“What’s the best feeder for hummingbirds?” It’s a question I’m asked all the time. My usual answer is…’the one you can keep the cleanest’. But that’s not what folks truly want to know! Although it is the *most* important feature of any feeder.
After feeding hummingbirds for over 2 decades and visiting hummingbird host homes to band birds for the last 10 years I’ve become quite familiar with all types of feeders both good and bad. Generally speaking, all feeders with metal bases need to go. Granted they’re often very pretty with fancy colorful reservoirs but there are a few things wrong with them. First, their port flowers are usually *not* removeable for cleaning nor does the base doesn’t come apart for cleaning. Most also have a narrow neck which makes cleaning inside the decorative reservoir difficult. But importantly they will rust over time, often inside first where one cannot see, leeching iron into the nectar. A mineral a hummingbird does not need in abundance and one that will harm them. Then there are the 100s of other hummingbird feeders on the market and instead of listing the ones I do *not* like, I will instead share with you what I look for in feeder.
First, I prefer feeders with the fewest pieces and parts. I look for feeders that have red port flowers that are molded and a part of the base lid. The base should separate in two. I like metal hangers as opposed to plastic ones, as they break. I prefer to have different sizes of the same feeder for different times of the year since my hummingbird populations vacillate. This cuts down on nectar waste. Ports holes should be oval or round, not slits. There have been documented instances of hummingbirds getting their bills caught in slits or even getting injured if hit directly by another ‘incoming’ hummingbird. I avoid them. Why chance it?
Taking all this into consideration there are two companies with two entirely different feeders that I prefer and use. First Nature and Aspects. But of the two, if I had to choose one over the other, I’d choose Aspects. For me it has proven to be the easiest to keep clean, the best for monitoring the quality and clarity of my nectar, comes in multiple sizes and best of all has a lifetime guarantee. They do cost a bit more than First Nature, and can be hard to find but the quality and guarantee is worth it.
So, there you have it….an actual feeder recommendation. I know like most things in life we all have our own personal favorites and what works for me may not work for you. But I’d encourage all of you searching for a ‘new’ feeder to give Aspects a try.
And finally because you can never say it too many time…keep your feeders clean, nectar clear and fresh and please NO RED DYES or NECTARS!
Till next time…
Happy spring migrations and welcome back hummingbirds!