How to Set Up a Hummingbird Feeder

 How to Set Up a Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds are fascinating, and there is something magical and unusual about catching a glimpse of these little birds. Placing a hummingbird feeder in a prominent place is a great way to see these distinctive birds up close. I'm looking forward to late April and early May when I can put up my feeder. I watch closely, and when the hummingbird stops, everyone in the house stops to watch.

For the past few years, I have placed a feeder outside my dining room window. We usually get four to five hummingbirds per season. They flutter around the feeder, hover to get a drink and look out the window, chattering away.

Step 1: Wash and prepare the feeder.

Setting up the feeder is simple and easy, but you must first wash the feeder. In the past, I've used a little dish soap and some elbow grease to clean it. However, after doing some research, I found that dish soap can leave harmful residue.

The National Audubon Society recommends using a solution of white vinegar and water to clean feeders. One part vinegar to four parts water, making sure to rinse well. They also recommend adding dry rice if your feeder becomes dirty. The rice acts as an abrasive to make reaching these areas more difficult.

Step 2: Food

No need to purchase elaborate, pricey nectar solutions from the bird shop. The best hummingbird food is made using two simple ingredients in your kitchen: sugar and water.

The water does not need to be dyed red. It offers no nutritional value, and some of the chemicals in the red dye can harm hummingbirds. It is better to make your own hummingbird food and is easier on your wallet.

It is important to know that you should never use honey, molasses, brown sugar, or any alternative sweeteners when preparing hummingbird food. These sweets contain additives that can be harmful to birds.

The Best Feeder Recipe Ingredients
5 Cups Water
1 Cup Granulated Sugar


Bring 5 cups of water to a boil.
Remove from heat.
Pour the water into a large glass mixing bowl.
Stir in 1 cup granulated sugar.
Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves completely.
Leave the water and sugar mixture until it cools completely.

Step 3: Keep the ants away

Hang it and fight annoying ants. Once the sugar-water solution has cooled, pour it into the feeding bowl. Now you can hang it. The secret to keeping ants out of your food is to use a little vegetable oil. Before filling the feeder, I put a little oil on the line and hook to create a slippery surface. After doing this, I have never had an ant problem. The oil keeps the ants away, and because the top of the feeder is completely removable and separate from the bottle, where the sugar water goes, it doesn't affect the hummingbirds.

Step 4: Maintenance

You should empty and clean your feeder every two to three weeks if the water becomes cloudy, or if hummingbirds remove it. The National Audubon Society recommends cleaning feeders twice a week during warm weather. Replace it with a fresh water-sugar solution. I also add a little oil to the line and hook to make sure the ants stay away.

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