PROBLEM: I HAVE NO HUMMINGBIRDS AT MY FEEDER!
The reasons for this problem can be numerous. Sometimes birds change their feeding habits for no apparent reason. Just be patient, and check to make sure you are doing the following:
to make their nests
in the fork of tree branches.
Jill Dobbs, one of our readers,
supplied this great picture.
(Click on picture
for a better view.)
PROBLEM: DO HUMMINGBIRDS USE A BIRD HOUSE AND IF SO, WHERE CAN I GET ONE?
Hummingbirds do not use bird houses, they are not cavity nesting birds. Instead, they prefer to make their small, cuplike nests in the fork of a tree branch. They prefer downey-like materials for their nesting like plant down, lichens, spider webs, etc.
PROBLEM: ANTS ARE GETTING INTO MY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER
The simplest and most effective way to rid yourself of ants at the hummingbird feeder, is to use an ant moat. An ant moat is a small cup-like device that hangs between your feeder and your hook. Fill it with water, and it creates a barrier to ants! Many manufacturers also make hummingbird feeders with ant moats built in. Take a look at the HummZinger and Hummerfest models.
PROBLEM: HOW DO I KEEP BEES AND WASPS AWAY FROM MY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS?
The best way to avoid bees is to deny them access to the syrup. The HummZinger and Hummerfest feeders are inherently bee and wasp-proof because the syrup level is too low for insects to reach, but easily in range of the shortest hummingbird tongue. If you choose not to try a new feeder and bees or wasps persist, first try moving the feeder, even just a few feet; insects are not very smart, and will assume the food source is gone forever. They may never find it in its new location, while the hummingbirds will barely notice that it was moved. If that doesn't work, take the feeder down for a day, or until you stop seeing wasps looking for it. You'll see hummingbirds looking for it, too, but they won't give up nearly as soon as the wasps.
PROBLEM: WHEN DO I TAKE DOWN MY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS FOR THE WINTER?
Contrary to popular belief, leaving your hummingbird feeders up will not interfere with hummingbird migration. All birds migrate based on hormonal changes brought on by changing daylight hours. In fact, hummingbirds can readily use the energy found at backyard hummingbird feeders as they begin their long migration journeys.
We advise taking your feeder down when you feel comfortable or wait until you no longer see hummingbirds feeding for several weeks. Usually, its safe to take your feeder down after the first frost, but use your own good judgement.
PROBLEM: WHEN SHOULD I PUT MY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS BACK UP FOR THE SPRING?
Many folks ask us when to put up their hummingbird feeders for spring. Many ruby throated hummingbirds start re-entering the United States in March and April, and start moving Northward. If you are in a part of the country where you take your feeder down for the winter months, we recommend the following:
PROBLEM: HOW CAN I CLEAN THE HARD TO REACH PLASTIC OR GLASS BOTTLE TO MY HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER?
There is a simple trick to this age old problem. Fill your bottle with a light soap or bleach solution. Add some uncooked rice to the mixture, then shake. Voila! The rice acts as friction to get all the gunk out!.
PROBLEM: HOW CAN I KEEP MY TUBE TYPE GRAVITY FED HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER FROM DRIPPING?
Tube-type gravity fed hummingbird feeders have been around for a long time and are very popular with hummingbirds because they simulate the tube shape of many nectar-bearing flowers. However, because of their design, these feeders may occasionally drip.
How to stop the dripping? There is no perfect answer - feeders will drip occasionally. However, we do have several recommendations to minimize dripping, so that you can truly enjoy your feeder:
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