Hummingbird Feeders
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

It is mind boggling how many different hummingbird feeders are on the market.

The shapes, sizes and designs can have the uninformed shopper scratching their head and just grabbing one.

It could be because of name brand recognition.

Maybe the design or color is too eye catching to turn down. After all, it caught your eye.

Aspects Jewel box window feeder

Maybe it matches your garden or the flowers you just planted.

What about appeal and function for the hummers?

After you read this page, you will be well enough informed to make your own wise choices.

By adding the proper feeders, your backyard birds will include flying jewels.

Okay Ron, what makes you such an expert on this subject?

Good question.

I've been feeding and caring for birds for more than 40 years.

For years we owned and operated our own wild bird specialty store.

That means that I ordered and sold the merchandise (I still do at the garden center).

For me to help the customers, I had to know the products inside and out.

I've researched products and gleaned knowledge from others.

I've tried many hummingbird feeders first hand.

I read up on them, and I learned some of the science on these feeders.

Not to mention the science of "Nature".

Yes there is a science and I'll go over some of that with you as we go along.

Most manufactures design and package products for you the consumer.

Food, feeders and what not are packaged for human eye appeal.

Sometimes very little thought goes into proper designs and function.

Is it easy for you to clean and fill?

Will it blend in with your hummingbird flowers or gardens?

Will it last?

Certain feeders are designed with you and the hummers in mind.

Some feeders fill a purpose yet lack in other ways.

Yet others are down right non functional and manufacturers are taking your money because you thought it looked pretty (so the birds must like it too).

Yes, the good, the bad and the ugly in hummingbird feeders.

(Can you hear the music?)

The Good Hummingbird Feeder:

Or the best come from Aspects. Their "Hummzinger Ultra" is very functional for the hummers and for you.

As far as hummingbird feeders go, it is the best for cleaning and maintaining (every 3 to 5 days).

Feeding ports are on the top of the feeder and the top snaps on and off for easy filling and cleaning.

Now here is where some science comes in to play again.

Because the feeding ports are on top, there is no dripping or leaking.

The air escapes from the feeding ports.

Hummingbird feeders leak from poor design and gravity.

hummzinger fancy feeder

Yes gravity will force dripping.

As the days grow warmer, the air inside the feeder heats up and expands.

The expanding air literally forces the nectar water out of the feeders with feeding ports on the bottom.

Aspects "Jewel Box" window feeder is ideal for most people.

Their feeders also come with ant moats.

Ants secrete formic acid.

When they drown in your feeder, the formic acid is released, tainting the nectar water you so carefully prepared for your hummingbirds (science).

The same acid is used by some birds when they rub ants on themselves to kill off mites.

Formic acid is what gives the sting to bites.

Extended nectar nipples on the feeding ports that make these feeders wasp and yellow jacket proof.

A brass hanger that will last a lifetime and a pipe cleaner comes with it to clean out the feeding ports. Not to mention nipple guards to keep out other insects.

The Hummzinger comes in 16oz., 12oz., and 8oz. sizes. Most of the time that will work.

However, if you have several hummingbirds or are in southern regions during migration, you will need several feeders or opt for a larger bottle that drips.

Aspects is made in America and comes with a guarantee. They are also dishwasher safe. UV stabilized impact resistant plastic.

Droll Yankees LF-2

Combining science with nature.

Droll Yankees have redesigned their LF-2 feeder that is similar to the Hummzinger.

A 10 ounce feeder with all the same perks and of course the guarantee.

I recommend these feeders to anyone.

A side bonus to these saucer style feeders is watching your hummers lick up the sweet nectar water.

Watch closely and you can see the tongue (15 times a second) move and the nectar water ripple.

A little side bar here.

A couple of companies (Holland Hill comes to mind) make little feeders using test tubes and a red cap.

They are hung by decorative copper designs.

These are functional and easy to clean. However, you will need to stock several tube in the fridge as they empty fast.

Window feeders work well and get you close and personal while you are still inside.

Good and Bad Hummingbird Feeders:

Perky Pet seems to be the name most recognizable in hummingbird feeders, yet all their feeders lack.

though functional, they drip, leak, many have plastic yellow flowers that do nothing but attract the bees.

When this happens, my personal research shows that pure mint oil dabbed on the feeders will keep wasps away (buy at a health food store).

Mint is a neurotoxin to wasps and bees and kills them almost instantly.

Wasps smell it and stay clear.

I understand it works on ants as well.

Mint is a food item and wont harm the birds

If you have lots of hummers, then I would think about one of the larger sized bottles.

These feeders a prone to crack, plastic parts have been known to loosen and hummers get caught on them.

With gravity and air expansion, expect a sticky mess.

Bee guards are available for several models.

They can be a pain to clean and fill.

Artline and other companies make cutesy feeders to look like balloons, strawberries and big plastic flowers.

While these feeders are also functional, expect messes with these as well.

The Ugly Feeder:

When I say ugly, I mean for practical use.

Some hummingbird feeders are made strictly with the human eyes in mind.

Sure they are attractive to you and me, but end up as yard art most of the time if we don't trash them first.

Blown glass hummer feeder

You've seen them, maybe even tried one out at one time.

The hand blown glass balls and tear drops with a rubber cork and tube that extends from the bottom.

The hand blown glass balls and tear drops with a rubber cork and tube that extends from the bottom.

As far as practical goes, these are down right ugly.

A waste of time and money.

You can actually watch them drip and if the rubber cork doesn't have a tight seal?

Add a hot summer day, well forget then.

What if you lose the cork and tube or some child comes along and takes it.

What if the glass is shattered some how?

Not in my yard.

What about the pretty glass designs with the glass flowers on top.

I have yet to see a hummingbird with a 4 inch tongue.

What a waste.

Look for hummingbird feeders with as few parts as possible.

Some feeders have all sorts of extras for our eye appeal.

Painted wire flowers and twirls get in the way and rust.

Plastic flowers that crack are all a waste.

Glass that shatters.

Corks that don't seal proper.

You name it, it's out there.

I don't want these problems in my hummingbird gardens, do you?

Yes there is the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in hummingbird feeders.

Consider a feeder that is functional for both you and your hummers.

One that will last for years.

Remember to keep your feeders clean and filled.

Hummingbird Feeders

Tips on Feeding Hummingbirds

Flowers Hummers Love

Hummer Gardens

Container Gardens for Hummers

Migration North

Hummers Mating

Hummer Migration South

About Hummers

Add Water for All Your Wildlife

Share Your Passions, SBI Shows You How

Learn more on hummingbird feeders and gardens.

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