Dripping or Leaking Hummingbird Feeders
Many people have a problem with there feeders dripping or leaking. This is a very common occurrence, and may be due to the design of your feeder or environmental conditions. If you are using what is commonly known as an inverted bottle feeder, the problem is caused when the air in the bottle expands due to rising temperatures and the fluid below then is pushed out. Many of the newer feeder designs are striving to address this issue. Also, there are manufactures out there who are offering drip-proof feeders. Saucer-type feeders generally have far less problems with dripping then other types of feeders. This is due to the fact that the fluid in these types of feeders is below the feeder wholes.
There is no perfect solution as to how to prevent hummingbird feeders from leaking or dripping – feeders will drip occasionally. However, there are several things that can be done to minimize the amount of leaking or dripping that occurs, so that you can truly enjoy your feeder.
1. Always fill the feeder completely full with cool nectar. The stopper should be inserted and the feeder quickly inverted to avoid any air entering the feeder. Tube feeders operate on a vacuum principle, and the feeder must be filled completely full in order for the vacuum to form!
2. Only hang your feeder in shade or partial shade. The cooler the feeder, the less likely it is to drip.
3. Make sure to keep the feeder very clean by regularly cleaning the vessel with hot water and a bottle brush. Soap should not be used during cleaning, because its residue may cause your feeder to drip. As an alternative, try periodically using a vinegar rinse to thoroughly clean your feeder and then rinse well with hot water.
4. As a last resort, the stopper assembly can be placed in very hot water to soften the tube. You can bend it slightly to increase the angle. This will stop dripping, but might make it more difficult for nectar to come down the tube.
5. If the dripping of this type of feeder is too much for you, then try a top-feeding hummingbird feeder instead.
Besides the suggestions listed above, it is best to hang your feeders out of the wind and in shady areas. Windy conditions can cause the solution in the feeder to slosh out of it. The sunlight’s ultraviolet rays can also cause damage to the materials of which the feeder is made and this could also cause your hummingbird feeder to drip or leak.