If you love hummingbirds, putting out a hummingbird feeder provides somewhere for these tiny birds to feed so you can get a closer peek at them. You'll need to think carefully when choosing a hummingbird feeder, though. It must have a large-enough capacity and a good number of ports to service your local hummingbird population. It should also be easy to fill with nectar and brightly colored to attract hummingbirds (they prefer red). Our detailed guide has everything you need to know, including our picks for the best hummingbird feeders you can buy, which is led by this model from Aspects.
Considerations when choosing hummingbird feeders
The capacity of hummingbird feeders is generally measured in ounces, and feeders range from compact eight-ounce models to giant 48-ounce feeders. Choose a capacity that you think will work best for the number of hummingbirds that visit your yard.
Number of ports
Hummingbird feeders have ports around the edge for the birds to feed from. Compact feeders may only have two to four ports, while large models can have as many as 10 or 12 ports. Again, the size of your local hummingbird population will dictate whether you need lots of ports or only a few.
Ease of filling
We recommend choosing a hummingbird feeder with a wide mouth for pouring your nectar into. Some feeders have narrow openings and require a funnel for refilling, which can be a pain.
You might think that color doesn't really matter when choosing a hummingbird feeder, but that's not the case. There's a reason why the majority of hummingbird feeders are red: because hummingbirds are attracted to that color. If you buy a red hummingbird feeder, you're more likely to attract birds to your feeder.
The majority of hummingbird feeders are made entirely of plastic, but some are made from a combination of glass and plastic or glass and metal. All-plastic hummingbird feeders are generally inexpensive yet durable. The trouble is that plastic is porous, so if the bottle or basin that holds the nectar is made from plastic, bacteria can grow over time. The solution to this is a feeder with a glass bottle or basin.
Although hummingbirds tend to hover while feeding, the majority of hummingbird feeders have perches, so birds can perch and feed or hang out at the feeder. Some models have a 360-degree perch that runs all the way around the feeder, whereas others have single perches next to each feeding port.
At the lower end of the price spectrum, you can find hummingbird feeders for under $10, though these generally aren't of the best quality and have a small capacity. Mid-range feeders, including the majority of quality all-plastic feeders, cost between $20 and $30. High-end glass feeders and extra-large plastic feeders tend to be priced between $30 and $50, though there is a small number of more expensive models.
Q. How often should I refill my hummingbird feeder?
A. You should empty, rinse, and refill your hummingbird feeder every two to three days or any time you notice it's empty.
Q. How do I make hummingbird nectar?
A. Hummingbird nectar is just a simple sugar syrup. To make it, combine one part white sugar and four parts water in a saucepan and bring to a boil (to kill any bacteria present). Allow it to cool before filling your feeder.
Q. Where should I position my hummingbird feeder?
A. Position your hummingbird feeder within a few feet of a tree, shrub, or other cover (otherwise, hummingbirds may be reluctant to use it). You should position it somewhere shaded to stop the nectar spoiling where hummingbirds will spot it when they're passing through.
Hummingbird feeders we recommend
Best of the best: Aspects HummZinger HighView 12-ounce Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
Our take: This mid-size, basin-style hummingbird feeder is a sturdy and reliable choice that will give you a great view of all the hummingbirds at your feeder.
What we like: Ample room for perching. Four ports for multiple hummingbirds to drink at once. Rugged construction.
What we dislike: Some birds can't reach the nectar once the level goes below the halfway mark.
Best bang for your buck: First Nature 32-ounce Hummingbird Flower Feeder
Our take: This large-capacity hummingbird feeder offers exceptional value for the money considering its size.
What we like: Features an impressive 10 feeding ports. Wide top is easy to fill. Continuous perch all the way around the perimeter.
What we dislike: Large bottle may block your view of hummingbirds on the other side.
Choice 3: Birds Choice 8-ounce Hummingbird Feeder
Our take: A compact feeder that's best for gardens that only get a few hummingbirds passing through.
What we like: Thick glass bottle is sturdy and will withstand the elements. Eight ports for multiple birds to feed. Base is easy to clean.
What we dislike: Small capacity means you will have to refill it more often.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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