HummZinger Feeder(s)

absaroka(NW)August 15, 2005

We bought one from The Back Yard Bird Shop two years ago. It failed to attract hummers. We wrote to the mfg. They told us to wait, that the juvies would get used to it. Wrong. We have gone through two seasons. Zip. The hummers eschew the HZ. We hung the old standbys, The Perky Pet feeders next to The HZs. The hummers flocked to the PPs. Still do. The HZ's were pricey, too. But they , simply, do not work. The wee birds do not like them. Whether it is because the ports are difficult to discern, are not painted yellow, or what: who knows? But we do know the hummingbirds do not like the HZ's. Save your $. Stick with the PP's. They work.

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That's a shame the hummers here like humzingers. Are they calliope hummingbirds? Their beaks are shorter so it's hard for them to use it unless it's filled to the rim. Sarah

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:45PM
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Absaroka I am in total agreement with you. I have 4 PP Feeders. From everything I have read I thought that I just had to have a Hummzinger. I hangs next to a pp and is not used. I regret spending the money for the hummzinger.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 10:47PM
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DPallas(z6, SW Mo)

I put one up and left it for a week at a time in several locations and never got a taker during the entire month of June. I finally put it on a 36" sherpherd's hook under a tree, stuck a big pot of hot pink petunias they liked under it, and in another month an adult female finally figured out how to use it. Eventually, the others followed suit, but eight weeks is way too long to wait. If there hadn't been other feeders around, the birds would have left or never stuck around in the first place.

I don't think the birds can see the ports or they don't like tipping their heads (beaks) straight down to feed. I ordered a Heritage Farms dish style feeder in the same order as the Hummzinger. It has a green lid with red flowers and the birds figured it out in a day or two. However, they don't like either of the dishes as well as the bottle style feeders that let them lift up their heads more.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:27AM
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ccroulet(z9 CA Sunset 18)

> I hangs next to a pp

Don't give them a choice.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 1:09AM
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vtchewbecca(z6b VA)

Mine use the hummzinger just fine. I have two dish style feeders and they don't seem to care.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 5:40AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

(mispelled words in post are deliberate.)

I don't have the hummzingr but I do have one that is a saucer type and my hummrs use them all day long in addition to a PP hourglass feedr with the gloxinia flowrz (when the bees aren't all it), and a bottle feedr by First Nature. I have each feedr in a different location. The feedrs that they use the most are the First Nature and my saucer feedrs. They have used both since I first hung them out and never shyed away from either one.
Here is a older picture of one of my saucers. Some minor changes have been made since the pic was taken


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:00AM
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oubliette(z7 MS)

I have had the same problem with Humzingers. After a squirrel began drinking the nectar from the Perky Pet feeders (early in the season) I took down the PP feeders and put Humzingers in their places.

The hummers just refused to use them. I even saw them fly up to the Humzingers and check them out, only to fly away. This has gone on all summer long and the only time I saw a hummer was when they were feeding on flowers.

Just in the last two weeks have the hummers started using the Humzingers and it makes me wonder if they are migrators, and not my "regulars".

The cutest thing happened just now. One of the Humzingers is hanging from the porch just outside the window near the computer. This particular feeder has only been used by a female (or juvenile). I have never before seen a male use it. Just now, I caught some motion from the corner of my eye and looked out. There were two -- male and female. The male perched and immediately began drinking. The female hovered and fluttered all around the feeder, but the male totally ignored her. He never even looked up from feeding the whole time she was trying to get him to leave "her" feeder. Finally she flew to the window and hovered right in front of my face for a moment as if to say, "Aren't you going to do something about this?"

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    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:23AM
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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

Oubliette - that's too funny about your hummer pair! I bet he ignored her because he knows he's probably going to leave first and needs to stock up now!

It seems that the hummers have to learn how to use the various models and perhaps do so by watching others who know how to feed from them. I can see how there might be a learning curve. Interestingly enough, my hummers ignored my single-flower ball-shaped one that I've kept refilled all summer, until the past couple weeks, when they finally figured out what it was and that they could get nectar from it. Not that there wasn't a big ole red flower on it that could be missed! :-p But I guess the PP was the preferred and more convenient one.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:34AM
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vtchewbecca(z6b VA)

I would agree there seems to be a learning curve. My females figured out the saucer feeders first. I should add that my neighbor has a PP, but they use mine as much as hers. They also love my petunias and only problem is that I usually have four of them fighting over the feeders at one time.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 8:47AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

There is definitely a learning process to using the feeders. Since I have been working on our patio a lot this summer I have had more of an opportunity to observe them using the feeders from their first arrival right on through the summer. I could tell which ones had been using feeders for a while and which ones were just discovering them as well as which type of feeders were most familiar to them. It was interesting to watch this years juvies as they made their first attempt at using the various feeders. I watched one juvie while it hovered above a feeder and then flew to a nearby vine and waited for a more experienced hummer to go to the feeder. The little one visited the feeder a few times before making contact. Then she discovered she could also perch and sip and now she uses the feeders in addition to the flowers. She is also the same one that perches on the tomato cage wwill sipping nectar from the candy corn vine flowers


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:09AM
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I had a mature male early in the season that wouldn't drink from the humzinger, the P.P., the Kfeeder, or the artline. He only went to the flowers. Made me wonder how he made it, migration and all, if if didn't use any feeders. Last year a juvie, I assume, wouldn't use the humzinger either. She would go to all the flowers than perch on the H.Z. and wipe her beak off on the plastic. So far this year the flowers win hands down. With the H.Z. coming in dead last.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:18AM
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standard65(z6/7 nashville)

I recommend hanging the hz on the other side of the house from, not next to, a pp.

in may or june, I would have agreed readily with your appraisal of hummzingers. I watched my only female spurn the hz in june, and I put the bottle back up. however, after the aerial dogfights began in july, I hung several hz around the yard, and have seen adults and juvies at them all day every day.
after 'figuring out' my preferred strategy of attracting them to the yard with the bottle, and sharing all around with the saucers later, I now recall that's what penny said to do last year. should have listened to you then.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 10:47AM
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Mine have always used it - the new birds are skittish of it, and do all the flowers, but eventually they come around. I think the "early birds" remembered it from last year, because they came straight to it last April. That could have a lot to do with it - next year you may have more luck! I love the hz - easy to clean, easy to hang up - and fill - and so cute!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:15PM
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I have 2 saucer type, one a HZ and the other one generic. I have had no problems at all with this kind of feeder. This is my 3rd or 4th year, and the first couple I used the upright feeder, then switched.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 2:14PM
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ron45715(SE Ohio)

I've got the Mini and the Excel. They are emptied on a daily basis; all my Rubies love them.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 2:36PM
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glok(z 4/5 CO)

I finally put up one of my PP Oasis feeders (thought it was a humzinger but the mind is the first thing to go) and my male still wouldn't touch it til the female found it and used it. Either he took lessons or just decided like a two year old that since it was in "his" toy box that it and the other 4 (all different) feeders were his and NOBODY else is welcome! So now we have 4 (maybe 5) fighting all day long sneaking in to use all the feeders and all the flowers. Such a riot! I think that if you fill it, they will eventually find it if only to thwart any other comers!


    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 3:18PM
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treebabies(5b MO)

This is interesting. My first feeder was a hummzinger and it has attracted several hummers. However, the first hummers came to the lobelia cardinalis, then to the feeder when I put it out.

They also like the droll yankees disc style feeder I have which is about 15 feet away from any flowers.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 3:27PM
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DPallas(z6, SW Mo)

Glo, I think that's exactly their mindset! When the first male arrived early this spring, he always visited his favorite drippy red blown-glass apple and ignored everything else. It wasn't until others started arriving that he took any interest in the other feeders and abandoned the apple to defend the feeders with more ports.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 4:07PM
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I am with Glo--I have a feisty male that refuses to share any of his coveted feeders and constantly perches on the PP oasis feeder. I have just one round feeder but after having so much trouble with cleaning and the plastic perches breaking on the PP bottle feeders, I am going to order the Hummzinger with a Humbrella (I'm sure, once it is hung in place, that alone will ruffle a ton of feathers out there in my back yard!!)

BTW, Tzunun abhorrs the pp feeders and recommends the Hummzinger--and she's the expert.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 11:30AM
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When I first started feedng hummers I think I had a similar reaction that they didn't care for the Humzinger. But now they love them and so do I. It's my favorite! But I put 4 feeders or so together in a group. I get more hummers and less fighting. FYI, I just bought an extra feeder this week at Lowes I believe it's a PP saucer (large) for $9.50, quite a value. I have so many hummers now I can't keep them filled. While I watch them it's like watching a yellow jacket nest. I even found a warbler trying to drink out of the saucer, but couldn't. Wish I still had my Oriole feeder up he could of used that. What I like about the saucers, it keeps the bees out of it, and the honey bees are very pesky this time of year.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2005 at 3:48PM
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popmama Zone 5(5)

My first hummingbird visitor last year completely ignored my PP feeder and went straight for the agastache i had in a pot on the deck because I had not planted it yet.
This year, I bought a hummzinger because I could never get that PP feeder clean. Drove me nuts.
I have had at least one visitor this year and he uses the hummzinger, dines at the now-planted agastches (i have 4 now) and rests on a wire hanging basket with no plants in it.
He's marvelous. And I'm very happy with the hummzinger's ease to fill and clean.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 12:13PM
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DPallas(z6, SW Mo)

Well if anyone goes looking for the PP deal at Lowes, if you happen to see their glass-bottle style house brand with a yellow perch base and red ports, don't bother. It's impossible to get inside the base to clean, the ant moat is too shallow to work, and when a raccoon knocked it out of a tree, the hanger-loop/ant-moat top broke into four pieces. Never had a feeder destroyed in a couple weeks before.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Scyfer(z10 CA)

The way I got my hummingbirds to use my Hz feeder (and it took about a month, but then again it wasn't refilled constantly since it wasn't being used) was to place mexican sage (purple flowers) right around and under the feeder. The birds will eventually try out the feeder if it's near flowers they like.

Also, definitely don't give them a choice as to what feeder to use and if you do at least place them far away from each other.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 3:00PM
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duckwatcher(z9b NCa)

I had the Perky Pet 4 fountains it was a drippy piece of $hit. And had mold problems even with thorough cleaning. And the bee's my gosh the bees! I switched to the HZMini it was a complete success! I waited till after they fed on the old one, waited 10 min then put out the new one. They figured it out in 30 seconds flat! I have a HZ mini in the back too and the hummers use it no problem. I can clean both feeders in 5 min max. My old PP took me 1/2 hour to clean.

Also, my feeder was recently knocked out of the tree (I suspect squirrels or the neighbor kid) and the hanger broke. I had to buy a new one, the old HZ feeder was 4 years old and when I put it next to the new one they were the same exact color no fading like the old PP. HummZingers Rock!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 3:29PM
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I have tried all kinds of feeders and the hummies come to all of them but I personally like my HZ minis the best because they are so easy to clean. The hummies never had any trouble adapting to them. Love the ant moat...sure solves that problem and there are no silly yellow plastic flowers to attract the bees. I'm sticking with the HZs.

Charlotte in Middletown, PA

    Bookmark   August 19, 2005 at 3:41PM
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Unlike the Hourglass shaped with 4 flowers and very large Bee Guards (I think it is a PP), the Hummzinger Fancies seems to have a learning curve.

Not only a learning curve, but also I think they have problem seeing and finding the feeding ports.

Otherwise there is no reason for hungry birds to come check it very up close and hover right above it and not feed from it.

I cut out a couple of yellow flowers and stuck them on top of the feeding ports with scotch tape and guess what? it worked immediately.

now, when the regulars check it out, they go to the two ports with yellow paper flowers.

But there seem to be quite a lot of hummers in my area and I would like to get all the fly byers. the old feeder did this but I am not sure about the Hummzinger Fancies.

I am new at this and have not had the bee problem yet.
so I am thinking of painting the flowers yellow with food coloring or something else that is safe and does not smell.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 8:17PM
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