A bird feeder is a device placed outdoors to provide bird food to birds. The success of a bird feeder in attracting birds depends upon its placement and the kinds of food offered, as different species have different preferences. Hummingbird feeders, rather than providing seed, give liquid nourishment to hummingbirds in the form of a sugar solution. Hummingbird feeders can be made of glass or plastic materials.
Here are some pointers on how to use glass hummingbird feeders:
- Handle glass with care. Glass feeders are more prone to breaking than plastic ones. Make sure that the hummingbird feeder is placed and secured properly to avoid falling.
- Make nectar with the right recipe. You don’t have to buy nectar every time you want to fill the hummingbird feeder. Nectar solutions could be easily made at home. Mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, boil for 2 minutes and store in the refrigerator until needed. Do not serve a hummingbird with hot nectar or add food coloring to the solution as it will harm the hummingbird. Avoid using honey because it contains sugars that are less palatable to hummingbirds and promotes the growth of microorganisms that may be dangerous to their health. Stick to 100% pure sugar, as artificial sweeteners will cause sores in the hummingbird’s mouth.
- Find a way to deal with ants and other pests. Insects like ants, bees and wasps are attracted to nectar and may crawl to the feeder. Buying an ant guard will keep the ants away from the hummingbird feeder. For flying insects, prepare another nectar solution with 3 parts sugar and 1 part water. The insects will be attracted to the sweeter solution and it won't bother the feeder.
- Maintain the cleanliness of the hummingbird feeder. Unlike other bird feeders, hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned regularly. The hummingbird feeder will need to be cleaned once or twice a week, and even more often in the hotter months. Because nectar is sugary, mold will inevitably grow inside the feeder and this is unhealthy for hummingbirds. For glass hummingbird feeders, rinse with a solution of 9 parts water and 1 part bleach. Scrub all parts of the hummingbird feeder to remove all dried sugar, mold and other debris. Never use chemical cleaners as it may transfer into the nectar and harm the hummingbirds.
- Always use red colors. Hummingbirds love the color red, and they will be attracted to anything in the yard that is red. Red food coloring can’t be used for the nectar. If a red hummingbird feeder isn’t available, hummingbirds can still be attracted to the feeder by tying a red ribbon to it.
- Find the best spot to place the feeder. When deciding on the best place to hang a hummingbird feeder, try to consider two things: closeness to the flowers, and nearness to the viewer. By placing the feeders near flowers, hummingbirds will be naturally attracted. Don't place it so far away from the windows that the viewer can't enjoy the hummingbirds when they're feeding.
Those are the key basics for using glass hummingbird feeders. Make it a habit to regularly clean and refill the feeder with nectar. It will attract more hummingbirds to stay and feed. Enjoy viewing the beautiful and dazzling hummingbirds at home!