Tips To The Perfect Hummingbird Feeders so Hummingbirds will Find Them

Tips To The Perfect Hummingbird Feeders so Hummingbirds will Find Them

Most feeders now have enough red on them to attract hummingbirds. Red and other bright colors draw hummingbirds because they look like the flowers that give them nectar to feed their vast appetites. Feeders provide hummingbirds with food, one of the most important things they need to stay alive.

Hummingbirds get the energy they need from nectar and sugar water because they have a fast metabolism. Protein, vitamins, and minerals are their primary food supplements to stay alive. 

Tips for Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Feeder

Make Your Hummingbird Feeder Bright

To get hummingbirds to come to your feeders the first time, you can also hang red ribbons on them to help them find them.

Or you can also repaint the red parts of your hummingbird feeders with bright magenta nail polish if they look a little worn. Please make sure the nail polish is completely dry before you fill the feeder and put it where you want it. When the polish is dry, the bright color shows hungry hummers where to find food.

Hummingbirds can't smell as well as other birds, but they can see very well and are drawn to bright colors, especially red nectar feeders. These days, most feeders have enough red on them to attract hummingbirds.

Because their bodies work quickly, they need a lot of food. If you fill this need for nectar with flowers or feeders, hummingbirds will come to you.

Make Your Hummingbird Feeder Visible

If you hang your feeders in an open area, they will be easy to find.

Hummingbirds also have an excellent memory. Hummingbirds can see well and remember where the best places to eat are. You might be correct if you think the same hummingbirds return to your feeders yearly.  

For example, we know that ruby-throated hummingbirds take the same routes yearly when they migrate. They also get to and leave stopover points within a few days of the same date each year. 

Make Sure Your Hummingbird Feeder Is Far From Predators

You can give hummingbirds food by hanging a feeder where cats and other predators can't reach it. You can also provide them with a place to rest and hunt insects by growing plants they like. Some of the plants that hummingbirds like are:

  • honeysuckle
  • impatiens
  • petunia
  • columbine
  • trumpet creeper
  • trumpet vine
  • coralbells
  • bee balm
  • cardinal flower

3 Tips for Placing Your Hummingbird Feeder

Tip 1: Let the Hummingbirds See Your Feeder

First, you must let the hummingbirds know you are ready for them. The best way to do this is to put your hummingbird feeder in your yard, where it will be easy to see.

No, we're not saying you should put it in your yard like an oasis in the desert. Hummingbirds don't like to eat at feeders that are too far from any cover. They feel exposed and unsafe because of it.

Instead, put your new feeder near some plants that will protect it, but also in a place with a comprehensive, transparent view from another direction. This lets any new hummingbirds that fly through your neighborhood see the feeder.

Remember that safety is more critical for a hummingbird than getting a good meal.

Tip 2: Hummingbird Feeders Should Be 10-15 Feet From Cover

Hummingbirds don't like to stay out in the open when they're not feeding. They do everything they can to save energy when they can. So, it's best to put a feeder 10 to 15 feet away from a tree, bush, or other places where birds can hide. This gives them a place to stay out of the sun and rest.

On the other hand, hummingbirds will appreciate a quick "escape" route from the feeder if they suddenly feel vulnerable. This is what happens when you give them nearby cover.

Just think, if your feeder works well, soon you'll have more hummingbirds coming to your feeder than you have room for! All the trees and bushes you planted give other hummingbirds a place to rest while they wait for a feeder port to open.

Tip 3: Place a Feeder Where You Can See It

Remember to put your hummingbird feeder somewhere where you can watch the little powerhouses come and go. If you meet all the other requirements mentioned above, here are some ideas:

  • At your porch's edge (but not near a smoky barbecue).
  • Near a garden bench that faces east (to avoid the harsh afternoon sun in your eyes).
  • Close to a window, but not too tight. (Hummingbirds can hurt themselves if they hit each other.) Within a range of your binoculars or camera equipment. (Seeing them up close is the best way to see them.)

Change the Hummingbird Food Frequently

When it's warm outside, food for hummingbirds goes bad quickly. Because hummingbirds can get very sick from drinking spoiled nectar or sugar water, it's essential to give them fresh food regularly. 

At the very least, you should clean their feeder twice a week when it's cool and every other day (or even every day) when it's 80 degrees or above. Keeping your feeders out of the direct sun will also help keep the nectar fresh. But stay away from deep shade, which makes it hard for hummingbirds to find the feeders. Choose a spot instead with a dappled shade or one in the shade during the hottest part of the day.

Keep the Feeders up From Spring Through Fall

Some parts of the west, like Southern California, have hummingbirds that stay there all year. But in most of the country, hummingbirds only come during the warmer months. In the winter, they head back to South America. As a general rule, you should hang your feeders around the middle of March if you live in the south or somewhere with mild winters and between the beginning and middle of April if you live in the north or somewhere with frigid winters.

It's not true that hummingbirds will migrate in the fall if you leave your feeders up, but there's no reason to keep feeders up if the birds are gone. Generally, take down your feeders about two weeks after you stop seeing birds at them. This usually happens in the middle to late part of October in the north and early to middle November in the south.

You can leave your feeders up all year if you live in Southern California or another place where hummers stay all year.

Back to blog