Best Hummingbird feeder 2019 • 7 Hummingbird feeders Reviews
Hummingbird feeders are all the rage for people who like feeding hummers in their backyards. Their designs have changed over time to mimic foods hummers feed on. Our team was able to review the best hummingbird feeders based on their design, construction and ease of use, among other essential features.
Hummingbird feeder Leaderboard 2019
What is a Hummingbird Feeder?
Hummingbirds feed on a variety of insects, including gnats, mosquitoes, fruit flies, spiders and aphids. They have lower beaks that can bend as much as 25 degrees to help them catch insects. However, to supply their energy needs, the birds need to drink nectar (a mixture of fructose, glucose and sucrose). In the wild, the birds perch around flowers to extract nectar, but those residing in homes get their energy needs from hummingbird feeders.
The items are filled with sugar water to supplement the hummer’s natural diet. As such, the feeders offer the best opportunity for people to observe hummingbirds up close while providing the hummers with a reliable source of energy when flower blossoms are not abundant.
How Does a Hummingbird Feeder Work?
We needed to know the different parts of hummingbird feeders to understand how it works. An in-depth review of different types of feeders revealed they have the same essential components regardless of their sizes and shapes. They include.
The Tank or Reservoir
This part holds the nectar, and it is relatively immaterial as far as the bird is concerned. The primary focus of most birds is the flower. A review of the best hummingbird feeders showed that they come in two materials- glass and plastic.
Plastic tanks are light and tend to turn yellow after prolonged use. Glass tanks, on the other hand, are heavier and easier to clean compared to plastic tanks. The bottom line is to choose a hummingbird feeder that can hold adequate nectar, usually for three or more days. However, the tank should not be too large as most of the nectar gets wasted when cleaning the hummingbird feeder.
It is an essential part of the hummingbird feeder as it is used to attract the birds. The flower also helps the bird to aim its beak when sucking nectar. Most flowers have yellow, red or a combination of these colours. Our analysts noted that feeders with large red cup-like flowers drew a large number of hummingbirds.
The Mounting Bracket
This part is used for hanging the hummingbird feeder. Most hummingbird feeders are hung on a loop on top of the feeder while others are stuck to a window using suction cups. The location of the hummingbird feeder and how the user mounts it determines the type of feeder to purchase.
This is an optional component. The premise for including a perching area on a hummingbird feeder is to provide a place for them to relax while eating. Opponents criticise this idea, citing that including a perching area increases the risk of the birds developing hypothermia.
They argue that during the cold weather, the bird takes cold nectar, making it susceptible to hypothermia. Other reviews criticising this idea cite that a perch in feeders interferes with their chance of taking pictures of the hummingbirds.
A typical hummingbird feeder uses the law of gravity. It is filled with the nectar, attached to the base and turned so the tank is above the base and the liquid flows to it. We observed some air bubbles as the level of liquid dropped. Once the level of the liquid touches the bottom of the opening of the tank, it seals off so that no air more enters the container to displace the nectar.
Advantages of a Hummingbird Feeder
The feeders present lots of benefits to humans and hummingbirds. We explore some of them next:
- Access to fresh nectar: Small-sized hummingbird feeders require constant refilling, which ensures the birds can access fresh nectar regularly. An in-depth review of the mini hummingbird feeder made by Wild Birds Unlimited shows that it holds only four ounces of nectar to ensure the birds have a constant supply of fresh nectar.
- Experience nature in one’s backyard: The feeder provides an opportunity for homeowners to observe unique bird species. Young ones also learn about the birds while teaching them the benefits of taking care of birds. They are great for hummingbirds whose regular supply of food is altered by environmental changes: The feeders supplement natural food sources. Hummingbirds digest food rapidly due to their high metabolic rates and small size. Studies show they have a retention time of less than an hour.
- Help older birds feed their younglings: Hummingbird feeders provide an extra source of food, reducing the duration that parents need to stay away from the nest foraging.
- Increases hummingbirds’ survival rates: A study conducted by Millikan University reported an increased survival rate of birds foraging in areas with bird feeders. The places also had more young birds recruited into the breeding population compared to places without hummingbird feeders.
What Types of Hummingbird Feeders are There?
The first hummingbird feeders consisted of a small tube of glass filled with sugary water and an artificial red flower to draw hummingbirds. Althea R Sherman is credited with designing the first hummingbird feeder as she was the first person to train the birds to obtain nectar from a feeder.
Just as the name, they are inverted bottles with a base and feeding port at the bottom. Inverted feeders also have a central tank or reservoir that is usually suspended over the feeding port to release nectar from the tank. The nectar is held in place by the pressure vacuum, which has been created by the trapped air. Thus, small amounts of nectar are released as the hummingbird’s tongue probes the feeder port.
- Easy to check nectar levels
- Hold larger proportions of nectar
- Prone to leakages when the vacuum breaks
- Are difficult to fill and clean
Saucer Hummingbird Feeder
It consists of a bowl-like reservoir that allows hummingbirds to access the nectar by probing downward on the feeding ports.
- Easy to clean, refill and assemble
- Less likely to leak
- Easy to mount atop railings or poles
- Requires frequent refilling because it has a smaller capacity
- Less visible to birds
Hummingbird Feeder- A Buyer’s Guide
With lots of imaginatively-styled hummingbird feeders in the market, it can be confusing to choose the right one. Our analysis revealed that while consumers have an idea of what they are looking for, most end up buying different designs. Keep in mind that feeders are a recent development, which hummingbirds recognise instinctively by watching other hummers.
As a result, they get accustomed to one type or design such that changing to a different kind of feeder takes time for the birds to adapt. Any hummingbird feeder can attract the birds, but a thorough review of consumer test showed consumers consider these factors when looking for the best hummingbird feeder.
A typical hummingbird feeder is either made of plastic, glass or metal. The downside to plastic feeders is that they discolour over time and are prone to leakage and warping. The best materials for hummingbird feeders are metal and glass when it comes to longevity though they cause nectar to ferment quickly.
Ease of Cleaning
Bacteria tend to build up fast hence, the need to purchase a hummingbird feeder that makes it easy to clean (usually after every five days). Inverted feeders have narrow openings that make it difficult to clean using a brush or other cleaning equipment.
Most hummingbirds are attracted to red colour hence, the red base and other decorative accents used on most feeders.
The best feeders should have 3-4 feeding ports. However, there are smaller versions with single feeding ports, making it difficult for the nectar to get out and birds to use. Large humming feeders have 6-8 feeding ports, allowing more birds to access nectar and reduce the birds’ territorial habit of guarding their food sources.
Hummingbird feeders are available in a range of sizes; usually from 1-32 ounce feeders. Birders who have a handful of hummers visiting their backyards prefer feeders with a low capacity to avoid wasting nectar. Larger flocks of hummingbirds need larger feeders if the visits are frequent.
Ease of Use
Hummingbird feeders that were easy to use were rated the best on most reviews. Such hummingbird feeders didn’t need excessive snapping or twisting during assembly.
Hummingbirds like resting after feeding hence the need to purchase feeders fitted with perches. Perches also encourage hummingbirds to feed more and remain at the feeder for a long time for birders to observe and take clear photos.
Most consumer reviews cited the best hummingbird feeders are designed to be hung from branches, hooks or poles. The bottom line is to find a convenient place that enables the bird to spot the feeder easily. Some consumer reviews cited placing the feeders near hanging flowering plants.
The consumer reviews also cited their preference for feeder designs fitted with ant and bee guards. These features ensure the nectar is solely for the enjoyment of hummingbirds while reducing contamination from the bees and ants infiltrating the nectar.
Hummingbird feeders with feeding ports located atop the tanks allow rainwater to get into the feeder and dilute the solution.
A review of hummingbird feeders with and without rain guards showed consumers rated those with rain guards the best. Others preferred buying the rain guards separately, i.e., those sold explicitly for hummingbird feeders.
Feeders mounted in extremely windy locations should be equipped to withstand the strong winds. Some consumer reviews cited buying saucer-style hummingbird feeders that come pole-mounted for use in such areas.
Results and Experiences from other Consumer Tests
We used two consumer portals to determine the best hummingbird in the market based on consumers’ buying needs. Our first site was www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk, which rated the best products based on the consumer’s reviews. The second was www.consumerreports.org, which performs independent research and consumer tests and ranks the best products based on several factors. According to these two platforms, there was a test winner based on durability, effectiveness and price and three other hummingbird feeders based on design, pest-control features and size.
The Test Winner: First Nature 3051 Hummingbird Feeder
It is the best hummingbird feeder when it comes to price, effectiveness and durability. These features make it the best buy for new and experienced birders. It is a hummingbird feeder that is made of a clear plastic cylinder and a red base that holds the hummingbird food.
With a base that has up to 10 feeding ports, birders can host as many hummingbirds as they want. Also, the tank holds up to 16 ounces of nectar and is equipped with a wide opening that makes it easy to clean compared to other feeders. Another feature that caused many users to rank it as the best is the sealing ring that prevents leaking and the S-hook that allows birders to hang it easily.
Also, while First Nature 3051 Hummingbird Feeder is not a top-fill feeder, most consumer reviews cited it was easy to fill without dirtying the place. They also added that it was the best hummingbird feeder for birders looking to attract multiple birds.
Design: Perky-Pet 24 oz n Glass Top Fill Hummingbird Feeder
The most challenging aspect when it comes to buying a hummingbird feeder is how it is filled. While most products are filled with liquid upside down, the base screwed and flipped over; they often cause spillage. It explains why top-fill designs like the Perky-Pet 24 oz n Glass Top Fill Hummingbird Feeder received the most positive reviews when testing for design. The product has a 24-ounce tank with a cap on top, which unscrews to allow the user to pour the nectar into the wide opening without inverting it.
Pest-control: Aspects 367 Hummzinger Ultra Humming Feeder
A common complaint among many consumer reviews is the lack of a pest-control feature on hummingbird feeders. As such, many products are likely to attract pests like bees and ants which also hunt for nectar. Aspects 367 Hummzinger Ultra Humming Feeder is an exception as many reviews rated it the best at keeping away the pests.
It has a unique design as its food reservoir is located at the bottom. It has four feeding ports and the tank can hold up to 12 ounces of nectar. Also, the feeding flowers have a raised design to divert rain.
This hummingbird feeder has a built-in moat that traps ants and nectar Guard Tips, which when inserted into the feeding ports prevent wasps and bees from contaminating food.
Size: First Nature 3090 and GrayBunny GB-6846B
In this case, the consumer tests came up with the largest and the smallest hummingbird. Various consumer tests revealed most birds preferred First Nature 3090 when looking for a large hummingbird feeder and GrayBunny GB-6846B for small designs.
First Nature 3090 is equipped with a plastic reservoir that holds an impressive 32 ounces of liquid. It came with ten yellow feeding stations where hummingbirds get to drink and an all-around perch for birds to rest. Just as the first product, it is also fitted with a sealing ring to prevent leaks and a built-in ant-moat for keeping away ants. Users also loved the ease with which they can remove yellow flowers to provide additional drinking space.
The Best Hummingbird Feeder Brands
- First Nature
- Droll Yankees
- Nature’s Way
- More Birds
It is a privately-owned company with more than 150 years of experience in making high-quality feeders. Perky-Pet’s primary focus is in the production of innovative products that enable birds to remain healthy and survive in a natural environment. We noted most consumers ranked products from this manufacturer the best when it came to quality and innovativeness. The brand is known for paying attention to details to make the user’s experience the best. As such, hummingbird feeders from Perky-Pet often have additional features like anti-moats, bee guards and unique designs that attract and protect hummingbirds when feeding. The manufacturer also produces other items like replacement flowers and hanging hooks.
First Nature is famous for producing hummingbird feeders that are easy to clean and affordable. It was established in 2001 and has thrived dramatically over the last decade. The company has worked over the years to make patented bases that can be detached to make it easy for users to clean. This brand’s products are also leak-proof, which prevents bees and ants from swarming in. Hummingbirds suck the nectar using their long tongues, which can cause the nectar to leak out. First Nature is aware of this fact and designs the best leak-proof products. Also, their bases and tops have a bright-red colour to attract hummers and keep them around.
The company boasts a vast experience in manufacturing bird feeder accessories, having been established in 1972. This US-based company has maintained a long-standing reputation in producing the best products for the local and international markets. Apart from its undying commitment to craftsmanship, the company strives to make innovative birding products and accessories, including hummingbird feeders that are attached to protective domes and windows to keep away rain and pests.
It is the best brand for birders looking for a range of designs when looking to purchase a hummingbird feeder. The devices are also easy to clean, fill and feature unique handcrafted elements that require extra care when handling them. They also add a decorative ornament to any space thanks to the charming colours used to make Copper hummingbird feeders. Unlike feeders made of plastic copper, humming feeders are strong and durable, so users are confident the product will last a lifetime. What’s more, the copper tank maintains the integrity of the nectar and reduces bacterial contamination. While products from this brand are more expensive than plastic feeders, they are the best alternatives for birders looking for long-lasting options.
Two friends, Alan Bemis and Peter Kilham, founded the company in 1960 to preserve the tales and off-colour humour unique to the old New England. Peter was an engineer by profession and an avid backyard birder and is remembered for inventing the first tubular bird feeder in 1969 known to revolutionalise the bird feeding design. He produced the first hundred feeders by hand before engaging American manufacturers who helped keep up with the new innovative feeder. The company boasts the best bird feeder styles known for their functional simplicity, high-quality construction and ease of cleaning and filling. Additionally, Droll Yankees offers a lifetime warranty.
It is the best brand for birders looking for small feeders to place around the garden. This company’s products come in small, compact sizes and are available at affordable prices. According to numerous consumer reviews, other models using this design don’t last long and are of low quality. In contrast, GrayBunny offers 100% quality feeders with convenient feeding points, limited predator access and are easily maintained to avoid infection. The GrayBunny GB-6847 stands out thanks to its hanging design that allows birders to hang it at heights beyond predators’ reach. What’s more, the enclosed, tubular construction makes it difficult for squirrels to reach the nectar solution.
This is not the average bird feeder company in the market. The brand is not only dedicated to artistic beauty but also high-quality craftsmanship inspired by a collection of functional and visually stunning hummingbird feeders. Schrodt is the best manufacturer for handcrafted feeders infused with vibrant colours to attract as many hummingbirds. Most consumer reviews cited these brands ability to handcraft hummingbird feeders in different styles (ladybug, teahouse and lantern, among others) was the most outstanding feature about Schrodt.
The company is known for producing the best birds’ products, including hummingbird feeders. Its signature style is that of superior quality, long-lasting durability and ease of use. When it comes to hummingbird feeders, Nature’s Way focuses on the ease of cleaning and filling the equipment. As such, most of their hummingbird feeder products are equipped with large lid openings to make filling and cleaning fast and easy. They also come with silicone gaskets to prevent leakages and drips on critical connection points.
The company is part of the larger Classic Brands family, which comprises a group of wild bird enthusiasts. It has specialised into other types of bird feeding accessories each with a separate title. Strokes Select, which sells accessories for backyard birds and seed feeders and Squirrel-X that offers squirrel-proof seed feeder. More Birds specialise in a variety of bird feeders, including the hummingbird feeders. The company boasts in designing feeders based on countless hours of field testing, consumer reviews, feedback and innovative product engineering.
It is the best brand for eco-conscious birders as it makes most of its products using recycled materials, including hand-blown glass and rust-free metal. The resulting hummingbird feeders are not only beautiful but also rust-resistant, durable and weather-proof. What’s more, the parts are designed to keep off wasps and unwanted bees out of the bird’s nectar. The majority of consumer reviews cited its anti-rust feature as what stood out for Parasol hummingbird feeders. Also, its softly tinted glass exudes a muted light that attracts hummingbirds to the feeder.
The development of Hummingbird Feeders
The first commercially available hummingbird feeder comprised an inverted glass bottle. Laurence J Webster designed it for his wife who had read a 1928 National Geographic documentary about feeding hummers. Laurence engaged an MIT lab glassblower to design the first commercial hummingbird feeder between the years 1929 and 1935.
Later in 1947, the National Geographic Magazine featured an article by Harold Edgerton who took a picture of hummingbirds at Webster’s feeder using his newly invented strobe flash. This aroused interest among other people who were interested in feeding hummingbirds from their backyards.
Safety Instructions When Dealing with Hummingbird Feeders
These safety instructions should help users keep the feeder in top-notch condition. Not following the instructions leaves the birds prone to a fungus infection that causes their tongues to swell and affecting their feeding patterns. Ultimately, the birds die due to starvation. Also, mothers can pass the infection to their youngins.
Ten tips for Care & Maintenance of Hummingbird Feeders
Even the best hummingbird feeders require proper care and maintenance to enable the birds to access the much-sought nectar, which is critical for its survival especially during fall when the birds’ bodies need to increase the body mass before migration.
It requires a lot of commitment on the birders’ part hence, the need to spare adequate time for this kind of venture.
The numerous consumer reviews suggested ways to take care of the best feeders.
Choosing the best accessory for hummingbird feeder largely depends on the type of feeder the birder has.
We briefly explain a few accessories most consumers mentioned in their reviews and why they are the best:
Bees also hunt for nectar, making them the number one pest to hummingbird feeders. Bees have extremely short tongues compared to hummingbirds. Bee guards help extend the length of the feeding port so that the bee’s tongue does not reach the nectar. Hummingbirds have long tongues, which can reach the feeding port even when the bee guard is attached.
Feeders have many nooks and crannies that can make it difficult to clean. Cleaning mops designed for feeders make the job easier as they can reach hard-to-reach places.
Just like bees, ants are also attracted to nectar. An ant guard prevents them from crawling into the feeder to eat the nectar. The guards have a small permethrin disk that repels the ants as soon as they crawl into the feeder.
Hanging poles and hooks
The best hanging hooks should allow the birder to hang the feeder wherever they want. Some hanging hooks are made of decorative features that add style and attract the birds to the feeder.
Do Hummingbird Feeders Need to be Red?
No. They don’t need to be red, though it is the most attractive shade when drawing hummingbirds. Any bright colour that mimics flowers should work. The placement of the feeder plays a more significant role in attracting the birds than the colour.
Why are the Hummingbirds not finding the New Hummingbird Feeder?
The birds may fail to recognise the new feeder if they are accustomed to the older one. One of the best ways to attract the birds to the new feeder is to hang the old feeder too. Hang the new feeder 10-15 inches away from the old one and fill it with the nectar solution.
How does the Birder Prevent One or Two Hummingbirds from Dominating the Feeder?
As earlier highlighted, hummingbirds can be pretty protective of their food sources.
Should We Remove the Feeders at the end of the Summer Period to allow the Birds to Migrate?
An extensive review of the behaviour of hummingbirds showed that no amount of nectar-producing flowers or feeders can entice them to stay longer than they should.
When is the Best Time to Remove the Hummingbird Feeder?
There is no precise timing as to when to remove the feeders.
It depends on several factors:
- Location: Birders living in northern regions like Alaska and Canada can remove the feeders during fall or in the late summer period without affecting migration. Those living in the southern area leave the feeders up for a more extended period because hummingbirds are year-round visitors here.
- Migration: Male hummingbirds migrate before females, though there are juvenile birds that are the last to migrate. If the best feeders have been put up when the birds need nourishment for their journey, they are likely to return to those locations every year.
- Climate: In areas where early autumn storms affect bird migration or summer flowers die quickly, it is essential to leave the feeders up till a later date. The feeders provide a reliable source of food at a time when natural food sources are dwindling.
When is the Best Time to Put out Humming Feeders?
Hummingbirds have a regular migrating pattern, which makes it easy to determine the exact time to put out the feeders. As such, birders can:
Additional months to put out the feeders include February, March, April and May, depending on the location of the birds and their migration patterns.
How do We Prevent Hummingbird Feeders from Developing Leaks?
The best hummingbird feeders should be leak-proof. However, inverted hummingbird feeders are prone to leaks compared to others. This is because they rely on pressure and the gravitational pull to supply nectar to the feeding ports.
Several consumer reviews suggested ways birders can minimise leakage:
- Always ensure the feeder is full: When the feeder is full and inverted, a vacuum forms, which helps the seal operate properly.
- Hang the hummingbird feeder in a shade
- Change to the best feeder style
- Vary the diet
- Assemble the feeders tightly
- Get rid of the perches
Which is the Best Place to hang Hummingbird Feeders?
The best place to hang the feeder should be those that are noticeable, safe, convenient, private, well-spaces and shaded.
Here are suggestions for the best places to hang the feeder:
- In a hummingbird garden
- Near an office window or kitchen
- Gazebo or awning where the feeder sparkles
- 10-12 feet from the protective cover
What is the Best Way to Keep Feeders from Freezing?
- Setting up lighting: Expert reviews mention the need to wrap the feeders in outdoor-rated incandescent lighting
- Hang the feeder where it gets the most heat
- Knit a cover or use a down-filled material to cover it
- Hang two feeders and rotate them
What is the Best Height for Hanging Hummingbird Feeders?
The best height to hang the feeder should be five feet above the ground as long as there is no foliage underneath that would entice animals like squirrels, cats or mice.