why do hummingbirds ignore my bird feeder

Why Hummingbirds Ignore Your Bird Feeder and Easy Tricks to Help You Succeed

If they can locate it, hummingbirds will most likely frequent any feeder you set up. The cute little birds haven't heard about your feeder yet, or the nectar combination you're using isn't appealing. Changing the feeder's placement or switching to a simple sugar water solution will entice hummingbirds and provide them with the required calories.

Why Hummingbirds Ignore Your Bird Feeder and Easy Tricks to Help You Succeed

Be patient if hummingbirds escape your immediate observation. You may only sometimes see birds at your feeder; they may be breeding nearby or have access to an abundance of other food sources, such as flower nectar. It's also possible that you've accidentally left the feeder out during the wrong season. It's only a matter of time before you spot a hummingbird if you're patient.


If hummingbirds need help finding a feeder, they won't come. Hummingbirds may not visit your feeder even while present; if this is the case, try relocating it to a spot with more flowering plants or where you have seen hummingbirds. Planting hummingbird-attracting flowers near your feeder may help bring these tiny birds to your yard if you haven't seen them before. You might also hang cut flowers near the feeder from a shepherd's hook or the hooks on your porch.

Why Hummingbirds Ignore Your Bird Feeder and Easy Tricks to Help You Succeed

If you want to attract hummingbirds, you should put out nectar there, but it needs to be in the shade, so it doesn't go bad too quickly and be out of reach of cats. Try a few different hummingbird feeders in your yard at widely separated spots to see which ones attract birds most.

Have the Right Recipe

Hummingbirds often prefer nectar from flowers, but a mixture of sugar and water works just as well. You'll need just the right mix to lure hummingbirds to your feeder. Dissolve white sugar in water by boiling a mixture of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Put the solution in a sealed jar and refrigerate it for up to two weeks; it will keep just fine.

To avoid harming the hummingbirds or spoiling the nectar, you should not use honey, artificial sweeteners, or other sweets. The nectar should be changed every three to four days, so fill the feeder halfway. To avoid mold growth, nectar may need to be replaced more frequently throughout the summer. Before adding new nectar, always rinse the feeder with hot water to get rid of any leftover residue. Bleach and other strong chemicals should be avoided since they could kill delicate hummingbirds.

Add a Touch of Red

Hummingbirds are attracted to all colors, but they are particularly fond of red hues, making red flowers and feeders the most popular spots to visit and feed. Put red ornaments on the feeder, like plastic roses, to attract birds. Add a splash of color by tying a red ribbon around the feeder's pole or hook. To make it easier for passing hummingbirds to find, tie another ribbon to a tree or nearby landmark. However, you shouldn't put red food coloring into the nectar to attract hummingbirds.

Why Hummingbirds Ignore Your Bird Feeder and Easy Tricks to Help You Succeed

Test Different Feeders

Because there are so many different designs of hummingbird feeders, likely, the hummers in your area aren't used to your particular model. You should get a hummingbird feeder if you see that others in the area have them. Some hummingbirds prefer one type of feeder over another, while others will visit any feeder that provides fresh nectar. Alternatively, you can try two styles simultaneously by setting them apart to observe which is preferred. Ultimately, it's best to begin with a simple feeder to clean.

Deal With Bullies

At times, a male hummingbird may adopt your feeder as his territory. If that's the case, he could scare away the other hummers. If you have a problem with aggressive birds, try hiding many hummingbird feeders around your yard. If the bully bird is invisible, the other birds won't be afraid of him. Try clustering multiple feeders together if you want to draw in a more significant number of hummingbirds. A territorially aggressive male would feel outnumbered in this setting and refrain from acting out.

Unattractive Hummingbird Oasis

Is your yard parched and lifeless due to a lack of water? Is there a reason why capturing images of hummingbirds in motion is so challenging? There may have come a time when you realized your backyard needed some work.

Adult male hummingbirds, like human men and women who try to impress a potential partner by looking their best, need plenty of blooming flowers against which to perform their elaborate courtship rituals.

Bringing hummers to your backyard paradise is as simple as following these nine steps:

  • Remove territorial bullies
  • Provide available protein
  • Include a water feature
  • Plant flowers with prolific blossoms
  • Choose the red color hummingbird fountain
  • Make homemade nectar
  • Keep hummingbird feeders clean
  • Prevent bees and wasps invasion
  • Eliminate pesticides and predators

When To Put Out Hummingbird Feeders

Why Hummingbirds Ignore Your Bird Feeder and Easy Tricks to Help You Succeed

Hummingbirds, like most humans, would rather it be warm and sunny than cold and snowy in the winter. They can't stand the hard work; thus, many of them need to migrate south in the winter. In the spring and summer, they make the long journey back to their northern backyards. That's when hummingbird feeders, in general, attract the most visitors. However, there are locations on both coasts where hummingbirds remain year-round.


Hummingbird Habits

Hummingbirds, the smallest birds, can fly hundreds of kilometers yearly from their northern breeding areas to their southern wintering ones. Hummingbirds don't form massive "V's" or migrate in flocks like geese. Instead, individual hummers roam independently, swooping low throughout the day to feed on whatever they can find and resting at night.

It takes more than a glance at the calendar to predict when the hummingbirds in your backyard will migrate south and when they will return to dine at your hummingbird feeders. Although hummingbirds often migrate south in the fall and north in the spring, this pattern is highly variable. It is affected by several factors, such as changes in the amount of available sunshine, the availability of natural food, and the weather. Age (older birds leave sooner), sex (males often go for the south a little earlier than females), and the distance a bird must fly are all considerations.

When to Take Down Feeders

As long as there are birds to feed at your feeders, it would help if you left them up during the fall, even though it is commonly believed that doing so may discourage the birds from migrating. Indeed, these birds rely on these food sources to bulk up before setting off on their arduous voyage. While most migratory birds will have left by September, you should leave your feeder up for at least two weeks after you spot the last hummingbird in your area to ensure that any survivors have access to sufficient food.

Why Do Hummingbirds Fight over Feeders?

Hummingbirds often fight each other for access to feeders filled with nectar.

Depending on their size, hummingbirds require only 3–7 calories daily to maintain their rapid metabolic rate. This is mostly due to the sugar content of nectar.

Why Hummingbirds Ignore Your Bird Feeder and Easy Tricks to Help You Succeed

Hummingbirds get their sustenance, nectar, primarily from flowers. But flowers only live for a short time. Hummingbirds are always on the search for new areas of flowering vegetation. They are protective of their nectar sources. Wars over the feeders mean life or death.

Hummingbirds require feeding areas of about a quarter of an acre that provides insects, nectar, and water. In terms of territory size, the most successful males will have tremendous success in mating. From a feminine perspective, the most aggressive and combative male is the best option. He will protect the most desirable territory and produce healthy, hardy offspring with a higher probability of making it to adulthood.

It's no surprise that hummingbirds are squabbling over your feeder. Hummingbird feeders provide a steady supply of nectar throughout the day, increasing the male's attractiveness to females.

My previous comments made it sound like only men get into fights. However, this needs to be corrected. The hummingbirds at your feeder all know their place in the hierarchy, and it's not uncommon for them to get into a scuffle.

Still, there is a moment when hummingbirds don't get into fights at the feeder. The sun had just set. When it's almost completely dark out, hummingbirds will often happily feed at the feeder together.

What Scares Hummingbirds Away? 

Why Hummingbirds Ignore Your Bird Feeder and Easy Tricks to Help You Succeed

Being such small birds, it stands to reason that many things can harm hummingbirds. Let's find out what frightens hummingbirds the most. It's safe to assume that any potential predators are waiting in the shadows. Some people purposely try to keep these precious gems away from their gardens, while others unwittingly drive them away by applying pesticides that eliminate the tiny insects they rely on for food.

Climate change is one such peril that may not immediately jump out at you. This is because they take place in a subtle, almost imperceptible manner. Recently, the hummingbird population has been steadily declining (with certain species now listed as endangered). We need to be aware of all the threats these stunning animals face if we are to do everything in our power to save them.

You may start attracting hummingbirds and making them more comfortable with some handmade hummingbird nectar, some tubular flowers in brilliant colors like red and orange (that are excellent for their long tongues), some bird baths, and some carefully planned landscaping. White sage, bee balm, salvia, columbine, and fuchsia are just some native plants that will attract hummers to your garden.

Who we are 

At QuackUps, our dedication lies in preserving the captivating and awe-inspiring hummingbirds. We specialize in offering indispensable hummingbird products that enable these remarkable creatures to thrive, flourish, and nurture their offspring in the comfort of your own yard. Explore our exceptional selection of hummingbird essentials, including hummingbird homes, solar-powered fountains, and nesting pods, as we believe these accessories are vital additions for any hummingbird enthusiast!

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