What Should You Look For When Buying A Hummingbird Feeder?

When buying a hummingbird feeder, the key aspects to consider include its size, ease of cleaning, material, colour, and the presence of ant and bee guards. These features determine the attractiveness of the feeder to hummingbirds, its durability, and its suitability for your specific circumstances. But let’s delve deeper and discover why these factors are important.

Related post to read: Best Hummingbird Feeders Compared.

Unravelling the Features of an Ideal Hummingbird Feeder

Size Matters

When it comes to hummingbird feeders, size is an important consideration. It determines how many birds can feed at once and how often you’ll need to refill the feeder. Small feeders may be perfect for a modest garden with a few frequent hummingbird visitors. Larger feeders, on the other hand, are suitable for areas with a high hummingbird population or if you’d rather not refill the feeder frequently.

Ease of Cleaning

Cleaning your hummingbird feeder regularly is crucial for the birds’ health. Hummingbird nectar can quickly ferment, especially in warm weather, which can harm the birds. Therefore, it’s essential to select a feeder that’s easy to dismantle and clean. Look for feeders with wide openings that allow you to reach all parts effortlessly.


The material of your hummingbird feeder greatly impacts its longevity and attractiveness to birds. Feeders are commonly made of plastic or glass. Plastic feeders are lightweight and less fragile, but they may not withstand harsh weather and sun exposure as well as glass feeders. Glass feeders, although heavier and potentially more fragile, often last longer and can be more visually appealing.


Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to bright colours, particularly red. Therefore, a feeder that incorporates these colours, especially red, can lure more hummingbirds to your garden. However, it’s important to avoid feeders with painted designs, as the paint can chip off and contaminate the nectar.

Ant and Bee Guards

It’s not only hummingbirds that are attracted to the sweet nectar in feeders. Ants and bees may also find your feeder and deter hummingbirds from feeding. Therefore, a feeder with built-in ant and bee guards can be a wise choice. These features prevent pests from reaching the nectar while allowing the hummingbirds to feed in peace.

What Type Of Feeder Is Best

Beyond the Basics: Additional Considerations

Feeder Placement

While not a feature of the feeder itself, where you place the feeder in your garden can impact its attractiveness to hummingbirds. Feeders should be hung in a quiet, shaded location, away from busy areas and direct sunlight, which can cause the nectar to ferment more quickly.

Nectar Capacity

Depending on the size of your feeder and the number of hummingbirds frequenting your garden, you may need to refill your feeder every few days. Therefore, considering the nectar capacity of a feeder can help you choose one that’s suited to your needs.

Price and Reviews

Price is always a consideration when purchasing any item, and hummingbird feeders are no exception. However, it’s essential not to let price be the sole determining factor. Read reviews and consider the longevity and features of the feeder. Often, spending a bit more upfront can save you money in the long run if the feeder lasts longer and performs better.

Accessibility and Visibility

Once you’ve considered the critical aspects of a hummingbird feeder, think about your enjoyment too! After all, part of the reason for setting up a hummingbird feeder is to watch these amazing birds. Choose a feeder that you can easily see from your preferred viewing location, whether that’s inside your home or from a favourite spot in your garden.

Also, consider a feeder’s accessibility. You should be able to reach it comfortably for cleaning and refilling. If you need to struggle to get to it, maintaining the feeder becomes a hassle, and it’s more likely you’ll let it slide.

Resilience to Weather Conditions

Finally, consider the weather conditions in your region. If you live in a place that experiences strong winds or heavy snowfall, a lightweight plastic feeder might not be the best option. Instead, opt for sturdier glass feeders that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Conversely, if you live in a hot climate, consider the fact that nectar can spoil quickly in the heat. You might need to opt for a smaller feeder that requires frequent refilling to ensure the nectar stays fresh.

Final Thoughts

As you embark on your journey of discovering what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder, remember this is more than a mere purchase—it’s an invitation. An invitation to nature’s most enchanting ballet right there in your backyard.

Imagine the delight of seeing the first hummingbird fluttering around your carefully chosen feeder, the anticipation as you watch the birds become regular visitors, and the satisfaction of knowing you’re providing a nourishing oasis for these delightful creatures. Your chosen feeder isn’t just an item hanging in your garden—it’s a symbol of your connection to the natural world, a bridge between your daily life and the remarkable universe of hummingbirds.

But let’s take a moment to consider the bigger picture. In a world that often feels hurried and disconnected, could this simple act of choosing a hummingbird feeder be a step towards something profound? Can it help us reconnect with nature, learn to appreciate the simple joys of life, and remind us of our place in the grand scheme of things?

Indeed, when you’re deciding what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder, you’re also answering a deeper, more personal question: What kind of relationship do you want to have with the natural world? As you ponder this question, remember every choice we make is a reflection of our values and desires.

FAQs – What Should You Look For When Buying a Hummingbird Feeder?

Q: Why is the size of a hummingbird feeder important?

A: The size of a hummingbird feeder determines how many birds can feed at once and how often you’ll need to refill the feeder. Larger feeders can accommodate more birds and require less frequent refilling but may be overwhelming if you only have a few hummingbirds visiting your garden.

Q: How often should I clean my hummingbird feeder?

A: You should clean your hummingbird feeder at least once a week or more frequently in hot weather. Regular cleaning prevents the fermentation of the nectar, which could harm the birds.

Q: Are glass hummingbird feeders better than plastic ones?

A: Both glass and plastic feeders have their pros and cons. Glass feeders are generally more durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions better, but they are heavier and can break more easily. Plastic feeders are lighter and less likely to break but may not endure extreme weather as well.

Q: Why should a hummingbird feeder be brightly coloured, particularly red?

A: Hummingbirds are naturally attracted to bright colours, especially red. Having a feeder that incorporates these colours can attract more hummingbirds to your garden.

Q: What is the purpose of ant and bee guards on a hummingbird feeder?

A: Ant and bee guards on a hummingbird feeder prevent these pests from reaching the nectar, allowing the hummingbirds to feed peacefully without being deterred.

Q: Where is the best place to hang a hummingbird feeder in my garden?

A: The ideal place to hang a hummingbird feeder is in a quiet, shaded location, away from busy areas and direct sunlight. The latter can cause the nectar to ferment more quickly.

Q: Does the nectar capacity of a hummingbird feeder matter?

A: Yes, the nectar capacity of a feeder can impact how often you need to refill it. If you have many hummingbirds visiting, a larger capacity feeder might be more convenient.

Q: How can I make my hummingbird feeder more visible for my own viewing pleasure?

A: Choose a location for the feeder that’s easily visible from your preferred viewing spot, whether that’s inside your house or a particular place in your garden. This way, you can enjoy watching the hummingbirds feed.

Q: How does weather impact the choice of a hummingbird feeder?

A: If your area experiences strong winds or heavy snowfall, a sturdier glass feeder might be more suitable. On the other hand, in hot climates, nectar can spoil quickly, so a smaller feeder requiring frequent refilling might be a better choice.

Q: Can choosing a hummingbird feeder have a bigger impact beyond attracting birds to my garden?

A: Absolutely. Choosing a hummingbird feeder is a step towards reconnecting with nature, appreciating the simple joys of life, and understanding our place in the grand scheme of things. It’s a personal reflection of your relationship with the natural world.


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Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at HomeBirdFeeder.com is a team of bird lovers dedicated to providing high-quality information and resources about all things bird feeders. Our team of writers are passionate about helping people find the perfect bird feeder for their home and providing tips and advice on how to get the most out of their bird feeding experience. Our Lead Editor is Sam Olusanya.

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