A hummingbird won’t care quite so much about how your hummingbird feeder looks, instead, it will be more focused on where you’ve placed it. These feeders must be put in a highly attractive place in order to encourage the bird to visit your feeder. My guide will go over the best place to put hummingbird feeders, how you can attract more of these birds to your yard, and what type of feeders and nectar to use.
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Buying the Right Bird Feeder
Do you already have a hummingbird feeder? Is it a model that’s easy to place in your yard and is it in an area that’s readily accessible? Is it low maintenance and one that you can easily clean and refill with little hassle? If you don’t have a hummingbird feeder or you’re in desperate need of an upgrade then I recommend the BOLITE 18005 Hummingbird Feeder. It’s durable, easy to clean, and lightweight.
Now that you have the right supplies, it’s time to find the perfect spot to place your feeder or feeders. If you want to increase the number of birds that visit your yard this season, then make sure you have your feeders clean, filled, and ready to go, approximately two weeks before you would normally expect to see these birds in your neck of the woods. This will give you plenty of time to create a little hummingbird in your haven by clearing away dead brush, adding a nice bath, and adding flowers that attract hummingbirds.
Why Placement is So Important
Placing the feeder in the right spot is important for both you and the birds. You can place it under the partial shade of a large bush or under a tree, or an overhang from your house or canopy. The shade will work to prevent the nectar from spoiling too quickly. Even if you have your feeders out early and there’s no evidence that any birds have fed off it, you still need to change out the nectar every three to five days since it’s prone to spoiling. The last thing you want is a black mold problem on your hands. Not only can spoiled sugar water make your birds sick, but it can also prevent them from returning to your yard.
The feeder should also be placed close to protection as well. Research has shown that a feeder for hummingbirds should be placed approximately fifteen feet in proximity to a protected area. The farther away the feeder is placed from protection, or located out in the open, the less it’s going to be used. When a hummingbird isn’t eating, it’s keeping a close eye on its food source, perched in an area of protection. These birds don’t understand that the food source, such as nectar in a bird feeder, is an unlimited source. Instead, they view it as a large flower and flowers need to replenish.
Bushes and trees are an important part of this bird’s habitat. Aside from protection and a place to perch, these spots also offer places to nest and an additional food source: insects.
The feeder should be placed where you can also easily view it and should be at least six feet from the ground, with nothing planted at the base or around it. This is because plants located around a feeder can give cats and other predators a place to hide, as they bid their time until an unsuspecting hummingbird feeds, unaware of the danger lurking below.
Wasps, bees, and ants can be an issue with this particular type of feeder. Some models will come with a built-in ant moat, while others will come equipped with bee guards or a design that’s wasp-proof. You can also use peppermint oil to deter or kill any insects that try to climb the bird feeder. It will not harm the hummingbirds or deter them in any way.
Some birders will use their best hummingbird feeders in their windows, which can help to deter pests, predators, and furry pests. It will also allow you to easily view their activity from inside your home.
However, placing this type of feeder too close to your window can result in a collision, but a feeder that’s attached to the window itself will not.
Every bird will have its own unique personality, and some hummingbirds may be more passive, while others will be more aggressive. Because of this, I recommend purchasing more than one bird feeder. Make sure you place each of the feeders in a location where it cannot be seen from another bird feeder. You can try placing one feeder on each side of your house. This will prevent the birds from fighting over territory. If a hummingbird can see another feeder close by the one they frequent, they will try to guard both feeders and will end up scaring off passive birds.
Other Bird Feeder Pointers
You should leave the feeders out for at least two to three weeks after you’ve had your last visitor. You can expect some stragglers to end up in your yard for a much-needed meal before migration. These are usually sick, injured, or juvenile birds. Leaving your feeders out longer will provide these birds with a meal that can potentially save their life and if they do survive, you can expect them to visit your yard the following year.
- Every yard is different, and there will be different factors that can influence how you hang a bird feeder. Many birders who take note of these factors are able to position the feeders in a location and manner that makes them more appealing.
- A bird feeder should be placed in an area that’s noticeable. These birds have keen eyesight, however, if a feeder is placed under dense foliage or under a deep roof, then it may be easily overlooked. The feeder should also be able to catch some light, which will allow reflections or colors to be easily seen and will attract the bird’s attention. If there are other red colors located nearby, then this can help the bird to notice the feeder quickly.
- The feeder should be loaded in a convenient area, so it’s easy to refill and clean. It shouldn’t be hung so high that it’s difficult for you to take it down. Putting a feeder near a path, patio, or a deck instead of a deep garden bed can make them highly accessible.
- Keeping your feeders stocked with fresh nectar will also be important since a bird can easily determine if nectar is spoiled or not. If a bird does drink spoiled nectar, it will not return. Unfortunately, many commercial nectars can be potentially harmful since they contain dyes and preservatives. If you’d like to learn about a safer alternative, then click here to read my article on how to make sugar water for hummingbirds.
- Safety will also be a big priority. A hummingbird feeder that’s not safe can potentially hurt a bird. A feeder should always be hung high enough to keep feeding birds safe from predators.
- A leaky feeder is bound to happen at some point. Placing a feeder in a protected area, away from strong winds will prevent it from tipping over. The feeder should also be situated away from a high traffic area where it may accidentally get bumped. Protecting the bird feeder by keeping it away from the elements, including heavy rainfall, will also help to prevent contamination and will keep the nectar fresh.
- A hummingbird will frequently hover when it’s feeding. If the feeder is placed in dense foliage the bird will not have the space it needs in order to maneuver comfortably around a feeder. The hummingbird also prefers to fly around the feeder, in order to scope out any predators and to defend it from other birds.
Who doesn’t want to encourage more hummingbirds to visit their yard? Not only are these birds beautiful to watch, but they also help to pollinate your flowers and will help control your insect problem. But if one of these birds doesn’t find your yard very appealing or it determines that there are too many dangers in your yard, then you won’t have very many visitors this season. Fortunately, this is an easy fix.
The best place to put a hummingbird feeder is in a partially shady location, which will prevent the nectar from spoiling quickly. The area should also not have any brush or foliage below since this will give cats and other predators a place to hide and the ability to sneak up on a bird when they’re feeding. You can also opt for a feeder that’s designed to hang in a window, which will provide the bird with some protection against predators and will also allow you to easily watch them as they feed throughout the day.