The 10 Best Hummingbird Feeders
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in March of 2016. North American hummingbirds' wings average an astonishing 53 beats per second in flight, which is why they are so fascinating to watch. Attract them to your garden with one of these feeders, which can provide hours of mutually beneficial entertainment. They come in designs that can be conveniently hung from a tree or an awning, as well as window-mounted ones for an up-close-and-personal view. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 23, 2021:
It was a quick round of updates for us, with every one of our existing choices continuing to be great picks for the category, leaving us with no need to make any major changes. From the tiny, handheld Aroma Trees 2, which might be great fun for kids, to the Nature's Way GHF7, which might make an interesting addition to your landscape lighting, we felt that the last editor for this page did a nice job of putting together an interesting mix of options, and so we saw no need to go meddling with it, at least until our next round of updates.
If your love for the avian kingdom goes beyond hummingbirds, then you may also be interested in checking out our lists of see-through bird feeders. Or, if your feathered friends are frequently terrorized by ruthless rodents, then our rankings for squirrel-proof bird feeders might be a better match. (If you’re sympathetic to said rodents, don’t worry, we also keep track of the best squirrel feeders.)
January 14, 2020:
These hummingbird feeders are a great way to attract elusive little feathered friends to your yard, and while most come in the birds’ favorite color of red, others also feature an array of bright colors that will also make for attractive yard decor. Speaking of vibrant designs, the newly added Nature's Way GHF7 not only features eye-catching colors, but it also illuminates brightly after dark, thanks to its built-in solar panel. It comes with a hanging ring and a chain, both of which are made from rust-resistant, powder-coated metal.
For another elegant design made of glass, check out the More Birds Vintage, which sports an antique-inspired glass bottle and a base with a burnt penny finish. It can hold up to 20 ounces of nectar and since it’s clear, you’ll know with a quick glance whether it needs refilling. If it’s a sturdy, plastic design you’re after, look to the Aspects HummZinger, which is equipped with an all-around, high perch that’s both comfortable for the birds and helps you to get an unobstructed view of them as they enjoy their meals. Its raised flower-shaped ports prevent rain from getting in, and its middle moat takes care of ant intruders as well.
For the safety of the birds using your feeder, be sure to clean it regularly and replace the nectar as needed, since cloudy nectar or floating insects can be toxic to hummingbirds. As tempted as you may be to add red dye to your nectar, refrain from doing so as the artificial ingredients could also be harmful to birds. Rather, seek out a feeder that has red components built-in.
Botanica Dew Drop Hummingbird Feeder This hand-painted glass globe features vibrant red flowers on a flowing green vine, complete with a hummingbird in flight. It’s got three bright red, flower-shaped feeding ports and a dripless basin made of rust-proof aluminum. It measures five inches in diameter and holds up to 22 ounces of nectar. It comes complete with a large metal S-hook for easy hanging. It’s handcrafted in Mexico from recycled glass. thebirdhousechick.com
Duncraft Art Glass Hummingbird Feeder Featuring a colorful art glass design, this feeder features four inviting red feeding ports and a see-through glass reservoir, so you’ll always know when it’s time to refill it. It’s also equipped with a brushed copper base that consists of two separate parts for easy cleaning. It’s easy to hang, since it’s equipped with a decorative copper wire hanger. duncraft.com
Picking The Right Hummingbird Feeder
Suspending a feeder from under a deck or gazebo, or in the branches of a lush tree are all fine ideas.
Hummingbirds are a delight to watch, and they can bring charm to any yard. A great hummingbird feeder looks lovely on its own, and is at its best when surrounded by these unique creatures. But before you buy a hummingbird feeder, make sure you have considered two things: they require regular cleaning to prevent the buildup of bacteria or an infestation of ants or other insects, and once hummingbirds become dependent on your feeder, it will be your responsibility to consistently provide them with nectar.
That said, you can clean most feeders quickly with warm water, occasionally a bit of soap, and a few swipes with a brush. And if you select a feeder with a reservoir size suitable for the volume of birds in your area, refilling the feeder with nectar will likely only be necessary every few days. The refilling process also requires only a minute of your time.
Hummingbirds are most attracted to the color red, thus reason so many feeders feature the color so prominently (and the reason most store-bought hummingbird nectars are colored red too). Choosing a red feeder -- or one with plenty of red on it -- will help you attract more birds, but it's not an imperative: the animals will smell and find the nectar within any feeder eventually, so choose a feeder that looks great in your eyes.
If you already know you have a lot of hummingbirds in the area, then consider a feeder with plenty of liquid capacity and multiple access points. Some feeders have only single feeding ports that can lead birds to compete with one another, while others have as many as ten points of access and allow more animals to dine at once.
Finally, think about how and where you will mount or hang your hummingbird feeder. If possible, don't put hanging feeders in areas prone to heavy gusts of wind. Suspending a feeder from under a deck or gazebo, or in the branches of a lush tree are all fine ideas. Some feeders can also rest on flat surfaces, such as a table or wall, though these will be more likely to attract insects or rodents.
A few hummingbird feeders can be attached to a window using suction cups, and these provide a unique opportunity to view a hummingbird up close, something people of all ages will be thrilled to do. If you take the time to install a piece of one-way reflective window film on the other side of the pane, you can observe these amazing animals up close for hours on end without disturbing them.
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar
You can buy hummingbird nectar at a local store or order it online, but it is fabulously easy and inexpensive to make the nectar yourself, and doing so will not require much more time than ordering it anyway.
As flower nectar is largely made from sucrose, aka sugar, the primary ingredient in homemade hummingbird nectar is simply sugar.
As flower nectar is largely made from sucrose, aka sugar, the primary ingredient in homemade hummingbird nectar is simply sugar. Use the same basic, refined white sugar you put in your coffee or cake recipe. The other ingredient in hummingbird nectar is also easy enough to come by: it is nothing more than water.
Mix one part sugar with four parts boiling water (or a quarter cup of sugar and a cup of water, in other words), and stir until the sugar is entirely dissolved. Then just let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
Make sure to store the hummingbird nectar in a clean, sealed container. You want to avoid using any vessel that has traces of other foods in it, and keeps the nectar sealed from open-air; sugar water can easily ferment by exposure to yeast, and the result (alcohol and other compounds) can be harmful to a hummingbird's delicate constitution.
Creating An Ideal Space For Hummingbirds
You can create a yard that hummingbirds will love with a few easy steps. The first step to creating a hummingbird-friendly yard is to know which types of hummingbirds live in your area. Some online research or consulting books, especially those put out by the Audubon Society, can help you learn about your local bird populations.
Stop the use of pesticides, as these can kill a bird's food source and harm birds directly.
Almost all varieties of hummingbirds will eat from a feeder filled with nectar, so choosing and using a hummingbird feeder is a great first step to cultivating the property. These feeders are especially important during periods when flowers are not in bloom and/or are not producing sufficient nectar. If you put more than one feeder in your yard, try to hang them out of view of one another so no single bird will try to establish dominance over both units.
Depending on the time of year and your location, a few flowering plants that hummingbirds love include the beebalm, some varieties of which are known as bergamot. Sage bushes can attract hummingbirds with their scent and their colorful flowers, and this hearty plant does well in many environments. Citrus trees not only produce fragrant flowers hummingbirds love, but can also yield tasty fruits for humans, too.
Make sure to provide plentiful water for your hummingbirds. Not only do birds need to consume water for survival, but hummingbirds also like to bathe frequently. They can do this in a traditional birdbath, but also tend to love moving water, so putting out a fountain with a content trickle or even installing misting systems are both great ideas to attract hummingbirds and keep them happy once they find your home.
Finally, make your yard hospitable to insects, too, as these make up a surprisingly large part of a hummingbird's diet. Stop the use of pesticides, as these can kill a bird's food source and harm birds directly.