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Bird Watching: How to Clean a Hummingbird Feeder

This easy to understand video offers some simple tips on how to properly clean and maintain your hummingbird feeder. It is extremely important to do so to ensure that you do not cause harm to the hummingbirds that visit your yard.

Hummingbird Feeders

How Many Feeders are Enough?

You would not believe how many times I have been asked by people, “how many hummingbird feeders should I place in the yard”? My response is that there is no such thing as the perfect amount of feeders per yard. There are certain factors to keep in mind when deciding how many hummingbird feeders you wish to have in your yard. This post will discuss these considerations.

The first thing to consider is whether or not you have previously had hummingbird feeders in your yard. If not, I would recommend that you start out with just one feeder. The reason for this is that it will probably take the hummingbirds about a week to find the feeder once it has been hung, unless your neighbors have hummingbird feeders around their yard as well. While you are waiting for the birds to discover your feeder, you will be wasting less nectar solution. Also, placing more feeders out initially (before the hummingbirds have discovered them in your yard) is not likely to attract a greater number of birds.

As the number of hummingbirds visiting your yard increases, you will then want to have multiple feeders placed at various locations throughout your yard. This will decrease the likelihood that a dominate hummingbird will drive away all the other birds because a feeder belongs only to it. You can place your feeders all throughout your yard, thus making it impossible for a dominate hummingbird to defend all the feeders. Also, it will help if all your feeders have multiple feeding ports because this will allow for the possibility of multiple birds feeding at the same time, although this will likely be a rare occurrence.

The number of hummingbird feeders a person may wish to have is a so determined by a number of other factors as well. This includes the comment level of the individual responsible for the care and maintenance of the feeders. Also, it is important to consider the amount of space which you have available in which to hang the feeders. Lastly, you will want to monitor the number of birds visiting your yard.

There is no perfect amount of hummingbird feeders anyone should have in their yard, but there are factors that will help you determine the correct number for you personally. I hope that this post has given you the necessary information to make that decision.

Hummingbird Feeders

How Often Should a Feeder be Cleaned?

It is impossible to tell you exactly how often a hummingbird feeder should be cleaned. That said, it is important to keep in mind that a properly maintained feeder is vital to your success when trying to attract hummingbirds. If the nectar has spoiled or if pest are the problem, then it is time to clean your feeder. Generally speaking, there are four factors that will determine how often your feeder should be cleaned. This post will discuss these factors.

The first factor is seasonal temperatures. When the temperature is moderate, the feeder can be clean once a week. When temperatures are hot, then the feeder will need to be cleaned much more frequently, about every two to three days, in order to prevent the nectar solution from fermenting or spoiling and then resulting in mold developing.

The second factor is how effectively pest control is managed. If ants, bees or wasp are a problem and thus driving the hummingbirds way from the feeder then I would suggest that the feeder be cleaned thoroughly. Whenever you are refilling a hummingbird feeder, it is important that you not drip nectar solution on the outside of the feeder, because it is the sugar that is in the nectar solution which draws the pest to the feeder in the first place.

The third factor to consider is how often the feeder is being emptied. If your yard is a hummingbird haven and therefore is completely emptied at the end of the day then it is not as vital that it be cleaned each and every day because the nectar does not have time to ferment or allow mold to develop. If it takes several days before being emptied, I would recommend cleaning the feeder and giving the birds’ fresh nectar.

The fourth factor to consider is how much shade the feeder receives. If the hummingbird feeder is in the sun most of the day, it will need to be cleaned regularly, every day or two at the most. It is important to remember that continual exposure to direct sunlight will cause nectar solution to spoil more rapidly and cause mold.

Hummingbird feeders are a simple way to attract hummingbirds, but maintaining them requires responsibility, so please be sure this is a commitment you are willing to make. People are frequently concerned about how often to clean their feeders, so it is my sincere hope that this post has helped you understand this issue much better.

Hummingbird Feeders

Reminders About Hummingbird Feeders

The use of hummingbird feeders is probably the easiest way to draw the hummingbirds to your yard. If you wish to do so with this method, there are several things you will need to keep in mind regarding hummingbird feeders. This post will help you examine these considerations.

The best feeder that you can choose is one that is extremely easy to clean and also hang. The feeder will need to be cleaned regularly. I would suggest that this be done every time you change the nectar solution or need to re-fill the feeder because it is empty.

Cleaning the feeder is relatively simple. The feeder can be placed in the dishwasher and run through the wash cycle. If you do not have a dishwasher, soak the feeder in a diluted solution of bleach and water and then scrub it clean and then rinse well in warn water.

Regardless of if you choose a glass or plastic feeder, the feeder needs to be sturdy and have a limited number of parts. This will help ensure that the feeder will last a good while, even with extended exposure to the elements, and you will not be needing to find replacement parts for the feeder.

Next you will need to determine if you will purchase a glass or plastic feeder. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Glass feeders usually will last longer then the plastic ones and are usually easier to clean. The glass feeders have the disadvantage of being breakable. Plastic feeders are cheaper in cost but are more likely to discolor due to exposure to the sun.

The next consideration is the size of the hummingbird feeder to purchase. Smaller sized feeders have fewer feeding ports. The size of the feeder will also likely determine the number of perches the feeder will have on it.

The number of feeders you will want will be determined by the size of your hummingbird garden or the number of birds you expect to have visiting your yard.

Birdwatching is a great hobby which many people enjoy. Many people, like myself, find hummingbirds to be especially fascinating to watch. Having hummingbird feeders in your yard is a great way to entice the hummingbirds to visit your yard. It is my hope that these reminders about hummingbird feeders will allow you to more effectively use your feeders as a way to draw the hummingbirds to your yard.

Hummingbird Feeders

Facts About Leaving Hummingbird Feeders Up

You would not believe the number of questions I am frequently ask with regard to if it is alright to leave hummingbird feeders up or should they be taken down. This is what has prompted me to write this post. I will address the most commonly asked questions on this subject.

Keeping your feeders up and full will not keep the birds from migrating. There is no such thing as an exact date by which time hummingbird feeders should be taken down. It is believed that migrating hummingbirds may be helped by feeders that are left up until at least two weeks have passed since seeing your last hummer. Leaving your feeders up will not stop or prevent a hummingbird from migrating.

Male hummingbirds generally migrate several weeks ahead of immature hummingbirds and females. When migration occurs is determined by a change in the length of the day or photoperiod.

Hummingbirds require a great deal of protein in their diets too and that doesn’t come from sugar feeders, but is gained when the birds eat insects. Shortened days, not lack of food, will tell the hummingbirds when to begin their journey. Hummingbird feeders should be left up at least three weeks after seeing your last bird. This will help migrating birds that pass through your area.

It is important to leave your feeders up and full. Migrating birds need all the quick and easy nourishment they can find to sustain the incredible energy demands of migration. It is vital that hummingbirds fatten up for their extended trips, particularly those crossing the Gulf of Mexico.

As you can see, it is important to leave your hummingbird feeders up for a long as possible. My sincere hope is that this post has addressed many of the commonly asked questions people have about leaving feeders up or not.