Hummingbird Feeder Hints
Never use honey or artificial sweeteners. Do not use red dyes.
It may take a week or so for a hummingbird to start using a new feeder, especially if they have been feeding from other feeders in the same area. It they continue to feed from only one type, try changing the location of your feeders or taking one down for a while. Hummingbirds are creatures of habit!
Hummingbirds need flowers and insects, in addition to nectar supplied by a hummingbird feeder. To increase your chances of seeing hummingbirds, plant perennial and annual flowers they are attracted to such as honeysuckles, salvia, larkspur, trumpet vine, petunias, nasturtiums, penstemons, fuchsias, and lilacs. Other favorites include bee balm, columbine, Indian paintbrush, and monkey flower. It is well known that hummingbirds are attracted to red flowers, but they also visit all other colors. Geraniums are wonderful hosts for spiderwebs, the building material of hummingbird nests!
A hummingbird's tongue is very long: an average of twice the length of the beak. Therefore they can reach nectar up inside of our tube feeder or all the way down to the bottom of our top-feeding vessels. Our patented flower feeding tube guides their tongue to the nectar in the vessels.
Keep your feeder very clean with PAR·A·SOL ® Cleaning Brushes. A dirty feeder causes bacteria to rapidly grow, which will cause the nectar to go bad. Hummingbirds will reject a feeder with fermented nectar. Clean your feeder regularly and diligently: every 5 days in cool weather, every 2-3 days in hot weather. We recommend frequently cleaning the glass and feeding tubes using a 1:5 white vinegar rinse. Clean at least every 2 weeks with a 1:10 bleach solution. Always rinse your feeder and feeding tubes very well before refilling.
To discourage ants, try one of our Ant.Moats.
Do not allow solution to freeze in feeder. Store inside during winter.
Nectar: Use PAR·A·SOL ® Hummingbird nectar or the following sugar solution recipe:
Combine 1 part white cane sugar to 4 parts water. Bring to slow boil for 2 minutes. Cool before pouring into feeder. Excess may be stored in the refrigerator.
Tips for Using Tube-Type Feeders
Tube-type 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 these feeders utilize a vessel filled with water resting on top of a small column of air, they 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.
1. Most importantly: always fill the feeder completely full with cool nectar. Insert the stopper and invert quickly to avoid any air entering the feeder. Tube feeders operate on a vacuum principle. Only if the feeder is initially filled completely full will the vacuum form!
2. Only hang your feeder in shade or partial shade. The cooler the feeder, the less likely it is to drip. Try a PAR·A·SOL ® Shade.
3. Make sure to keep the feeder very clean by regularly cleaning the vessel with hot water and a bottle brush. Do not use soap as its residue may cause your feeder to drip. Try periodically using a vinegar rinse to thoroughly clean your feeder and then rinse well with hot water.
4. Last resort: place stopper assembly in very hot water to soften the tube. You can bend it slightly to increase the angle. This will stop dripping, but might make it more difficult for nectar to come down the tube.
5. Dripping too much for you? Try one of our top-feeding feeders.