Hummingbird feeders and the way they operate may look simple enough. Yet, when it comes to finding the right hummingbird feeder (or, feeders) for your backyard, you start to realize the task may not have been as easy as you had imagined!
First of all, there are many different types and styles of feeders and then there are practically hundreds of different models out there. All of this invariably leads to a good deal of confusion, and Questions. Such as…
Should I go for a dish feeder or a bottle feeder? An oversized one or multiple mini feeders? Are the decorative, blown glass models really any good at attracting the birds? Plastic or glass-what should be the best? Is the model easy to clean and refill? Does it leak? Are the expensive hummingbird feeders the best option and save me money in the long run? How about insect guards or a top-fill model?
You see, all these plethora of questions crowd upon you and you may end up feeling more than a little confused.
However, fret not! In the following Top 10 list, we have included some of the best models from every category. And as we go along discussing the models, we’ll also speak about the benefits as well as the downsides (if any) of the models.
And that, we hope, will help you make an informed decision regarding what kind of hummingbird nectar feeder (as also, what models) should be ideal for your present requirements.
Also make sure to check our “Hummingbird Feeder Selection Tips” (included later in the article) for more useful suggestions.
Well, that is for the preamble! Now, let’s dive right into our list…
1Aspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder
This is one of our absolutely favorite models and will surely deserve a place in the ‘Best Overall’ category. Aspects has always been a trusted brand with a solid reputation when it comes to bird feeder and accessory items and this particular model does justice to that reputation. According to the manufacturers, the model offers an upgrade on their classic line of hummingbird feeders in the way of the added HighView perch that lets the tiny birds sit and rest comfortably while they are out sipping the nectars.
However, what we really love about the model is its simple, no-frill dish design with an all-red lid that contains four flower ports. And also the fact that the model is REALLY functional! The birds seem to love this model and as long as you have hummingbirds visiting your yard, rest assured that they will use this feeder. You will experience no drip or leakage issues with the model and as with most dish feeders, the model facilitates easy cleaning and refilling.
The price may seem a bit on the higher side (though not much), but the model is worth it. The UV stabilized polycarbonate the model is constructed of is sturdy enough and is way more durable than the cheaper plastic models. Finally, this Hummzinger model also comes with a built-in ant moat.
Pros & cons
• Sturdy, durable material
• Highly functional
• Hang/post mount feature
• Raised flower ports—effective in diverting rain
• Built-in ant guard
• Not much to say against this feeder, except that the 12 oz capacity may be a bit small for someone’s taste (more frequent filling). In that case, you may check the 16 Oz Hummzinger model with 6 feeding ports.
2Perky-Pet 8107-2 Antique Bottle 10-Ounce Glass Feeder
If you want something more decorative, this antique style clear glass model from Perky Pet is a good choice. In addition to the antique design of the bottle, all the metal accents of the model (metal hanger, brushed copper accents at the base) endow it with a touch of elegance that will add a vintage and retro feel to your backyard.
And for all its decorative features, the feeder is fairly functional as well. It is easy to clean and fill. Just unscrew the feeder bottle from the base and the rest is a breeze. You won’t experience any spill or leakages issues either—just make sure that you don’t tilt the bottle when hanging it (in which case, there may be some spill). However, as long as the feeder is hung proper, you don’t need to worry about any spill.
There is only one thing you need to take into account which is the lack of bright colors in the model (clear glass, copper accent base with four flower ports of a blackish red color). Normally, we don’t recommend using colored nectar (simple sugar water is always the best option). However, if you find the birds are not getting attracted to the feeder, you may try using some store-bought red nectar of good quality and from a reputable brand. Or, you may settle for the red bottle version of this same model (bear in mind though that the red of the bottle is a coating applied over the glass and not original red glass).
Pros & cons
• Unique, decorative design
• Easy to clean and fill
• Attractive metal accents
• Handy metal hanger
• Lack of bright colors—some hummers may not find the feeder attractive
• Some people complain that the feeder gets invaded by roaches at night (due to the copper accents maybe?)
3Perky-Pet Window Mount Hummingbird Feeder Iridescent Color (8 oz) – 2 Pack
When it comes to window feeders, this one is our favorite. The model comes with a powerful suction cup which will not easily snap out of position (one of the most important considerations for window feeders). You can also nail or screw the feeder on a post or a wall. The clear acrylic bottle is generally strong and durable and holds 8 oz of nectar. The wide-mouth design of the bottle also makes for easy cleaning and refilling and the base does not experience any dripping issues either. Over the red base, there are two snap-on yellow flower feeding ports with separate perches for each one. Overall, the model showcases a well-thought out design and is made of good quality materials as well. The feeder is sold as a 2-PACK.
Pros & cons
• Durable, easy to clean/fill design
• Powerful suction cup
• Snap-on feeding ports
• Quick Release Clips that make it easy to move the feeder
• Not ideal for rainy weather (the suction cups may not hold out)
• The base could be made of a sturdier material
4First Nature 3090 32-ounce Hummingbird Flower Feeder
When it comes to large-capacity hummer feeders, this model is the one to beat! Extremely affordable, the feeder features a whopping 32-0z capacity wide-mouthed reservoir. So, if you have droves of those hummers frequenting your yard, you should definitely consider this model. The red base contains as many as ten yellow feeding ports as well as an all-round perch (and you can even remove the feeding ports to afford the birds some extra feeding room).
[NOTE OF CAUTION: Although we otherwise highly recommend this model, keep it in mind that some species of hummingbirds are extremely aggressive and territorial. If one of them is drinking from a feeder, it will normally drive away the other hummers from that feeder. If you notice this happening, it is better to hang multiple mini feeders rather than one large one.]
Pros & cons
• Special sealing ring that prevents leaking
• Two-part base that easily twists apart for easy cleaning
• Great in terms of price-to-performance ratio
• The materials may not withstand extremely hot weather conditions too well
5More Birds Glass Hummingbird Feeder with 5 Feeding Stations (20 OZ Capacity)
In many ways, this decorative vintage style model looks similar to the previous Perky Pet antique bottle on our list. However, this More Birds model does not only come with a larger capacity reservoir, but looks even more elegant thanks largely to its more detailed aqua-tinted vintage glass design. For the rest, it also comes with a convenient metal hanger and a base with a burnt penny finish. There are five red feeding stations with separate perches for each one. In short, if you want a really elegant decorative model to add to your garden décor, go for this one.
Pros & Cons
• Sturdy and meticulously-designed aqua-tinted glass bottle
• Large capacity
• Durable metal base and perch
• Some users have complained that the lower part of the feeder does not refill too well
6Best-1 32oz. Hummingbird Feeder
Another top product when it comes to large capacity reservoir. The beige glass reservoir has measurements printed on the body, so you know exactly how much nectar you’re putting in. The red base contains eight tiny holes (no flower ports) and a comfortable all-round perch and the bottle features a convenient metal hanger as well. The two-piece base also facilitates easy cleaning.
Pros & cons
• Large capacity
• Extremely affordable for a glass feeder
• Absence of flower ports help discourage bees and other insects
• The narrow opening of the glass bottle makes it hard to give it a thorough cleaning
7First Nature 16 oz. Hummingbird Feeder (2 Pack), Red
This model is another great one and deserves to be listed among the “Best Overall” category due to factors such as durability, effectiveness and price. You’ll appreciate the simple and highly functional design of the feeder with its cylindrical shaped bottle, the wide red base with 10 feeding ports ringed with a spacious perch and a S-hook for hanging. Even someone new to hummingbird feeding can use the model without any difficulty. The model even looks like a top-fill feeder, although it is not. All the same, cleaning and refilling the feeder would barely pose a problem and according to users, you would hardly, if ever, experience any spill or other kind of mess during filling the bottle. And as with the previous First Nature (32 oz) model reviewed here, this model, too, features a built-in innovative sealing ring that helps in leak prevention. The model is currently available in a 2-PACK combo.
Pros & Cons
• High-quality plastic material
• Easy to use, clean and refill
• Great model in terms of price-to-performance ratio
• Although made of good quality plastic, the model can get disfigured during intense heat; or, the nectar inside may get stale and cloudy. To prevent this from happening, consider moving the feeder to a partially shaded location when the heat is too intense.
8First Nature 32oz. Hummingbird Feeder (2 Pack)
This feeder packs in all the features available in the model discusses just above, the only difference being that it is equipped with a 32 oz bottle instead of a 16 oz one. Also, the bottle has a square shape and not a cylindrical one as in the above model. Apart from that, there is little to differentiate these two models. Both come with easy to use, clean and refill features and offer excellent value for money. This model is also available in a money-saving 2-PACK combo.
Pros & cons
• Large capacity
• Durable build
• Great value for money
• No option to add an ant-moat
9More Birds Ruby Hummingbird Feeder (10-Ounce Capacity, 5 Ports)
We especially love the translucent red of the top and the basin of this feeder. The feeder also packs in a whole lot of useful features (built-in ant moat, decorative S-hook) for the paltry price it is available at. The base features 5 feeding ports with integrated perches.
Pros & cons
• Integrated ant moat
• White flower feeding ports help keep bees and insects away
• Overall excellent value for money
• The plastic parts are not too durable
• Some users have reported leakage issues
10Grateful Gnome Feeder – Hand Blown Glass – 20 Fluid Ounces
Last in our Top Hummingbird Feeders list is this stunningly designed 20-oz blown glass model from Grateful Gnome, a brand popular for its unique and decorative hummingbird feeder lines. This particular model also seems like a veritable celebration of colors with its bright red & yellow glass bottle, the silver base and the pink flower ports (5 in all). We love this one, however if it does not quite catch your fancy, you can always check all the many other great hand blown models that the brand has in offer.
Pros & cons
• Extremely attractive design
• Hand blown glass bottle
• S-hook and feeding ports with a spacious ring perch
• Relatively expensive
Hummingbird Feeder Selection Tips
Hummingbird feeders come in various shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. The feeder you choose should be functional and safe for the birds. If you are out there looking to buy a feeder, the following tips for selecting a hummingbird feeder should help:
• Easy to clean
Due to bacteria build-up, you must clean your feeder at least once every five days – more frequently during warm weather. Therefore, pick a feeder that can be scrubbed thoroughly. Stay away from narrow-necked bottle feeders. The opening should be wide enough for a cleaning brush to access all inner areas of the feeder.
• Construction material
Hummingbird feeders could be made from metal, plastic, or glass. The plastic ones can lose color over time. Metal and glass feeders may facilitate quicker nectar fermentation. Plastic feeders are generally on the lighter side but they also easily leak and warp, whereas metal and glass feeders could break more easily.
• Right capacity
The feeder you buy must be roomy enough to accommodate necessary food for the birds. These feeders come in varying sizes, anywhere between an ounce and two pounds. If the hummingbird visits your place in large flocks, get the bigger feeders. If you are working with a few hummingbirds, get multiple small capacity feeders. These feeders must be strategically placed so that one domineering bird doesn’t have priority access to them all.
• Feeding ports
These feeders usually come with three to four feeding ports. However, the smaller feeders may only have one port; the big feeders could come with six to eight ports, or even more. More feeding ports mean more birds being allowed access to the feeder simultaneously, which would reduce competitiveness between the birds.
A feeder’s color matters. It’s not just about trying to fit in the feeder in your surroundings, but colors also offer practical value. In other words, choose bright-colored feeders as they represent flowers and would attract the hummingbird more. Of all hues, red seems to work the best since hummingbirds get easily attracted to that color.
Perches are usually not needed for hummingbird feeders. However, if there are perches, they would ensure birds feed themselves easily and stay at the bird feeder for longer time periods so that you can observe the birds and identify the species. If you’re into hummingbird photography, perch-equipped feeders would be ideal.
Hummingbird feeders can usually be hanged from poles, branches, or hooks. However, there are other mounting methods available too. Smaller feeders directly attach to your windows using suction cups. Another design option is a deck-mounted feeder.
• Insect guards
Some hummingbird feeders come with ant or bee guards while others do not offer such protection against insects. Consider this feeder feature if insects are an issue at your place. Or at least look for models that could be attached with additional ant or bee guards.
Types of Feeders
Hummingbird feeders are primarily available in two basic styles: inverted and saucer. The inverted feeder comes with a central reservoir suspended above the feeding ports, releasing nectar from above and ensuring the ports remain filled optimally at all times. A saucer feeder, on the other hand, is basically a shallow, nectar-filled dish with ports over the reservoir, so that birds could directly dip their tongues and bills into the nectar.
Inverted feeders make nectar level-checking easy and offer increased capacity. However, they attract insects and are more susceptible to leakage. Also, cleaning and filling the feeder could be more difficult. Saucer feeders are easy to clean, fill and assemble. They are much easier to mount over railings or poles. However, their capacity is small and should be refilled a lot more frequently. Also, their visibility to visiting birds is not that great.
Top Feeder Brands
• Perky Pet
Perky Pet is among the most recognized brands in the wild birds feeding space. The company offers the deepest and broadest choices of high-quality bird feeding items at competitive prices. Its feeders are made to target varying consumer requirements. In other words, Perky Pet has feeders for amateur bird watchers and experienced hobbyists and everyone else in between.
• Aspects, Inc.
Aspects, Inc.’s philosophy or business mantra is quite simple: make bird feeders that are versatile and can last for long. All its products are made in the USA using the best materials possible. This is probably why the company attaches a lifetime guarantee to all its products, including hummingbird feeders.
• We Love Hummingbirds
We Love Hummingbirds was established as a company to help individuals locate unique and cool items for their hummingbirds. The founders were extremely dissatisfied with the traditional market offering just red, old plastic feeders. Since the company thinks from the buyer’s perspective, its offerings are most likely to appeal to its target buyers. Its absolute despise for plastic is the reason why its feeders are not made from plastic and employ modern construction techniques.
• Droll Yankees
Droll Yankees is yet another company that takes immense pride and has significant confidence in its products. Visit the site and go through the site’s About Us page to know why. The company has been in the business for close to five decades and has been designing, sourcing materials, and assembling goods in America.
• Grateful Gnome
Grateful Gone is passionate about making window bird feeders, according to its official website. The company strives to offer the highest quality window feeders around and constantly works on improving its products and customer service. Besides hummingbird feeders, the company also provides spirit trees and feeder replacement parts.
Average Hummingbird Feeder Pricing
Basic hummingbird feeders could cost $5. The more expensive, larger models would cost you at least $30. If you are not hindered by budget, let price not determine the feeder you end up buying. Look for features you’d want in a feeder and be willing to pay the money it deserves.
• How often should hummingbird feeders be changed?
Hummingbird feeders from renowned companies usually do not require replacement since they are built to last. If you clean and maintain the feeder well, it would probably serve you for life. However, if the feeder is disintegrating or the parts are coming off, you should consider changing it. Birds or rodents could cause damage to the feeder, or the weather conditions outside may play havoc. If it snows or rains too much in your place, you’ll have to care for your feeders well.
• Why are hummingbirds not coming to my feeder?
Hummingbirds are likely to make a visit to your feeder if they are in the vicinity. If the birds are around but they are nowhere to be found around your feeder, they may have not noticed your feeder, or perhaps the nectar blend you’ve put in isn’t ideal. If it’s a case of the bird not having noticed your feeder, try moving the feeder to another place. If nectar is the problem, stay away from fancy nectar blends and offer simple sugar water solutions instead, which shall provide necessary calories.
• Why does my hummingbird feeder get cloudy?
Your hummingbird feeder is cloudy because the sugar water or nectar blend inside it is turning cloudy. And this cloudiness could be for different reasons: bacterial growth in the solution, mold, too much sugar in the liquid, warmer temperature outside, etc. A cloudy feeder is not ideal because it could deter hummingbirds or the cloudy solution could make the bird that ingests it sick.
• How long should I leave my hummingbird feeder out?
How long you must leave the feeder out depends on the place you are living in. Birds spending summers in the States usually fly to Mexico before winter arrives. Almost all of these migrating birds leave by the month of October and come back next year during February when the climate is warmer. You cannot prevent this migration by putting your feeders out and expecting the birds to be too attracted by them to leave.
Birders living in the northern regions should remove their feeders earlier during the fall. Southern regions usually leave these bird feeders up longer. If you live in Southern California, you’ll have feathered visitors almost throughout the year. Learn more about your place and the migration of birds to ascertain when is the right time to retract the feeder.
• Is it OK to feed hummingbirds sugar water?
Table sugar resembles flower nectar the best and it should help attract these birds to your garden. Sugar water can be used alternatively with flower nectar or at least once or twice a week. In fact, changing things up with some sugar water will help keep the bird interested in your offering without compromising its daily recommended calorie intake.
• How do I keep mold out of my hummingbird feeder?
There are multiple things that can cause your feed to develop mold. If you live in a warmer place, do not fill your feeder(s) to capacity and refill it every few days. Before refilling make sure you use hot water and some mild soap to wash and clean the feeder. Clean the tiny feeding holes to ensure proper and complete cleaning. You may use a clean mascara wand or any tiny brush for the purpose. Mold and similar issues are reasons why it’s so important to buy an easy-to-clean hummingbird feeder.