Do Hummingbird Feeders Attract Bears? 7 Tips To Keep Them Away

Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by Cristina

They’re bright, they hang on trees and hide sweet liquid, but do hummingbird feeders attract bears? If you live in a suburban area and have seen your fair share of bears on security cameras, you might be apprehensive about putting out a hummingbird feeder.

But should you cut yourself the privilege of having hummers dancing through your yard? Well, bears might visit the feeder, but there are ways to stop them. Read on for our tips!

Bears In Urban Areas

Bears go into hibernation, as we know, but once they wake up, they’re starving. Springtime is often the most common time to spot a bear in an urban area. They’re hungry and looking for food, so they will often forage at night, as they are not fond of crowds.

What brings them to your yard? Do hummingbird feeders attract bears? American black bears have a versatile diet, so they can easily adapt to any habitat. This means if they run out of food in their remote wooded area, they won’t hesitate to stroll to the city and look for food.

Bears In Urban Areas

What Do Bears Eat?

American black bears are omnivores. Their diet includes vegetables, fruit, grass, plants, meat, larvae, and fish. To answer the popular question, yes, bears eat honey and something more than that. They’re not solely attracted to the sticky sweet honey, but to the bees too! Once they find a beehive, they will eat all of the bees! But do hummingbird feeders attract bears?

Do Bears Attack Humminbird Feeders

Yes, bears will reach for your nectar-filled hummingbird feeder. How do hummingbird feeders attract bears? Bears might seem clumsy, but they’re one of the most intelligent animals!

How far away can a bear smell a bird feeder? Bears have a strong sense of smell that will detect your hummingbird feeder from 20 miles away. Sounds scary, right? Luckily we don’t get polar bears who can smell food from 40 miles away!

There are more than a handful of cases of bears visiting a garden and draining all the feeders. The verdict is clear; if you have bears in the area, they’ll come for your hummingbird feeders!

But what animals are attracted to hummingbird feeders beside the bears? Raccoons, bats, squirrels, bees, and other birds might also attack your feeder.

When Do Bears Reach For Nectar?

Bears consume over 5,000 calories a day in spring and summer. While they love ripe fruit, roots, and berries, they are harder to find and not very calorie-dense. A full hummingbird feeder will secure them 700 to 1000 calories, depending on the size. And it’s easily accessible!

Spring is the most dangerous time. Bears are hungry, there are no fruits and roots, and they don’t have the energy to hunt. They will also go for bird feeders and dog and cat food.

When Do Bears Reach For Nectar

Even if you don’t mind refilling the hummingbird feeder every morning, having bears accustomed to your area is of great danger.

Is Nectar Safe For Bears?

Nectar is perfectly safe for bears. Research has shown that bears prefer sugar water instead of regular water. However, dark chocolate, cocoa, and baked goods containing either are deadly.

How To Keep Bears Away From Hummingbird Feeders

Why do hummingbird feeders attract bears, and what can you do to prevent this from happening? We have a few suggestions below!

1. Discard the Leaky Feeder

Do hummingbird feeders attract bears if they’re leaky? Absolutely! Search the market for the best leak-proof feeders before purchase. Bears can smell a leaky feeder from miles!

2. Hang Feeder Appropriately

Hang your feeders on a tall smooth pole, away from trees or fences, so the bear can’t climb to reach it. Or you can use a pulley system and keep the feeder disconnected from the ground.

3. Pick Fruit On Time

Bears love ripe fruit so if you have fruit-bearing trees, make sure you pick all fruits on time. Letting them ripen will attract bears that will eat anything in sight – including the nectar feeder!

4. Clean Up

Not only do hummingbird feeders attract bears, but they also reach for the protein feeders! Bears will reach for decomposing peels, remaining trash, and fruit. Keep your garden and the area around the feeders tidy.

Muse Garden Hummingbird Feeder for Outdoors, Hand Blown Glass, 32 Ounces

5. Bring In The Feeder

Bear season starts with the end of their hibernation at the end of March and lasts until May. To be extra safe, bring in the hummingbird feeders at this time, especially at night.

Do hummingbird feeders attract bears only at night? No, but the bears avoid human contact, so they often roam at night.

6. Use Spice And Lemon

Bears hate the smell of lemon and lime and hate the taste of chili peppers. The capsaicin in the pepper doesn’t hurt the hummingbird but will deter the bear.

So the question is, do hummingbird feeders attract bears? Not if they’re spice-filled. However, the bear needs to taste the nectar before it decides it’s not good, so this is not a 100% safe option.

7. Use Airhorns

Loud noises such as screaming, banging pans, and airhorns can scare away bears. It’s a myth that they’re scared of motion-activated lights and sprinklers, but they will run away from the noise.

More Things that Attract Bears

Do hummingbird feeders attract bears, or is it something else in your yard? Bears are attracted to compost, ripe fruit, trash cans filled with fruit remainings, and grills that have been recently used.

Clean, move and secure these items to avoid an unpleasant encounter.

Will Bears Eat Hummingbirds

Bears will eat anything, but the hummingbird is hard to catch. They’re not as attractive since they’re tiny and move too fast for the bear to catch them while on the feeder.

Bottom Line

If you’ve come across a video and wonder, do hummingbird feeders attract bears? Yes, and those videos are real. Bears love the sweet nectar and can locate it from miles away.

As soon as their hibernation is over, they won’t hesitate to roam your garden and empty every feeder. To protect yourself and the feeders, use some of our advice above!


What animals are attracted to hummingbird feeders?

Bears, bats, raccoons, squirrels, bees, ants, and many birds tend to attack hummingbird feeders.

How far away can a bear smell a bird feeder?

Bears can smell a feeder from 20 miles away. A leaky feeder is a perfect target!