Last Updated on September 23, 2021 by Guillermina
Have you ever wondered how does a hummingbird feeder work? Well, let’s find out. It’s pretty amazing how hanging feeders in our yard has always successfully lured these acrobatic flyers to our yard. Their acrobatic skills have always been an exciting and entertaining event to watch.
There are many types of hummingbird feeders in the market today that come in various shapes and sizes. All you need do is simply select the best ones ideal for your yard and suitable for hummingbirds.
Today, we will be discussing how does a hummingbird feeder works and the different types of feeders you can find. So, continue reading to gain some knowledge on this.
Hummingbird feeders are decorated bottles filled with sweet nectar solution and they are meant to provide a reliable food source to hummingbirds. These hummingbird feeders can hold plenty of sweet nectar and they are functional, attractive, and made to withstand harsh weather.
When hummingbird season approaches which is usually during spring, bird lovers put out hummingbird feeders to attract these remarkable birds to their vicinity. This act has always proved successful so far you position these feeders the right way and places in your garden.
Let’s look at how does a hummingbird feeder work and their different types of designs we have.
Types Of Hummingbird Feeders
With so many hummingbird feeder designs available, all these designs basically fall into two main design categories. They include vacuum and saucer. Each of these hummingbird feeder designs has both advantages and disadvantages.
1. Vacuum Feeder Design
A vacuum feeder is also known as inverted style is a type of hummingbird feeder designed as an inverted bottle. This hummingbird feeder has a central reservoir that has a base or feeding port at the bottom. The nectar stays inside the feeder through a pressure vacuum generated by trapped air.
The hummingbird’s bill and tongue explore or probe the feeding port and some nectar is released. Then the hummingbird makes use of its tongue to draw up the sweet nectar.
Advantages of vacuum feeder style include:
- They are easy to clean and refill.
- It’s also easy to always check nectar levels.
- Their storage capacity is greater. Hence, you can store a large amount of sweet nectar and satisfy your hungry hummingbirds.
- So far they keep working efficiently; their nectar will be doled out as time goes on.
Disadvantages of vacuum feeder style include:
- Their tendency to leakage is high especially when the vacuum is broken due to one factor or the other.
- They are more prone to leakage if the seals aren’t well fitted or tight. A low level of nectar can as well reduce the pressure of the vacuum and may cause leakage. Direct sunlight can cause the feeder to expand or wind moving the feeder about irregularly can as well spill out nectar from the feeder. Now, a feeder that leaks can attract insects to your hummingbird feeder thereby causing competition between hummingbirds and insects.
2. Saucer Feeder Design
Saucer type of hummingbird feeder has a bowl-like reservoir of nectar or a simple dish filled with nectar. They have ports above the reservoir and hummingbirds have access to sweet nectar by simply probing downwards into the feeding ports.
Advantages of saucer style include:
- Also easy to clean and refill.
- Easy to mount or hang on top of poles and railings.
- Less likely to leak except it’s been hit by strong wind or marauding bigger birds or mammals.
Disadvantages of saucer style include:
- Storage capacity is not so big. Hence, requires frequent refilling as sweet nectar runs out.
- The feeder design may not be so noticeable to birds except additional enticing features are incorporated.
Hummingbird Feeder Tip: Choosing The Right Feeder
You should consider a wide range of characteristics when deciding the type of feeder style to choose for your hummingbirds. We have listed out some important tips and characteristics you can consider when selecting your hummingbird feeder for your garden. They include:
Bright colors such as red, pink, orange, and so on, have been known to attract hummingbirds. Go for feeders with these bright colors so you can get positive results from hummingbird visits to your yard.
Some hummingbird feeders are designed to be easier to clean while others may be less easy to clean. But it’s important you always keep your feeders clean and cleaning should be done two to three times weekly. Therefore, ensure you choose an easy to clean feeder.
3. Materials Used for Feeder Construction
Hummingbird feeders can come as plastics, glass, or metal. Note that plastic feeders can change color as time goes on. Plastic feeders are lighter but may be prone to leakage. On the other hand, glass and metal may cause nectar to ferment quickly if they are exposed or placed under direct sunlight. Glass and metal may also break more easily.
4. Storage Capacity
Different hummingbird feeders come in various sizes and they can range from 1 to 32-ounce capacities. If you have frequent visits to these lovely hummers, you can go for larger feeders. However, if hummingbirds’ visit is not so much in your yard, a smaller capacity is better so you won’t be wasting your sweet nectar.
5. Number of Feeding Ports
We encourage you to go for feeders with more feeding ports as this will give hummingbirds more access to feeding. The majority of hummingbird feeders come in three or four feeding ports. However, smaller feeders may have a single port while larger feeders may have 6 to 8 or even more feeding ports.
6. Bees or Insect Guards
Some feeders may come with insect guards while others may only include some guidelines or precautions against insects. You should consider feeders with these features if you’re having issues with bees or insects invasion.
You can consider feeders designed for hanging on branches, poles, or hooks. There are also smaller designs that can be attached directly to windows by suction cups. There is also the deck-mounted feeder design you can go for.
How Does A Hummingbird Feeder Work: Final Say
How a hummingbird feeder work is not so complicated. These feeders are great ways to providing a reliable food source for your fascinating visitors and make them hang around your yard.
Read more about Bees Are Taking Over My Hummingbird Feeder
Eunice is a passionate lover of hummingbirds and all things nature. She loves to observe and study the tiny birds, learning about their unique behaviors and unique features. She has written a number of articles about hummingbirds and their habitats, which have been featured in a variety of publications. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting hummingbird sanctuaries and going on bird–watching trips in her local area. She also volunteers with local wildlife rescue organizations, helping to rehabilitate injured birds. When she’s not outdoors, Eunice can be found writing articles, creating bird–inspired art, and playing the flute.