To further protect your hummingbird food from going bad, you’ll want to put your feeder in a place that gets a mix of sun and shade throughout the day. If the sun is too intense, the nectar can heat up and spoil or ferment in just a few hours.
Place your feeders far from your home to prevent window collisions. Several sources recommend placing feeders at least 30 feet away from windows to prevent bird collisions. Other experts recommend at least 10 feet away. The second location for bird feeders is within 3 feet of the window.
A hummingbird feeder should be placed so it is easy to access for cleaning and filling. Hang the feeder approximately 5 feet above the ground, Make sure there is no foliage underneath that would encourage unwelcome guests, like mice, squirrels and even cats, to feed on the sugar water.
It may take several weeks before the hummingbirds find and begin feeding regularly from a new feeder. Before making any changes, try waiting at least two weeks to give them enough time to discover your feeder.
Should I boil the water? No, the water for your nectar does not need to be boiled. Just be sure to stir or shake your mixture until the sugar is fully dissolved in the water.
Hummingbird feeders should be off the ground at least 5 feet, though. This will keep them above the pouncing height of most cats. Cats may lie in wait on the ground under a very dense bush to try to get to birds at your feeder. This includes hummingbirds.
On a rainy day like today, we can really appreciate some of the lesser known benefits of our new WBU High-Perch Hummingbird Feeder. We make nectar with a sugar and water mix that most closely approximates the nectar in flowers. But if a day-long rain dilutes the nectar, the birds may stop visiting the feeder.
Hummingbirds are not coming to my feeder for 1 or more of the following 6 reasons: Unattractive hummingbird oasis, unable to locate the feeder, fermenting hummingbird nectar, bees on the feeder, seasonal migrants, presence of potential predators.
One approach is to have one or two “sacrificial” feeders, with perches that make it easy for orioles and other larger birds to drink sugar water. If you have other feeders with no perches, the hummingbirds can still hover at those to feed, ideally undisturbed by the larger birds.
Experiments show that hummingbird feeders can be any color–the hummingbirds don’t show preference for one color feeder over another.
(We recommend at least three feeders per yard.) Several 8- or 16-ounce feeders are far better than one or two large ones. Don’t worry if Ruby-throated Hummingbirds spend a lot of time drinking artificial nectar; they also visit flowers for natural nectar and also catch small insects.
Females build their nests on a slender, often descending branch, usually of deciduous trees like oak, hornbeam, birch, poplar, or hackberry; sometimes pine. Nests are usually 10-40 feet above the ground. Nests have also been found on loops of chain, wire, and extension cords.
A hummingbird’s favorite time of day to visit a feeder and feed on your nectar is usually dawn and dusk, or early in the morning and late in the afternoon before sunset. But even though those two times seem to be their favorite to eat, hummingbirds will be seen feeding at various times throughout the day.
The classic hummingbird nectar recipe is easy to make and can be adjusted slightly, but using grossly incorrect sugar-to-water proportions be problematic. Overly weak nectar may not attract hummingbirds, and overly strong nectar can ferment more quickly and clog feeders more easily.
Hummingbirds are little creatures, so they are wary of any loud noises. Loud music, children, or barking dogs can all scare them away. If you want to provide a safe haven for them, keep noise to a low and see if that does the trick.
Do not use any other sugar— not turbinado, brown sugar, etc. —and never use honey or artificial sweeten- ers. Spring water is best, but most tap water is OK; don’t use distilled water.
Hummingbirds often find a twig that’s sheltered from the wind to rest on for the night. Also, in winter, they can enter a deep sleep-like state known as torpor. This odd behavior usually happens on cold nights, but sometimes they go into a torpid state during the day.
April and May (Northern U.S.) Hummingbirds begin to reach their northern ranges in late April or early May. It is best if all birders have their hummingbird feeders cleaned, refilled, and ready for thirsty guests no later than the first week of May.
Homemade nectar is better for hummingbirds, and once you learn how to make it, you’ll never rely on commercial mixes again.
You must change your feeder’s nectar, even if it looks like it hasn’t lost a drop, on a regular basis. During hot weather, change it every two days. In milder weather, once a week is fine.
A 3:1 hummingbird food recipe of 3 parts water to 1 part white sugar can be used especially during migration when a sweeter nectar solution will provide more calories to the hummingbirds at stopovers for fueling up during spring and fall migration.
In areas where the nighttime temperatures only dip slightly below freezing your hummingbird nectar may not freeze as the sugar solution has a lower freezing point than plain water. However, it’s better not to have your hummingbirds drink very cold nectar; this can actually cold-stun them.
Chase. Chasing away intruders is a common way hummingbirds are territorial and show aggression. A dominant hummingbird may first confront the intruder, often at a feeding area, before charging at them and following them far away from the feeder or flowerbeds. Angry chirps and other sounds often accompany these chases.
Hummingbirds usually feed heavily in morning, the evening hours and begin to settle in about a half hour or so before dark. But in some locations–especially if there is artificial lighting such as porch light–hummingbirds may actually feed well into the night, usually during warmer weather.
When bad weather hits, hummers hunker down as tightly as they can in the most sheltered place they can find, often in dense vegetation on the downwind side of a tree trunk. Their feet are very strong and can hold onto a twig very tightly when the wind blows.