Hummingbirds are one one of the most beautiful birds for any bird watcher or enthusiast to attract into the garden.
To do it, you have to get the right kind of bird feeder which we will look at in this article.
Table of Contents
- What do hummingbirds eat in the wild?
- What can I give hummingbirds to eat?
- Like with any form of bird watching patience is key
- Where should you put hummingbird feeders?
- Best hummingbird feeders
- 1. Best-1 Hummingbird Feeder
- 2. First Nature 3055 Hummingbird Feeder
- 3. Aspects 367 Hummingbird Ultra Hummingbird Feeder
- 4. Aspects Jewel Box Suction Cup Windows Hummingbird Feeder
- 5. Butterfly Shaped Metal and Glass Hummingbird Feeder
- 6. We Love Hummingbirds Metal Feeder
- 7. Desert Steel Hummingbird Feeder
- 8. Songbird Essentials Solar Powered Hummingbird Feeder
What do hummingbirds eat in the wild?
Hummingbirds eat insects and spiders, in fact, they are great for pest control in the garden, but what they really love to eat (and what they are well known for eating) is nectar from flowers.
While the insects that they eat are essential for the protein that they require, the nectar that they eat (or drink) is required to give them energy.
If you do want to attract hummingbirds into your garden you need to offer them a varied diet. By doing this you can potentially get a broader range of the species in for you to watch.
Aside from attracting different species of the bird, it will actually keep them healthier and like with any birds, the more foods you offer the more birds you will potentially attract. If you’d also like to attract Cardinals, you can check out our list of the best cardinal bird feeders and if you want to prevent squirrels from eating all the bird food you can check out our list of the best squirrel proof bird feeders.
What can I give hummingbirds to eat?
Nectar is the most popular choice to offer hummingbirds. The great thing about this is it is super cheap to make and really simple: Just mix 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. You can also read some hummingbird food FAQs and tips for making your own nectar here.
This ratio really does mimic the nectar they would take from flowers. You can also try putting a piece of fruit near the feeder to entice the birds to eat the nectar solution you put out.
They will not eat meal worms from feeders (like other birds will) however, try to encourage as much insect life in your garden, as hummingbirds will hunt and eat them (the fruit is also good for attracting insects).
Sap, if a hummingbird can’t find any nectar or insects to eat, they will sip from trees, especially from the holes that woodpeckers have carved into trees. Keep this in mind if you have any trees in your garden, you never know it could be another way to attract them closer to the feeders.
Hummingbirds do need to eat some grit which aids in their digestion, so although it won’t necessarily attract them into your garden you should definitely put some ashes or fine sand near the feeders for them to eat, you can do this either just loose in a mound on the floor or in a saucer. Doing this ensures they remain in peak health.
When trying to attract these beautiful birds into their gardens, people do sometimes make the mistake of thinking that anything sweet will suffice. This is not good and in fact can be dangerous for the birds and can make them sick.
Do not give these foods to hummingbirds
- sweet drinks
- fruit juice
- corn syrup
- rotten nectar
- sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners
Like with any form of bird watching patience is key
Hummingbirds are pretty cautious by nature and it can take some time for them to visit your garden and use the feeders. You really do need to be patient with these little guys.
However, if you follow these tips you will find that after a time more and more will come to visit and keep coming back for more.
Of course finding and using the right feeder is the best way and by doing this you stand a great chance of getting these amazing birds into your garden.
Where should you put hummingbird feeders?
Hummingbirds are really curious and are attracted by bright colors and shiny objects. Take advantage of their curiosity and put brightly colored objects around the garden to try to tempt them in more.
Make sure that you put the feeder somewhere that hummingbirds can notice them and that is convenient for them to get to.
Try to keep specific hummingbird feeders apart from other bird feeders (if you have them) so that the birds are not distracted or scared by other larger birds which may come to eat.
Always make sure that the feeder is in a shaded area to stop the nectar inside from going off too quickly when it is hot and in a protected area, to stop any gusts of wind from moving it too much (of course not easy outside) and stop the nectar from leaking out.
If you have a cat (like I do) it can be pretty difficult to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Try to discourage your cat from going near the feeders.
You should use several different feeders and styles which allow hummingbirds to eat without fighting over their territory. Also by doing this, you can let the birds choose how they want to eat, either by hovering or perching.
By being patient with the birds and doing the above, generally once a hummingbird visits and eats from a feeder, they do keep coming back in my experience, just make sure that the nectar solution you put in the feeders is always fresh.
Best hummingbird feeders
Let’s review here some of the best hummingbird feeders available in the market.
1. Best-1 Hummingbird Feeder
As the name suggests, this is a fantastic feeder to attract hummingbirds to your garden.
The feeder itself is really simply designed (in fact, it is just 3 pieces). Hummingbirds tend to hover while they eat so this is perfect, it also allows them to perch on the outer ring.
The bottle section of the feeder is made from glass and is really simple to clean and refill and the actual hanger section is pretty solid and durable.
Once you fill this particular feeder up with your nectar solution, you can just give it a little shake so that the liquid goes into the base.
2. First Nature 3055 Hummingbird Feeder
A really easy feeder to put together and has a really wide reservoir which allows hummingbirds to feed easily. Also super simple to clean.
The bright red color really does attract hummingbirds and the feeder itself feels really strong and durable.
3. Aspects 367 Hummingbird Ultra Hummingbird Feeder
A nice and big feeder that holds a lot, however it does only come with 4 feeding ports. This feeder is nice as it has a built-in ant moat to stop them getting in and also diverts rain, so the hummingbirds can feed in the dry.
Super simple to put together and hang, and really easy to clean.One thing I like personally about this feeder is that it is really durable and does not drip or leak (which some can).
Again, bright red to really tempt the hummingbirds to feed from it.
4. Aspects Jewel Box Suction Cup Windows Hummingbird Feeder
A great way to potentially see hummingbirds up close, simply attach this tray-type feeder to a window. This Aspects feeder can be used with or without its moat to block crawling insects and has 3 feeding ports for hummingbirds to feed from.
Really easy to full, simply pop the lid up on its hinges and fill from above. A great addition to have alongside some hanging style feeders.
5. Butterfly Shaped Metal and Glass Hummingbird Feeder
A really unusual feeder, however the colors on it definitely work to attract hummingbirds.
The one thing I would be concerned with about this feeder is that it made pretty much entirely of glass, so it could be easily be broken.
That being said, it definitely works, so I use it alongside other more durable and solid feeders.
6. We Love Hummingbirds Metal Feeder
What is interesting about this company is that they 100% guarantee that this feeder will attract hummingbirds to your garden, and you know what, so far they are right.
A great quality feeder and it looks beautiful in my garden, the only slight drawback is the size of it. I suggest getting a few of them and dotting them around your garden. That being said, it is the easiest to fill and hang. If you are looking to purchase a feeder then I would suggest this one first.
7. Desert Steel Hummingbird Feeder
This hummingbird feeder is really different to anything I have seen available elsewhere and it really looks great in a garden. With nice bright colors, it is sure to attract hummingbirds.
It is also super strong completely made of metal and really easy to clean and indeed fill.
One thing though, this is the most expensive feeder on this list, that being said it really does look like a piece of art. So in my opinion, although yet it looks amazing and beautiful, there are definitely cheaper alternatives that will do the same thing. Although, if you can afford it and want to stand out from the crowd, go for this feeder!
8. Songbird Essentials Solar Powered Hummingbird Feeder
This hummingbird feeder changes colors thanks to its nifty solar powered technology, red as standard, the color changes from blue to green. It will definitely attract hummingbirds to your garden.
This feeder also holds a lot of nectar for the birds to feed on and can accommodate several birds at one time. Really easy to fill and clean.
So far probably one of the feeders that works the best in attracting the birds to my garden and it is also really well priced. Not only that but it looks great in your garden and really stands out at night (so if you have any hummingbirds feeding at dusk or during the darker hours then you can still see them thanks to this feeder).
So there we have it, some of the best hummingbird feeders available today.
Have you tried any of them?
Let us know below.