Which size container is Best for Hummers??

ncgardner(7B)April 5, 2008

New to this world of feeding hummers. Went today to buy a feeder and could only find an 8oz or a 28oz bottle size feeder. Is there an advantage to a larger size or smaller size. I don't know if a large size means cleaning more often due to water not being used as fast or if the larger is better (common sense tells me the larger is the way to go) because it last longer? Sounds like a meaningless question but also it there a better brand than another?

How long do you leave the feeders out?


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I'm new to this board, but I've been feeding the hummingbirds for several years now. I use all sizes of feeders because I place them in many places for our viewing pleasure.

I choose feeders according to how easy they are to clean. Those that come apart in 2 sections at the feeding holes are my personal favorites because of easy clearning.

The small ones have to be filled up more often, but that's not really a bad thing as you want to keep the sugar water clean.

When summer gets a good hold, I find the hummingbirds drink quite a lot, at least here in Zone 8 in Texas and by late summer and early fall, they are hard to keep up with because they drink so much.

Hope this helps,

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 3:01PM
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When you ask "How long do you leave the feeders out?", do you want to know when to take them down in the Fall?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 4:47PM
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NCgardner, it depends on how many hummers you have. Folks in California and Texas can have A LOT of hummers that drink the nectar very fast. I think in your area you will not have that many hummers. Don't worry about how big your feeder should be, instead you should think more about how easy it is to maintain. The sugar water needs to be changed up to every other day in the hot summer and you will be cleaning and refilling often. I would highly recommend the hummzinger, I use the mini in Maryland. They do have bigger ones. Super easy to clean, and on my windy deck I rarely see it move. Good luck :) Christy

Here is a link that might be useful: Hummzinger mini

    Bookmark   April 6, 2008 at 7:59PM
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Thank you for the website. I will order one to get started. I was told before to be sure to get a glass one for better cleaning. That must not matter according to what you guys are saying.

Other question from ctnchpr Yes, when do I take them down in the Fall?

Thanks to all of you.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 8:50AM
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Humzingers are like top of the line in feeders , can be expensive. You might want to start out with a cheaper feeder , you can find them for 3 or 4 $ but find one easy to clean. And as mentioned in previous posts you need to change them every couple of days during the summer months. The hot sun can spoil nectar really quickly and if you see the nectar turn cloudy change it, hummers dont like spoiled nectar. The accepted recipe for nectar is 1 part white sugar to 4 parts water. Some boil the mix for use , I dont and when you clean the feeders I use hot water , do not use soap it leaves a residue which hummer dont like. I may have forgotten something but others will pitch in Im sure.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 12:16PM
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The Hummzinger website that christy gave above (Nottawa Wild Bird Supply) is selling the mini for only $10.17...a real steal for such a high-quality feeder. I think it's really worth it to avoid things like ants, bees, and wasps in the feeders, spillage of sugar water, and cleaning nooks and crannies of mildew/mold that you can get from other brands. My advice is to just go ahead and buy two or three right now to save on shipping--there's probably no doubt that you will eventually want more than one anyway! The Hummzinger has polycarbonate plastic instead of glass--actually easier to clean, and unbreakable.

I leave my feeders up in the Fall until the hummers leave--I had one stick around until almost Thanksgiving this year. I've read some even overwinter if they have a reliable food source, although I haven't been so lucky yet. Don't worry--they won't freeze to death!

One last note: when christy posted that website for Nottawa last night, the price was so good I purchased two more Hummzingers (I have problems with territorial males). I just got an email saying they'd already shipped. What a cool little company!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 12:44PM
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IMO, I would not recommend getting cheaper feeders. In the long run you may not be happy with them, and will end up spending more money replacing them. There are really pretty ones that have a downward spout, those have ALWAYS leaked. And have not been too popular at my house. The leaking only matters if it drips on something you don't want it dripping on, though. I let mine drip over a bird bath. I don't want ants. The only reason I still use it is because my mother bought it for me, and looks for it :) As for washing with soap, I do everytime. For me, it has not stopped any hummers from using my feeder. Also the 4:1 is accepted, many people do a 3:1 during migration time. Though a 3:1 means less visits to your feeder :) Christy

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 1:06PM
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You may want to pick up a copy of "Stokes Beginner's Guide to Hummingbirds" ($9.99 on Amazon.com). I just gave our friends a copy along with a hummingbird feeder. I skimmed the book quickly before I gave it to them, and noticed that it said to empty and clean the feeder(s) every three days or when the fluid gets cloudy. So, I would choose the smaller feeder and get a second one if needed; this should help you to keep the feeders clean and hopefully let you waste less of the "nectar" each time you have to empty them for cleaning.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2008 at 10:30PM
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Leave 1 feeder up for at least 2-3 weeks after you have seen your last hummer. No need to fill it, 1/2 to 1 cup will do.

I clean my feeders with undiluted white vinegar - no soap, no bleach.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2008 at 8:18AM
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You have all been so helpful. I can't wait to get the little guys in numbers. I'll order today and will I might add get more than one.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 12:24AM
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I leave one feeder up until it starts to freeze. Alot of people in indiana take them down around labor day, I had hummers into early october. I didn't see one for a few weeks and then one day when i got home from work I couldn't believe my eyes, there was a female feeding. I never saw her again so she must have continued on, I believe this may have been in the first week of november. It was still fairly warm out here and I think she may have been sick, or old She looked kinda thin. I hope she made it or at least the nectar I left out made her day a little easier.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2008 at 8:06AM
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