If you’ve never had a hummingbird feeder, you’ve missed a great addition to your backyard. Children love to watch them, and to be honest, they can be a lot of fun for adults, too! There are many different brands of hummingbird feeders on the market, as well as a variety of different food mixes, but here are a few things to keep in mind when equipping your backyard with a hummingbird feeder.
Backyard Hummingbird Feeders 101
- Get a feeder that will be easy to clean. There is really no difference between the different designs of feeders…at least, to hummingbirds. Therefore, it makes sense to get a design that’s easy to take apart for cleaning. This would tend to lead you away from the traditional “upside-down bottle” style of feeder, and toward one of the newer “basket-style” feeders.
- Does your feeder need perches for the hummingbirds? While hummingbirds are famous for their ability to hover in place, nature’s little feathery helicopters burn a lot of calories while hovering. They usually spend very little time at each flower as they flit around, but your feeder will be an “all you can gulp” buffet. If possible, let them take a load off and enjoy their meal!
- You don’t have to put red food coloring in your sugar water! This is something that’s considered necessary by some, but it makes absolutely no difference to your supersonic visitors; in fact, there is some concern that food coloring can actually harm hummingbirds! Remember the Golden Hummingbird Rule: clear is best!
- Hang them in high-traffic hummingbird areas at first. Gardens and flower beds are a great spot to hang your first feeder; chances are, hummingbirds were already visiting those areas, so finding your new feeder will be a snap for them. After they get used to this new food source, you can move it to a different place in your backyard: near a window is a good place, so you can enjoy your new friends.
- Don’t get upset when they don’t get along. People like to share great new places to eat with their friends; hummingbirds, not so much. Hummingbirds tend to get very possessive when they find a good place to eat, and their territorial instincts will lead them to exhibit very aggressive behavior toward each other. They’ll push, shove and occasionally dive-bomb each other near your feeder; don’t worry, though…this is natural. If your new feeder gets too crowded, it might be time to add another.
Once you’ve had a hummingbird feeder in your backyard, you’ll wonder why you didn’t have one sooner!
For some of the Best Hummingbird Feeders, check out Amazon.com. They have a great selection, and lots of reviews by other bird lovers just like you.