With all of the different styles of hummingbird feeders on the market it can be confusing to get the right feeder for you. There are two very important considerations when choosing your feeder. The most important consideration when purchasing a hummingbird feeder is ease of cleaning. We have seen many beautiful feeders sitting empty or with moldy nectar in them. Neither will encourage hummers to visit you and if moldy it is right down unhealthy for the hummers. Nectar should be changed every three days. If you have a lot of nectar left just don’t fill the feeder so full next time. All of our feeders work with very little nectar in them.
We offer two types of hummingbird feeders, the Best 1 Feeder and saucer style hummingbird feeder. To clean the Best 1 feeders (8 ounce, 32 ounce, and 72 ounce) we recommend a swab and port brush. Swabs need to be completely saturated before pushing them through the bottle neck, so mix a 10% bleach solution and then squeeze the swab in the solution several times to make sure it is totally saturated. It will then fit through the neck and expand to scrub the bottle clean. The base comes apart for easy cleaning, be sure to use the port brush to remove any residue in the port holes. Our saucer hummingbird feeders come apart for easy cleaning and can be ran through the dishwasher. If you wash by hand, remember to use the port brush and a 10% bleach solution. RINSE WELL.
Next is ease of filling. Have you ever run from your filling station to the door with nectar dripping into your hand or on the once clean floor? We have- but that feeder ended in the trash can. Carry our Best 1 feeders upside down until you reach the spot for them and then flip quickly. We rarely spill a drop. Our saucer feeders do not have a “hard snap” to fit them together, so no accidental spilling.
The major consideration when choosing a bottle vs saucer feeder is the wind. If you plan to hang the feeder in a windy area, we strongly recommend the Best 1 feeders. If you have been in Portal in May you know we can get 40-50 mile an hour straight line winds. The Best 1 feeder does not drip! Our saucer feeders had to be pole mounted. Just a note to you who have tried “look-a-likes”, the Best 1 has enough threads on the bottle to fit securely into the base, so it will not seep or suddenly come crashing down. (They call them Best 1 for a reason!) We have had to add ant moats to our Best 1 Feeders.
If you hang the saucer feeders, they have a built in ant moat. Some people like the aesthetics of a saucer feeder and either feeder will make your hummers happy. And a happy hummingbird makes for a happy bird watcher!
Just a few more notes to help you choose your hummingbird feeder. Avoid feeders not made by a reputable bird feeder company. Companies who make only bird feeders have done the research to build a feeder that is bee resistant. Feeders with yellow flowers are still on the market. The problem is that the yellow color attract bees. Feeders with “straws” are still available, and are notorious for leaking as the temperature rises during the day.
The last thing you need to know is how to make the nectar. It is as simple as mixing 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. DO NOT add food coloring, honey, artificial sweeteners or anything else. The hummingbird feeder is red, so the hummingbirds will be attracted to them, so red colorant is not necessary. Any other ingredients are not necessary and may harm the birds.
These considerations should make choosing a hummingbird feeder much easier. Finding an easy to clean and easy to fill hummingbird feeder will make your life easier and keep the hummers happy.