invade your hummingbird feeder, you can block access with a water barrier. Ants are bad swimmers and they will hesitate crossing a small body of water even if there is delicious sweet nectar just on the other side.
To avoid attracting insects, do not use yellow hummingbird feeders. Clean the feeder regularly (drops of sweet nectar on the ground attract insects). Opt for a feeder with a tank located at the bottom to ensure that the nectar is farthest away from the hole. This ensures that the nectar is accessible to hummingbirds but not bees. Place the unit in the shade because insects like feeding in the sun.
Rubbing a handkerchief soaked in vegetable oil on the cord that holds your hummingbird feeder prevents ants from invading the container. Wash the feeder regularly (at least once a week and sterilize it). It is vital to apply vegetable oil on the bird feeder rope at least once a week. This will prevent the ants from climbing up to the container.
You can also make an ant bumper. Take a double-walled aerosol can cap and drill a hole in the center, just wide enough for the thread to pass through. Insert the cap on the wire a few inches above the feeder. Apply some hot glue on the cap around the wire to solidify the ant bumper.
Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Yard
Hummingbirds and other avian visitors bring life to the garden. You should follow basic tips to lure them into your backyard. Birds are always looking to satisfy their basic needs. To attract them, simply provide something to drink, eat and a suitable shelter.
Choose the type of feeder based on the birds you want to attract into your backyard. For instance, a water trough can be used to attract hummingbirds while a wire mesh feeder is perfect for woodpeckers, blue jays and nuthatches. For small birds, opt for a silo feeder that can accommodate several types of seeds (sunflower, thistle and crushed corn). It is also important to choose controlled flow feeders.
With its elegant antique-style glass bottle, a perky-pet hummingbird feeder brings style and sophistication to the garden layout. The unit can hold 24 ounces of nectar and four feed holes are on the copper base.
The daily energy requirement for a hummingbird is about 30 to 35 kilojoules (kJ). To meet this demand, hummingbirds must consume the nectar of 1,000 to 2,000 flowers every day. The daily ingestion of water and nectar equals approximately 160 percent of their body weight.
The high nutritional needs of hummingbirds induce strong competition between individuals. Generally, males and females live alone and defend nectar sources against potential competitors. In some cases, they harvest the nectar on flowers located around their territory to exhaust the resources and thus discourage any competitor from exploring the area.
Some species do not establish food territories, they simply explore plots that are too sparse to be defended. Hummingbirds often supplement their usual food with pollen and arthropods. Pollen contains mainly amino acids and arthropods provide protein supplementation.
Hummingbirds love bold colors that look beautiful in the garden. Pink, yellow and orange are colors that attract them. Consider this color palette the next time you choose your flowers.
A garden with plenty of space is a better option for hummingbirds. If your yard does not allow you to plant; fill it with pots. These birds need to rest on branches, so the more flower spaces you provide for them, the better. Remember to keep the area shaded and close a water source.
Hummingbirds are territorial and at the beginning they may spend little time in your garden. If you continue giving them reasons to return, they will visit you more often. Flowers and plants are the most natural way to attract birds. For this reason, it would be ideal to plant more flowers that will keep them coming to your backyard. Hummingbird feeders require daily maintenance. If you feel that you do not have enough time to take care of cleaning and changing the nectar, it is best that you choose to plant more flowers.
You should change the nectar every day and wash the container well. If not washed, the fermentation will start and may affect the birds. The dyes are not advisable; it has been shown that they can affect the young. Do not use honey, gelatin, brown sugar or fruits because they ferment quickly. If you follow these recommendations, it will be very easy to have a colorful and energetic live show.