Hummingbirds are a wonderful sight to see fluttering around in your garden in bright blues and greens. They are very much a part of the ecosystem and you can do your bit to care for them in little ways.
So, where to hang a hummingbird feeder? You can consider placing the feeder under a tree or a bush, somewhere in the shade. You can also hang it from an overhang or canopy from your house. Alternatively, you can place a feeder on your window sill or window box where you’ve planted flowers.
You hang hummingbird feeders. Strategically placed, well maintained, and with the right food in it, your feeder can attract many little hummingbirds to your garden.
Here’s what you need to know.
Where to hang a hummingbird feeder?
Hummingbirds are particularly picky about their sleeping spot, and they are equally picky about where they eat from. Additionally, a poorly placed feed, somewhere that limits the hummingbird’s access to, is hardly useful. The food inside might spoil, and the feeder itself can get overly dirty and battered if you don’t place it right in the right place.
So where do you hang them?
Aim for convenience, safety, protection from the elements, privacy and accessibility. These are the basic factors to consider when hanging your birdfeeder.
You can consider placing the feeder under a tree or a bush, somewhere in the shade. You can also hang it from an overhang or canopy from your house. Alternatively, you can place a feeder on your window sill or window box where you’ve planted flowers.
Protection: Your feeder should afford protection from not just the elements, but also other animals or birds. So avoid open spaces, where bigger birds might prey on them. Open spaces away from the cover of trees or bushes also mean the feeder, and subsequently, the hummingbird, are exposed to the sun, the rain and other elements.
Space: Hummingbirds are excessively territorial and will avoid visiting your feeder if it is too close to not just people but even close to another feeder. Place more than one feeder, and preferably of opposite ends of the house or garden.
Another aspect of spacing to consider is that while foliage and shade from trees are important, you don’t want to place a feeder in the middle of a dense bush or a thicket. Hummingbirds like to hover while they eat. You want them to enjoy it, not have to fight their way through the thick leaves and branches to get to the feeder.
Convenience: You, as the person who will clean and refill the feeder should have easy access to it, but it should not be so close to where there is constant foot traffic that the hummingbirds feel threatened. The feeder should ideally be placed five feet above the ground.
The right balance of all the above is a spot that is far enough away from your house to afford a sense of privacy and protection, but close enough that you can keep an eye on the feeder and access it when necessary. It should also be close enough—at least under 15 feet—from the nearest covered shelter or perch for the hummingbird to easily access. Here’s some of the best spots to hang or place one.
The 3 best spots to hang a hummingbird feeder
1.Under a tree, bush or overhang, somewhere shady and secluded—not in wide, open spaces, but not too densely covered by foliage that it makes it hard for hummingbirds to find and get to. Hang it five feet off the ground, preferably with nothing growing under it.
2.If you place them on your window sill boxes, consider growing some mint nearby. Mint is a natural deterrent to ants, bees and wasps and will keep them away from your feeder if you decide to place it here.
3. At the edge of your porch, or even a gazebo, somewhere you can see the feeder, but far enough that they don’t feel threatened by you.
Do not place hummingbird feeder near seed or suet feeders?
Hummingbirds are not social, and are particularly vulnerable, especially around other birds because of their own diminutive size. When placing your hummingbird feeder, keep it at least 10-12 feet of distance away from other feeders.
Bring your feeders inside at night to keep racoons, squirrels and possums from getting into it.
Maintaining your feeder
Where you hang your feeder will determine how often you have to clean them. Too out in the open, and it will be exposed to the elements. Too close to other feeders and other birds will make use of it and soil it, which means you have to replace the water inside it and bring it in for cleaning more often( with just hot water, no hard soap or detergent needed).
You could go to all that trouble to find the perfect spot to hang the feeder, but if the feeder isn’t clean and well maintained, apart from being accessible, hummingbirds will not visit it.
Additionally, you can use a weak vinegar solution. Do not wash your feeder with soap, detergent or any hard cleaning supplies as it will leave a residue in the feeder, and it might end up harming the hummingbirds.
Choose the right food
What do hummingbirds eat—or drink, as is the case? Nectar. So your food of choice to fill the feeder with is simple and requires just two ingredients: sugar and water.
Mix one part sugar with four parts water and stir till the sugar is dissolved. Do not add anything else. Once you mix your ‘nectar’ just fill your feeder and place it outside in its designated spot.
Do NOT use honey or syrup to Do NOT use any additives, dyes or so-called hummingbird food flavouring. Do NOT accidentally mistake salt for sugar. It might seem silly to have to read this, but it’s been known to happen. Spoon a drop or two of the water into your mouth and taste it, just in case, before you fill the feeder.