While Hummingbird feeders offer a rare and interesting glimpse into the lives of tiny and incredible creatures, it is important to remember that hanging a feeder should be looked upon as a commitment. Several Hummingbirds are going to come to depend on you and your feeder for survival. If you are not willing to dedicate yourself to filling, cleaning, and maintaining your Hummingbird feeder, then perhaps you should consider planting Hummingbird-friendly flowers instead.
Once you have decided that you are ready to take on the responsibility of maintaining a Hummingbird feeder, it is time to purchase a feeder. When shopping for a Hummingbird feeder, the most important feature you should look for is easy assembling and disassembling. Some feeders may offer various styles and features, yet the majority all offer the same simply purpose: easy for the Hummingbirds to discover and comfortable for these tiny birds.
Whether you decide to purchase store bought nectars or to obtain instructions for making your own nectar, it is so very important to keep your feeder properly filled with clean and fresh nectar. Many new feeders do not see much traffic for the initial weeks after hanging, causing the nectar to spoil. Should your feeder contain the same nectar for more than four days, it should be dumped out, rinsed well, and replaced with fresh nectar.
Due to summer temperatures and high traffic rates, your Hummingbird feeder will need to be cleaned on a regular basis. The feeder should be flushed with warm water only between fillings and inspected for mold when filling. Either bi-weekly or once a month (depending upon amount of traffic, insect infestation, and current climate), your feeder should be completely disassembled and thoroughly cleaned. Soak the feeder in a solution of one part bleach to twenty parts water. Scrub any problem areas with a small wire brush and rinse very well. Never use soap when cleaning your Hummingbird feeder.
Hummingbirds are known to starve before allowing themselves to consume spoiled food. Remember that by hanging a feeder, you are not only inviting several beautiful creatures into your life, but also inviting them to depend on you for survival.
With proper filling, cleaning, and light maintenance, you will enjoy an entire season of a few or even a large “swarm” of Hummingbirds. These amazing birds are said to often return to their favorite feeders year after year, thus allowing you to enjoy their grace and company for as long as you wish.