location of feeders?

ellix(augusta ga)March 31, 2008

I think I read sometime last year that someone had several feeders close together and the hummers just fed and didn't need to fight off the others. Is this true? Who has had success with this type of feeding? It would be nice not to travel all over my yard to keep them changed out. I had about 12 up by the end of the summer and there were still problems.

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This is just my opinion based on observation - nothing scientific: If you have lots of birds, cluster the feeders. Not so many birds (8-10 or less), separate the feeders.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 1:22AM
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CTNCHPR, what brand are those feeders in your photo? They look like the kind where the beak has to go down past where the bees can get to. We had SOOO many bees last summer. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 12:01AM
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ellix(augusta ga)

I started with 1 then 2 last year and I put up more and more feeders and a large selection of plants over the summer. I ended up arount 6-7 birds, I am hoping for even more this year. Two have already arrived.

Ctnchpr-what you are saying is only if there are more than 8 or so to place them closer together?
Last year I had them from 15 to 60 feet apart and all kinds of battles were going on. Thanks

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 6:57AM
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boozie: The feeders are "Best-1", made in Texas.

ellix: Let us say you have 8 birds, no more than 4 would be feeding at any given time. A little dark-headed male could easily defend a cluster of feeders from the other 3, with very little expenditure of energy. If the feeders are separated (especially if they are out of direct sight of each other), the little bully would have to use more time and energy to chase the others away, and will eventually give up and guard only 1 or 2. Like I said above, this is based only on hours and hours of entranced observation. Watch this video - still lots of turf battles, but there's no clear boss, just a free-for-all.

Here is a link that might be useful: 30 second video

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 11:32AM
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ctnchpr - Tell me a website or place to get the B-1 feeders. I'm in NC and haven't heard of these. Fairly new to the hummer world so they might be right here. Any hints as to what to look for other than glass ones?

Thanks Kaaren

    Bookmark   April 5, 2008 at 7:18PM
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Kaaren, Wild Birds Unlimited probably has them; I know Amazon.com does. A good plastic substitute is 'First Nature', sold at Wal Mart. They're inexpensive, made in the USA, and easy to clean.

Here is a link that might be useful: Best-1 Feeders @ Amazon.com

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 4:34PM
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NCgardner, I started with the Best-1 feeder and haven't put it up since. I found the bottle hard to clean, and the base. There were several spots (in the base) that I just couldn't get clean. Also, after one season the base on mine had faded considerably. They do however hold a lot of nectar, but I'm not sure you'll get so many hummers that you'd require a 32 ounce feeder. Also, the one linked above is not the newer version that is safer. Hummers were getting trapped in between the feeder and where they stand, so they redesigned the feeder with a second bar in between. If you do buy the Best-1, try to find the newer design. Good luck :) Christy

My personal recommendation and favorite is the Hummzinger. I replied to another post of yours with the mini, I'll link this one to a larger one. Also, one the same link is the newer version of the Best-1.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummzinger Excel

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 8:15PM
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I also use the Hummzinger Excel. It's the easiest thing in the word to clean, holds up to 16 oz. of nectar, a built in ant moat, and NEVER spills (unlike my bottle feeder in the front...a good wind comes along a tips whole ounces out at a time). Bees and wasps can't get in to it either. Easily the best hummer feeder I've seen so far. Thanks for the link, christy--$14.29 a piece is an absolute steal. Think I'll replace that bottle feeder in the front!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummingbirds.net Review

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 8:39PM
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You're right mbuckmaster, that price is a steal!!! I bought my mini for at least 20 bucks. I just did a quick google search to provide a link. After I posted it, I went back thinking for that price I could afford a few more.............LOL Christy :)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 8:45PM
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Yep, christy...just bought two more Hummzingers myself! =) Couldn't help it; I love hummers. Thanks again for the link. A mini for just over $10 is outright thievery. Now I can keep those territorial males guessing--with a feeder on all four sides of the house!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 9:02PM
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Lol...I just bought another one, too :) Have you tried the Aspects window feeder? I like that one a lot, too. It doesn't drip and is esy to clean. It doesn't have a perch, but the birds don't seem to care!! They didn't have a cheap one at that site, or I would have bought another one of those, too!! Below is what it looks like :) Christy

Here is a link that might be useful: Aspects Window Feeder

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 9:23PM
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I haven't tried it yet...looks fun! Probably a good one for the upstairs window for my daughter's room. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 11:34PM
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Just got my feeder in the mail today!! That was fast. It's cleaned, filled and hung. Haven't seen a hummer, yet, the earliest I usually see one is June. Maybe they'll be earlier this year :) Christy

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 2:58PM
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Like CTNCHPR, my feeders are all in a fairly close area to the back porch so that we can view them better. Right now 5 feeders are on the porch, right under the eves, one in a Red Oak tree about 10 feet from the back bedroom window and one in an Italian Stone Pine, just off the back porch. All but the Red Oak feeder are difficult to fight over by "high diving". Of course, they do fight but mostly they drink. Last night, I had at least 4 at once drinking all near one another and I believe, total I may have about 5 or 6 so far. I usually have 15 or more on average before the summer's through. Guess I'll get up before dawn (not my favorite thing to do) and put out some warm new sugar water in the morning, since it will be so cool (about 35 or 36 forecast). There's lots of shelter here with many large Eastern Red Cedars, so I hope they'll all be OK.

Janice in North Texas.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 5:48PM
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We have two feeders on a shepherd's hook at the edge of our pond. The hummers use the nearby trees to rest between feedings.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2008 at 10:30PM
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I have feeders on a sheperds hook but haven't seen hummers yet. My question is how do you keep ants away?! I have tried just about any method given but still have a big problem with the ants all over the feeder. I have tried "lard", bug spray, oil,cotton balls soaked in various solutions but nothing has worked....know any wonder tricks?

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 10:35AM
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You can get an ant moat. Some feeders have them built in, or you could buy one seperately. Christy :)

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 11:47AM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

Hmmm. Several things to mention.

First, I use Best-1 feeders. Audobon sends me catalogs often, some have full $20 off coupons. I buy a couple for just shipping cost. I haven't tried the Humzinger (so nothing against it), but compared to the awful retail store feeders I tried years ago, Best-1 is a gem. I find them easy to clean. Yes the red color fades somewhat, but it doesn't seem to bother the hummers at all.

Second, I don't depend on ant moats. They dry out. I hang my hummer feeders from 2' of wire and smear some Tanglefoot on 6" of it. I have NEVER had an ant on my feeder with Tanglefoot. It requires 2 applications per season (one at the start, one midway). The hummers never grab the wire, and I've never seen any other bird feather on it.

Third, location... I have my feeders in the shade most or all of the day. I think it really helps to keep the nectar cool, and it lasts longer that way. I have two feeders on the north side of the shed, and the other two are shaded by trees after noon.

Fourth, I have one feeder by the glass deck doors. I can often watch (and take pictures) from only 2 feet away. I see them so often, I begin to notice little habits that distinguish them as individuals. They each seem to have slightly different posture, feet positions while hovering and tail angles etc. That's one reason I think the same ones settle here for the couple/few of years they live.

Fifth, clustering feeders... I've never tried that. My hummers are so competitive that it seemed futile to put 2 near each other. If I see 2 at the same feeder, I'm awestruck! (I saw 3 together once and about fell over) I am tempted to temporarily put up a pole to hang 4 feeders from for a week to see what would happen!

Sixth, it is almost impossible to place feeders where there is no perch that cannot see all of them. But if you put 1 under the front roof eaves and another under the back roof eaves, it is impossible for 1 hummer to watch both!

Seventh... On the other hand, their aerial dogfights are half the fun! Make sure to put a couple feeders in east sight of each other. You'll soon earn who the Alpha Hummer is. ;) And if you stand quietly a few feet from a feeder, you will have they whizzing just a few inches past your head. The sound is unique. I got an ear brushed once.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 4:23PM
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