All About Hummingbird Feeders. What Are The Best Types For Different Environments

hummingbird feeders leaking

Hummingbird feeders are a super-easy way to attract hummingbirds to your backyard space. They are wildly available, mixing up a batch of hummingbird nectar is super easy.

To ensure that you have a suitable feeder to enjoy a little bird watching in your backyard, picking the right one for your environment is critical. Hummingbird feeder leaks are possible with new purchases, but taking preventative measures can help extend the life of your investment.

What is the Best Type of Hummingbird Feeder to Buy?

The best Hummingbird feeder is a feeder that feeds only Hummingbirds. The flying saucer-shaped feeder is one of the most popular for Hummingbirds because the bees and wasps can not get to the nectar. Pests such as ants, wasps, and bees all want in on that delicious nectar action.

When shopping for a Hummingbird feeder, you need to consider a few factors, such as where you intend to place your feeder and if you want to leave it up all year. The best Hummingbird feeders are easy to find, and places such as Amazon are stocked with great options that work in all types of scenarios.

hummingbird feeders with tons of bees swarming and drinking the nectar
Hummingbird feeders with tons of bees swarming and drinking the nectar.

How To Prevent My Hummingbird Feeder from Leaking?

Hummingbird feeder leaks are a real problem and happen quite often. If your feeder leaks, spilled nectar creates a mess and is bound to attract ants and possibly other pests. You don’t want that!

There are a few reasons why hummingbird feeders leak.

1 Your feeder sits in direct sunlight.

If your feeder is in an area that gets the highest heat of the day, the sunlight causes the feeder to expand. 

When it expands, it places pressure on the seal, which causes cracks and leaks in your feeder.

To prevent leakage, place your feeder in a location out of direct sunlight.

Hang Hummingbird feeders under the shade of a tree or nestled closer to your house.

2 Your feeder is too full.

You want to ensure that your hummers have plenty to eat, but you don’t want to overfill your feeder. If your Hummingbird feeder has too much nectar, this creates a vacuum effect that creates pressure on the seal.

When the pressure becomes too great, your feeder will leak. Always leave just a little air in your Hummingbird feeder to prevent it from leaking.

3 Your base isn’t tight enough.

One of the most common reasons that feeders may start leaking is often from user error. When refilling your feeder, always screw the lid on nice and tight.

If it’s just a little loose, nectar will break through the seal and drip down on the ground to make a mess.

hummingbird feeders hanging off a porch entrance.
Hummingbird feeder handing off a porch entrance.

How Can I Keep Ants Out Of My Feeders?

Hummers aren’t the only backyard creatures that love that sweet, sweet nectar. If you live in an area where pests are a problem, investing in a unique hummingbird feeder such as Perky-Pet is one of the best ways to combat this issue.

Opt for a feeder with an ant moat. While many feeders come with an ant moat included with purchase, you can also opt for an add-on ant moat on Amazon, Walmart, or a local wild bird store for a few bucks.

Ant moats are such a simple solution and work by creating a water moat that ants cannot penetrate to reach the nectar. It’s a super simple and effective solution, and you can even make a DIY ant moat using an old soda bottle and a hanger.

How Can I Keep Wasps Away from my Feeder?

Keeping ants away from your feeders is pretty simple, but wasps are more tricky. These aggressive bugs love hummingbird feeders, and they can even scare your hummers away from your feeder!

So, how can you scare away these air-born pests? A simple solution boils down to the type of feeder that you use.

Saucer feeders are the best line of defense against wasps. Hummingbirds have long tongues that penetrate bottle feeders (or any style feeders), and they are deep enough that wasps cannot reach the nectar.

You can also invest in bee guards that prevent bees and wasps from penetrating the nectar.

Another good way to keep wasps away is always opting for a red feeder.

Hummers are attracted to the color red, while wasps and bees are drawn to yellow.

hummingbird feeders leaking 7
Hummingbird perched on a feeder filled with nectar.

How Often Should I Clean My Hummingbird Feeder

How often you need to clean your Hummingbird Feeder depends upon where you live. Feeders in hot and humid environments, will need to cleaned at least twice a week.

With cooler climates, you only need to clean your feeders once a week. If you don’t clean your hummingbird feeder, it can cause mildew to form inside the bottle. 

Once the mold gets on a hummingbird‘s tongue, it causes it to swell and eventually kills the wild bird. A clean feeder ensures that your local hummers are safe and healthy.

hummingbird flying over to a saucer shaped feeder
Hummingbirds on a red saucer shaped feeder.

How To Clean a Hummingbird Feeder

The best way to clean a hummingbird feeder is to scrub it with a simple soap and water solution.

  1. Disassemble your feeder, and soak all parts in a mixture of hot water and soap.
  2. Using a toothbrush, scrub the glass bottle inside to remove any residue of mildew and mold.
  3. Dry your feeder completely before refilling it with nectar.

It’s important to note that while bleach is an excellent way to kill mildew, you need to dilute it first.

Plus, if there is any bleach smell left after cleaning, it could drive some backyard birds away.

How To Make Your Nectar

Store Bought nectar is fast and easy, but it can get pretty expensive, especially if you have a ton of local hummers that love your backyard offerings.

Making homemade nectar is a great way to save money, although it requires a little extra time.

Homemade Nectar Recipe

  1. Set four cups of water to a boil on the stove.
  2. Stir in one cup of granulated sugar (it must be granulated sugar!).
  3. Keep stirring until sugar dissolves and the water becomes clear.
  4. Set your sugar water on the counter until it reaches room temperature, and pour it into your bird feeder.
hummingbird eating nectar
Hummingbird eating drinking.

Things to Keep In Mind

Feeding backyard birds is a beautiful way to enjoy your backyard space. No matter where you live, there are a few things to remember when hanging Hummingbird Feeders.

Always keep your feeders clean and free of mildew and buildup. This usually means cleaning your feeders at least twice a week.

If you opt for store bought nectar to save time, opt for brands that don’t use red dye. When making hummingbird food, stick to a recipe of 4 parts water and 1 part sugar, and always let it cool before filling.

If you follow these simple steps, you can create a hummingbird paradise right in your yard!

Tara Summerville

Tara Summerville is a freelance writer that loves her backyard birdfeeders. She enjoys sitting on her deck with a cup of coffee, watching cardinals, blue jays, finches, and chickadees munch away at her backyard offerings. Her fascination with birds began as a child; spending afternoons at her grandma's house watching and identifying birds. She has since carried her love of songbirds into adulthood and ensures no bird in her yard goes hungry!

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