The most critical designs on the world’s best hummingbird feeder will involve the human element. Unlike birdseed feeders, nectar feeders must be completely cleaned at a minimum of once per week. Hummingbirds are attracted to fresh liquid, nectar that most closely resembles the natural nectar flowers provide. Unused nectar quickly turns to a molasses-type mixture that can not be easily removed.
The world’s best hummingbird feeders are designed with humans in mind, as well as hummingbirds. If a feeder is too complex or impossible to come apart, most people will not clean it properly. Adding fresh nectar to remnants of old nectar will create a spoiled mix for hummingbirds to drink. These small birds can immediately taste the stale nectar and will leave your feeders alone.
There are two standard types of hummingbird feeders, gravity fed and dish. Gravity fed hummingbird feeders consist of a chamber above a feeding base. You fill the chamber with fresh nectar and then attach a base that contains feeding ports. As the hummingbirds drink from the base, gravity from the chamber above constantly fills the base. The most critical part to clean will be the base. If you can not disassemble it, there are specially fitted brushes designed to get into the tiny feeding holes to remove all traces of old nectar. The world’s best hummingbird feeders have bases designed to come apart for easier cleaning.
Dish-style hummingbird feeders are flat with no chamber above. The hummingbirds feed directly from the base, or dish, where the nectar is stored. These styles usually consist of two pieces that are easily disassembled for complete access to the old nectar.
When you shop for the world’s best hummingbird feeder, here are some insider’s tips:
1.) Bee Guards & Ant Moats
Bees and ants are attracted to the same sugar-water mixture as hummingbirds, creating a nuisance to feeding birds. In fact, when ants craw into the nectar and die, they release formic acid, fouling the solution. Hummingbirds will taste this and leave your feeder. Stop ants by putting a barrier, such as a water filled moat, between the ants and nectar. Bees and wasps have short mouthparts, so bee guards over the end of the feeding holes interfere with their reach. The world’s best hummingbird feeders incorporate these important design elements.
Choose a feeder that matches the number of hummingbirds available to feed in your area. In New England, it is more appropriate to have many, small capacity feeders than one large feeder. East of the Mississippi River, there is only one kind of hummingbird, the ruby-throated. This bird is extremely territorial and will refuse a spot on a feeder for any other ruby-throated, even it’s mate. Don’t forget, no matter where you live, you must empty and clean your nectar feeders at least once per week, more often in hotter climates. Reduce waste and save time by only purchasing the world’s best hummingbird feeder made for your region.
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