Hummingbird Feeders

Solving the Problem of Ants

Ants are a common problem with hummingbird feeders. This problem can be very frustrating and hinder your enjoyment of your hummingbird feeders and these amazing birds. This blog post will offer some solutions to this problem. 
The best thing to do to prevent the problem of ants at your hummingbird feeder is to block their passage to the feeder. This can be done through the use of Vaseline or tanglefoot, which is a sticky substance commonly found in garden stores. You would place the substance on whatever is holding the feeder, usually a pole or wire.
Some people choose to wrap a strip of cloth that has been soaked in insect repellant around whatever is supporting the feeder. A brief word of caution here, if you choose to use this method or even if you use a spray insect repellant, please be sure that none of it gets into the hummingbird feeding solution. 
Another suggestion of how to prevent ants is to sprinkle some ginger around your feeder pole. For whatever reason, once you do this, the ants won’t go near the area. I have no idea why this works, but several people have told me that it does. Give it a try and see it for yourself.
You can also prevent ants and other insects from drinking all the nectar in your hummingbird feeder by hanging your feeder using a piece of clear nylon sewing thread. The tread is very fine and slippery, thus preventing the ants or other insects from climbing it and reaching the nectar.
I hope you have found these suggestions to be helpful. If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to offer them. After all, it is impossible for anyone to know all the answers to a common problem like this.
Hummingbird Feeders

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.
Hummingbird Feeders

Attract the Hummingbirds and They Will Come

This is the first blog post in several days, because I was staying at my dad’s house to house sit and dog sit while he was in Oklahoma visiting relatives.  For the most part, I really didn’t mind being there, but while there I did make a very sad realization.  During the entire extent of my visit, six days in length, I didn’t see one single hummingbird, not one what so ever!


The fact that I saw absolutely no hummingbirds during the entire six days I was at my dad’s house is absolutely unimaginable.  When my mom was still living, our yard was a hummingbird haven.  Each spring and fall, mom would do whatever she could to entice the hummingbirds to our yard.  Mom would place numerous hummingbird feeders about the yard as well as planting various types of plants to attract the hummingbirds.  Her efforts were usually greatly rewarded by the seer number of hummingbirds that would visit our yard each season. 


The fact that there are no hummingbirds visiting our yard now is incredibly sad to me, because I share my mom’s great love and passion for these truly amazing birds.  Because the birds are no longer there, it feels as if another part of my mom has been lost forever, and this is totally unacceptable to me.


So, if you enjoy hummingbirds, but you aren’t currently seeing them in your own yard it isn’t too late.  It is important to note that there is no specific or exact date at which hummingbird feeders should be put up.  Hummingbird feeders should be put up in time for their arrival. This will vary greatly depending upon where you are located. It is important to know the average date they arrive in your specific area, because you will want to get your feeder up 5-10 days prior to the average date of their arrival in your area. 


Probably, the best way to trying and attract hummingbirds is through the use of hummingbird feeders.  With this in mind, I want to offer you some advice concerning your hummingbird feeders.


You should use a birdfeeder with a perch at the feeder is recommended because this will encourage the birds to remain at the feeder for a longer period of time.


To make your own nectar solution, use 1 part white granulated cane sugar to 4 parts water.


If you choose to make your own homemade nectar solution, you need to bring this solution to a boil for 1 1/2 minutes and then let it cool down. This mixture is much more similar to that of the flower nectar.


Nectar solutions should be changed every three to five days, because hot weather can cause rapid bacterial growth. 


It is not necessary to add food coloring, because red food coloring is unhealthy for hummingbirds.  Also, a lot of hummingbird feeders have red somewhere on them and this will help attract the hummingbirds.


Honey should not be used to feed hummingbirds because it attracts bees and favors the growth of a black fungus that causes a fatal liver and tongue disease in hummingbirds.


I hope these suggestions will encourage those of you who have not yet put up your hummingbird feeders to do so now.  It isn’t too late to do so.  By putting up you hummingbird feeders, you will let the hummingbirds know that you welcome them in your yard and you will have the pleasure of watching and enjoying these tiny amazing creatures.  I will also have the pleasure of feeling like a part of my mom still lives on.  If you do put your feeder up and follow my suggestions…then the hummingbirds will come!  Just try it and see.