Last Updated on April 20, 2022 by Cristina
So you’re eager to provide as much food as possible for your hummers, but how far apart to space hummingbird feeders? Hummingbirds are territorial birds, and they might establish a monopoly over one feeder. So to keep everyone fed and avoid fights, you need to set up a good plan.
Not all hummingbirds are okay with sharing their food. Since they need lots of calories per day, they might chase away any new visitor from the feeder. And we know that’s not your goal. Do you need more than one feeder? Yes, but you also need to plan how far apart to space hummingbird feeders.
Are Hummingbirds Territorial
Hummingbirds are very territorial, especially during mating and before migration. They will even fight to chase off other hummingbirds, and there are cases of deadly fights.
Before mating, the male hummingbird marks its territory and doesn’t allow any other male to intrude. Male hummingbirds can mate more than a handful of times per season, so they don’t like competition around their females.
Also, before migration, hummingbirds eat a copious amount of food to build more fat to sustain them on the long journey. Sadly this means no other hummingbird is allowed near the feeder.
So how far apart to space hummingbird feeders so more hummers can get a chance? Each hummingbird can protect around 1000 square meters or a quarter acre. But do hummingbirds return to the same feeders every year? These birds have an incredible memory and there are great chances they’ll come back to the same garden!
Male Vs Female Hummingbirds
Male hummingbirds are not the only territorial gender. When the female hummingbird chooses a territory, she’s very picky. It has to be secluded, safe, and away from potential predators. But she also steers away from other hummingbirds.
Since the hummingbird female raises her young alone, she positions herself in a spot close to a food source. This way, she can get food while still keeping an eye on the nest.
How far apart to space hummingbird feeders, so you get more mother hummingbirds? Mother hummingbirds build their nests on high trees with dense vegetation. Try placing a single feeder near the older, tall trees at different garden corners.
But do hummingbird feeders need to be away from other bird feeders? Yes, hummingbirds are not only steering away from their own genus but from birds in general. While other birds won’t attack their feeder, they might attack their eggs! This also means you have to cut your walks around the mother bird’s territory so she feels safe.
It’s natural for hummingbirds to fight. One of their main food sources, the flower nectar, is not in abundance all the time. So once they find a good source, they will try everything to keep it all to themselves, including fighting other hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds can’t figure out that feeders will get replenished once empty. So they act the same way they would with natural nectar.
So that’s why it’s essential to know how far apart to space hummingbird feeders. Ruby-throates hummingbirds are recorded as one of the most aggressive species among hummingbirds. They will use extreme measures like stabbing and pinching the competitor with their beak. Females are less aggressive; they use loud sounds to deter intruders.
How To Space Out Feeders
We talked about why it’s crucial to put feeders at a distance, but exactly how far apart to space hummingbird feeders? Place them at least 10 feet apart to avoid fights.
It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Purchase smaller feeders and place them on your windows and balcony. Hang a few around the garden and your patios. You can even make them yourself!
Best Places For Hummingbird Feeders
There are 3 more points you have to consider when deciding how far apart to space hummingbird feeders:
- Distance from people; put the feeder away from your walking path or entryway. How long until hummingbirds find my feeder? If there’s a lot of human traffic around the feeder, the hummingbirds will see it, but avoid it.
- Make it sparkle; place the feeder in an open space where the hummingbirds can see it from a distance. Did you know that hummingbirds can see far more than people, but only 35% of the colors?
- Keep convenience in mind; hummingbirds can run into windows, need space to hover while feeding, and maneuver easily around the feeder. Make it more accessible, and keep the feeder away from your cat’s paws!
What About Nectar-Rich Flowers?
If you considered how far apart to space hummingbird feeders, should you do the same about the nectar-rich flowers? Absolutely! Hummingbirds are more likely to fight for natural nectar. They’re used to looking for the raw food sources in the wild, so consider planting or hanging flower baskets at a longer distance.
Pick colorful plants that produce many flowers so there will be enough nectar for more than a single hummingbird. Zinnia, penstemon, daylilies, bee balm, and catmint are excellent choices.
Bottom Line: How Far Apart To Space Hummingbird Feeders?
Beginner hummingbird enthusiasts are more likely to ignore how far apart to space hummingbird feeders. The season rolls in, and you’re not getting more than one hummingbird, so the problem arises. The standard solution is getting more than one feeder and positioning them on different parts of the garden.
Although small, hummingbirds protect over a quarter acre of territory! No other bird is allowed to drink their nectar or swipe their mate. Having hummingbirds fight is not the look you’re aiming for, so to prevent it, leave 10 feet distance between each feeder or flower bed.
Do hummingbird feeders need to be away from other bird feeders?
Yes, you must put hummingbird feeders away from other bird feeders. Hummingbirds are territorial, love to have their own space, and won't visit if there are bigger birds or more traffic around their food.
Do hummingbirds return to the same feeders every year?
Hummingbirds have great memory, and they're likely to come back to the same garden if they fed there the previous years. If you're still providing food and there's plenty of vegetation for them to find shelter, they're likely to stay.
How long until hummingbirds find my feeder?
If this is the first time you're putting out a hummingbird feeder, it might take a few weeks until you get your first visitors. Make sure the feeder is brightly colored, in a convenient space, and always filled with fresh nectar.
Meri is a passionate wildlife enthusiast with a special interest in hummingbirds. She loves to observe and learn about the different species of hummingbirds from around the world. After graduating from college with a degree in biology, Meri decided to pursue her dream of writing about hummingbirds and the importance of their conservation. She has since published several articles on the subject in various magazines and online publications. Her articles focus on the importance of habitat preservation, how hummingbirds contribute to ecosystem balance, and the unique behaviors of various species. When she’s not writing, Meri enjoys bird watching and taking pictures of her feathered friends. She also volunteers at her local wildlife center, helping to protect and rehabilitate injured or orphaned hummingbirds. Meri’s passion for hummingbirds drives her to spread awareness and promote their conservation, so that future generations will be able to enjoy their beauty.