Why avoid bees when feeding hummingbirds

8 tips for feeding hummingbirds

  • 01 of 08

    Provide natural sources of food

    A hummingbird's diet consists of a variety of food sources. Nectar-producing flowers are a rich and popular option, and brightly colored flowers will attract many birds. Other hummingbird food sources include tree sap, fruit juices, pollen, and insects, including spiders. Avoid spraying pesticides or insecticides that remove these natural food sources and plan a hummingbird garden with the best nectar flowers to attract hungry lobsters. The more diverse your hummingbird food sources, the more birds you will attract and the healthier they will be.

  • 02 of 08

    Offering hummingbird nectar

    Feeding troughs filled with a classic nectar recipe can help bird watchers attract more hummingbirds and save money by using more expensive commercial nectar mixes. A simple sugar water solution is just as attractive to hummingbirds as natural sources of nectar. Nectar can be mixed in larger quantities and stored in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use, or smaller batches can be freshly made whenever the dispensers need refilling. However, avoid using colored products, including red food colors, colored juices, or other additives, as these chemicals can be harmful to hummingbirds and are unnecessary for their diet.

  • 03 of 08

    Use different hummingbird feeders

    There are many types of hummingbird feeds to choose from, and birds who dislike one shape or size of feed can be attracted to another. Use a variety of feeders scattered around your yard to attract the most hummingbirds. Consider both glass and plastic feeders as well as constructions with only one feed connection or multiple access points. Feeders with and without perches can also appeal to different hummingbirds. Different feeder sizes can also take different feed preferences into account.

  • 04 of 08

    Position the positioner correctly

    To safely protect the hummingbirds from window collisions or to have their dainty bills tucked into window panes, feeders should be positioned either very close to the window (easily visible) or at least five feet away. Placing the forages in an area that is free from breezes and direct sunlight minimizes spilled nectar and slows down fermentation to keep the nectar fresh. To help the birds find your feeding troughs, place them near nectar producing flowers or other brightly colored accents in your yard, especially red decorations that catch these birds' eyes.

  • 05 of 08

    Avoid insects

    Bees, wasps, and ants find nectar solutions just as irresistible as hummingbirds, but you can minimize pesky insects by choosing bird feeders with built-in insect screens or traps. Avoid feeders with yellow ports or decorations, as yellow is attractive to bees and wasps. Do not put oil or sticky products on feed posts as these products will stick to birds' feathers and make it difficult for them to clean. Also avoid insecticides, which can contaminate feed and are toxic, even fatal, to birds.

  • 06 of 08

    Fill feeders accordingly

    Hummingbird nectar can ferment in just a day or two in hot weather, so don't fill the feed troughs with more sugar water than the birds can use during that time to minimize waste. Nectar expands when heated, and an overcrowded feeder is more likely to leak and attract insects as well as other unwanted pests such as mice, rats, raccoons, or even bears. Keep the feeders conveniently full, but not too full or almost empty.

  • 07 of 08

    Clean the feeder regularly

    It is important to thoroughly clean the hummingbird feeders at least two or three times a week. Even more frequent cleaning is required even in hot weather when the nectar can ferment quickly. Fermented nectar can cause mold, which is deadly to hummingbirds, and acidic foods won't attract as many birds. When cleaning a hummingbird food, be sure to carefully sanitize all corners and edges to get rid of any mold, fungus, and old nectar. Soaking a disassembled feeder in very hot water can be an easy way to remove stuck, crystallized sugar.

  • 08 of 08

    Provide migration meals

    Hummingbirds overeat just before migrating to build up energy reserves for their long flights. Keep the hummingbird eaters clean and stuffed during late fall and early winter so that all migratory birds can be fed, and set feeders early in spring for the next year to attract the first returning hummingbirds. Also, opt for early blooming and late blooming nectar flowers for a long-lived hummingbird garden. You will be surprised how early and late these birds visit and how much they appreciate a nutritious meal to help them refuel!