HummerMagnet Hummingbird Feeders

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What do hummingbirds eat?

Yes, hummingbirds eat nectar from flowers and consequently hummingbird feeders. But most people do not realize that they also eat tiny insects and spiders in order to get their required protein. If you get a chance to watch them closely when they are away from your feeders you might observe them catching bugs. I have watched them fly around closely inspecting leaves on a tree and seemingly pecking at them and what they are really doing is picking off small bugs from the leaves. I have also watched them hover in flight and stab repeatedly at gnats picking them off one at a time. This type of activity is fascinating to observe.

 

Nectar recipe

The nectar for your hummingbird feeders is quite simple, 1 part white table sugar to 4 parts tap water. Nothing more, nothing less. No red dye, no premix from the store, no honey, no brown sugar, no fruit, nothing. You can make it on the stove and boil the water if you like but it is not necessary. I use hot tap water and make sure that the sugar dissolves.

 

Change your nectar regularly!

This is where most people mess up. Nectar begins to ferment very quickly and your hummingbirds will not feed on fermented nectar and will avoid feeders that contain it. So when you first hang your feeder the nectar will be crystal clear and depending on the outside temperature it will begin to get slightly cloudy usually after about 3-5 days which are the visible signs of fermentation. To have the most birds using your feeders in your hummingbird garden you will want to change your nectar twice a week, I simply get on the schedule of doing it on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

 

Pests

If you hang a hummingbird feeder you will nearly always experience bees and wasps or ants. The trick is to not let this affect your enjoyment of feeding and watching your hummingbirds. Ants are easy to deal with by using an ant moat. Some feeders such as the HummerMagnet have a built-in ant moat that you simply fill with water and it keeps the ants from being able to reach the nectar so they go away. If the built-ins are not sufficient in size for your needs there are lots of larger ones available that will do the trick. Bees and wasps are a bit harder to deal with but not too bad. The first thing you will want to do is buy a hummingbird feeder that is designed to be bee-proof and that means designed so that the bees cannot reach to the nectar with their proboscis (tongue) which is about 1/4" long. If you have a hummingbird feeder that you believe is sufficiently bee-proof and you still have bees spending a lot of time on it then most likely the bees are feeding on tiny bits of nectar that the hummingbirds inadvertently leave on the surface of the feeder in the course of normal feeding activity. This can be quickly resolved by rinsing off the areas where the bees are spending time with tap water from a squirt bottle. You will observe the bees return looking for food but they won't stay if the food source has been removed.

 

Taking down your feeders in the fall

For those of you not living in the Southwest or on the West Coast where there can be hummingbirds all year long, you will want to take your feeders down for the Winter at some point. A simple rule of thumb is that if you normally see hummingbirds regularly and have not seen one in a week it might be time to take down your feeders. Your feeders are not keeping the hummingbird population from starving and on the other hand keeping them up "too long" will not keep hummingbirds from migrating South for the Winter either. Use your common sense and take them down for a final cleaning and they will be ready to go in the Spring.

Choosing a hummingbird feeder

Back in the spring of 2007 it was time to hang my hummingbird feeders and when I looked at the sorry collection that I had accumulated over the years while each season trying to find the perfect feeder it was pretty sad. Most of them were not pretty and the ones that were pretty leaked which attracted bees and ants or were impossible to clean completely. As a bird lover I knew that I could design a better hummingbird feeder so the HummerMagnet was born and folks really love it. So when choosing a hummingbird feeder you will want one that does not leak, is easy to clean and although being pretty is not a high priority, it certainly looks better in your yard than an ugly one does! There are lots of creative designs available but like most things in life simpler is better. Go with a good looking glass bottle type feeder that comes apart for easy cleaning, it will last for years and you will not be disappointed. This type feeder also uses perches which allows the hummingbirds to rest while feeding, which in turn allows them to conserve a little bit of energy and hang around longer for your viewing pleasure. Hummingbirds do learn how to use a feeder, which is to say that it is not instinctive like it is for them to feed on nectar from flowers. They learn from either their natural inquisitiveness or from watching other birds. So when you hang a new hummingbird feeder it may not be the most popular until they become used to it and you may want to initially hang it near your other feeders until they learn that it is awesome too.

 

Hanging your hummingbird feeder

Ok, hummingbird feeder #1 will obviously be located where you can best enjoy watching them, that is the easy one. Most people are immediately hooked on the flying jewels and want to hang more feeders to enjoy more birds. I agree with this completely as the more appealing your yard is to the birds the more birds you will eventually have in your area and season over season your hummingbird garden will grow. Now these little guys are extremely territorial and are not really into sharing so you'll need to be a little strategic with hanging additional feeders. The only exception that I experience is the brief time of Spring when there may be lots of hummingbirds passing through on their way to their nesting area. In Texas for instance this occurs for a couple weeks in April and I will sometimes have 8 birds perched on a single feeder. Because these birds have not yet established territories they tolerate each others' close proximity.

 

One other important consideration regarding hanging your hummingbird feeder has to do with if you have raccoons in your area or not. Raccoons love the sweet nectar and will cause you lots of headaches if they can get to your feeders. So in the mornings if you find your hummingbird feeders empty or laying on the ground it is nearly always because of raccoons. I have had to relocate some of my feeders and even use raccoon baffels on one or two.

 

Cleaning your hummingbird feeders

Once again simpler is better. Each time you change your nectar give your feeders a quick cleaning. Fill the bottle with hot tap water and run a bottle brush through it to remove any residue, disassemble the base and scrub it clean with your fingers again with hot tap water only. If you are really slow this might take 2 minutes and is all that you need to do to have a nice clean feeder all season.

I just received this feeder today and it looks like it is going to be a breeze to clean. Yay!!! I have had a difficult time finding feeders that are affordable and easy to... Read More

Hi Steve, Received my 4 boxes today. What a beautiful feeder you have developed. I am thrilled with the purchase and hope we can send much more business your way. I am... Read More

I purchased 4 of these 7 years ago and have been looking for them ever since. I am an avid birder and my favorite birds are hummers. These are the very best feeders. There... Read More

I bought one of your feeders for my grandmother who is an avid humminbird fancier. She has taken down the rest of her feeders. She says the hummingbirds will only use this... Read More

I just want you to know that I am delighted with your hummingbird feeders. I am buying two more, one for my sister who just couldn't get over the hummingbirds constantly... Read More

Ok, hung the 2 feeders and I love them.... More can feed at the same time which means more for me to see :) My other one had some metal, and though it was pretty, very soon... Read More

The Best Hummingbird Feeder I Have Ever Owned It's the truth! We have had others, but unfortunately, we also have a woodpecker that loves them too, so currently, we are in a... Read More

I recently bought a Hummermagnet II from you. My hummingbirds love it and so do I. In addition to all of the features you've mentioned, I think it valuable that the hummers... Read More

I just bought these wonderful feeders and my hummingbirds are just humming about it to other hummers. They just love these feeders, you can't buy a better feeder anywhere.... Read More

Now I can tell you just how wonderful your feeders are. Over the years I have amassed more feeders than I can count. They are all packed and ready to go to our local donation... Read More

Thank you so much for your help in ordering and shipping my feeder. Your feeders are the very best!We have a lot of problems here with wasps, but with your feeders the wasps... Read More

Thank you so very much for sending me your Hummer Magnet Swallow-tailed on Grevillea feeder. We just moved to this area and put up a lovely feeder which was a gift from our... Read More

The bees are gone! I had 2 cheap, plastic feeders with large yellow flowers and I think the bees got more nectar than the hummers. I found your site via a search and ordered... Read More

I was somewhat skeptical that the feeder, advertised as bee and wasp resistant, would actually deter these stinging insects. I was wrong, no bees, or wasps, hanging around... Read More

I can't believe how great this is. I hung up a couple of different feeders months ago to replace my last one that had rust inside. As soon as I did, I lost my hummingbirds. I... Read More

I have been attracting hummingbirds to my garden for over 25 years. During that time I have purchased many different types of hummingbird feeders. The HummerMagnet is by far... Read More

I ordered 3 of your HummerMagnets and could not wait to get them outside! I am thrilled with this design and the EASY CLEANING! WOW! Its about time someone re-designed these... Read More

Hi, I bought 2 of these from you awhile back to replace my 2 feeders with the big yellow flowers.They are among the best purchases I ever made!I used to DREAD cleaning &... Read More

I bought it because I needed a new hummingbird feeder, I LOVE it because it truly is a hummingbird magnet! I used to see one, maybe two a day, now I am seeing up to FIVE... Read More

We have had 4 feeders in our backyard since we moved to the Las Vegas area for the last 7 years. I have struggled to find feeders that were easy to keep clean. I had to keep... Read More

I'm not a big fan of testimonials, I hate infomercials that have them but, I have to give one on the Hummer Magnet. I had tried three different hummingbird feeders and they... Read More

Love your feeders!! And so do the hummingbirds. I put two of them up in early May, and had hummers within a few minutes. Soon there were flocks of hummers at both feeders,... Read More

I was somewhat skeptical that the feeder, advertised as bee and wasp resistant, would actually deter these stinging insects. I was wrong, no bees, or wasps, hanging around... Read More

I am having so much pleasure enjoying feeding our Southern California hummers. I just received my 5th feeder from The Hummingbird Store. I keep extras on hand to make a fast... Read More

I bought two clear glass 16 oz. Hummermagnet feeders over a month ago and am very pleased with them. I find them better than advertised, very high quality materials,extremely... Read More

I have never had a hummingbird feeder that was so easy to use and clean, nor one that attracted so many hummingbirds. We usually only have 2 hummingbirds each year, but after... Read More

I have never owned a hummingbird feeder before and when I browsed the internet to find out "the best", I found your website and products. I purchased the HummerMagnet. I am... Read More

We have Hummingbirds all year long. Sometimes I see over 30 Hummers trying to feed and can hardly count them. I had feeders that were fairly shallow and I was filling them... Read More

I've had feeders out for the past 2 years in our yard but would only get one or two hummers and they came to our feeders infrequently. I did some reading about which feeders... Read More

For years I tried to find the best and most convenient feeder. I purchased several and eventually discarded them. This feeder is perfect. It is easy to fill and doesn't leak.... Read More

Thanks for the great feeder!! My Anna's took to it right away. I'm glad they now have a place to perch while eating and are no longer burning precious calories just hovering... Read More

Received our order a few days ago and we couldn't be more pleased! Our old feeder had failed beyond repair (not a HummerMagnet!) and my replacement (from a box store) was... Read More

Hi Folks...About one day for the critters to get used to the new feeder. Arrived about the same as hatching started and the little guys like yours the best...watch the little... Read More

I was using Perky Pet's Gloxinia Flower 8-oz glass Pinch-Waist hummingbird feeder for several years with success but Perky Pet recently re-engineered the design and now just... Read More

We have had hummingbird feeders for twenty years. We bought yours two years ago and this is our second set. There is nothing better than the HummerMagnets. They work great.... Read More

I searched the internet all morning for a hummingbird feeder after I put up my leaky one from last year. I had certain criteria in mind:
A glass bottle.
At least 30-32 oz.... Read More

I am a long time customer, about 8 years and this is my 3rd feeder. I have made one modification to your design. I have 3 widely spaced feeders hanging in my back yard which... Read More

My hummingbirds prefer to drink from your feeder than any other! If I switch the feeders, I have a Perky Pet in the front yard, in the style of Dr. JB's. They'll always move... Read More

Hey, thanks back at you, for the great feeder design. My neighbor's new bee hives overwhelmed my old feeders, but your feeder has been bee free, and the birds love it. As an... Read More

Have been feeding God's little creatures for years. The 32 oz. has to be the best feeder by far. Never fails to deliver and out does all the others. That's why I am fazing... Read More

We occasionally see hummingbirds visiting our garden, but had no feeders. My friend Elaine is very happy with your feeders and recommended them to me. Well...in less than 24... Read More

I can't even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your innovative design. I used the Perky Pet feeders for years. Cleaning them was a huge chore and pain in the tail, plus... Read More

I got my feeder this mourning. Great service. I love the clean-out feature and the birds seem to feed longer with the roost to use while feeding, I may need another feeder... Read More

For the past four days hummers have been feasting from one HummerMagnet. Sixteen ounces... twice a day! A feeder of another brand sits barely visited. So by popular vote of... Read More

I did a search for the best hummingbird feeders, and I think I found them! I enjoy my hummers so much, and these feeders are going to make it so much easier to take care of... Read More

I just wanted to give you an update on my hummingbird feeders. You would not believe how many new birds we have attracted after we added these feeders. I had 2 feeders before... Read More

For the past four days hummers have been feasting from one HummerMagnet. Sixteen ounces... twice a day! A feeder of another brand sits barely visited. So by popular vote of... Read More

I would like to share the experience I have had with your HummerMagnet feeders.
On receipt, I placed your first three feeders in position. Within two minutes I had several... Read More

These hummingbird feeders are absolutely the best made! They're very attractive, don't leak, have a perch for the little critters to rest on. Are easy to clean and fill, AND... Read More

I am just doing a quick reply to let you and anyone else know, I already have three of these great feeders and love them so much, I decided to add just one more :-)) I have... Read More