How Often to Change Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures. They have small bodies, but they can go up against high winds and migrate thousands of miles during the nesting season. But for our little friends to have a successful and safe journey, we need to play our part. Though flower nectars are an excellent source of nutrition for hummingbirds, putting out sugar water also helps. This solution can provide additional sustenance during the migration and nesting seasons. But do you know how often to change hummingbird feeders?

brown and white humming bird flying

Quick Answer

The frequency of changing hummingbird feeders depends on the season and how fast these tiny birds can gulp all the sugary water. In summers, it’s ideal for changing hummingbird feeders twice a week. When you refill the feeder, clean it properly because these birds are fussy eaters and don’t like dirty feeders. You can use hot water or weak vinegar solution but don’t use dish soap as it leaves harmful residue. Be extra careful when cleaning the feeder with vinegar. You don’t want to leave its taste in the feeder.

During the winter seasons, you should put out your feeder during the day and bring it inside when night falls. Plus, cleaning the feeder once per week in cold seasons is good practice.

How Long Can I Leave Hummingbird Food in the Feeder?

I recommend keeping your feeder out for approximately two weeks after seeing the last hummingbird in Autumn. There might be a few travelers who want to take a pitstop and stay at your place for a couple of days. Keeping a hummingbird feeder is a commitment, and you should change its content every 3-4 days, even if it’s unused. If a traveling friend decides to stay, we don’t want to sicken the bird.

Do Hummingbirds Quit Their Migration If You Don’t Take Down Your Feeder?

It’s a common myth among birdwatchers, but it’s not true. I remember the first time I heard about this and quickly took off my feeder. The fact is that hummingbirds want us to keep feeders out during the migration season. They are looking for food sources to replenish their energy.

After a couple of days, hummingbirds will continue their migration, and your feeder won’t stop them. They can find other food sources along the way and don’t want to be left behind. It is also scientifically proven that hummingbirds don’t migrate because we stop feeding them. Instead, they move along because the length of the daylight in Autumn and spring triggers their hormones which makes them migrate.

Should I Put Hummingbird Feeder In Sunlight or Shade?

Most people know that hummingbirds are attracted to sweet nectar, but what they may not realize is that this nectar can spoil quickly in direct sunlight. To preserve the freshness of the nectar, it is best to keep the feeder in the shade.

However, the shade shouldn’t be too dark, as this can make the feeder difficult for hummingbirds to spot. The ideal location is one with shade-providing trees or a location that is shaded when the sun is at its peak.

The sugar solution mixture used in hummingbird feeders needs to be kept at moderate temperatures to prevent spoilage and attract more hummingbirds. If there is no natural shade available, you can create your own by using a light cloth to cover the feeder while still allowing passing hummingbirds to see it. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your hummingbird feeder is both effective and safe.

When Do Hummingbirds Come to Feeder?

Hummingbirds eat twice their body weight, so you can expect them to appear any time of the day. However, popular hummingbird eating time is early morning or dusk, and these birds fill their bellies before nightfall. So, it would be best if you filled up your feeder during dusk.

You can expect high hummingbird traffic during summer because they love moderate temperatures. Plus, flower nectars and insects are more visible during summer sunlight, so they love sticking around backyards. After all, hummingbirds need to consume half their weight in pure sugar and eat twice as much because of their super-fast metabolism.

Is Sugar Water Good for Hummingbirds?

Sugar is an excellent source of nutrition for hummingbirds. They provide the energy these little birds need to migrate and survive. But too little sugar will not provide the necessary calories. You’ll need at least 1 cup of sugar for 4 cups of water.

These tiny creatures have a sweet tooth. Therefore, you should use only granulated white sugar and freshwater. The water should be at room temperature for the birds to drink safely. Otherwise, they might have a brain freeze, which causes them to be unconscious.

Don’t use storebought hummingbird food because it contains preservatives. You should also avoid using honey because it’s fatal for hummingbirds. Avoid using food coloring and artificial sweeteners. Just use plain white granulated sugar and avoid experimenting.

Why is Honey Bad For Hummingbirds?

There is debate on whether one should boil the water first before adding sugar or add it while the water is boiling. While this is an ongoing debate, adding honey is strictly prohibited. This is because honey ferments quickly and becomes poisonous. Your tiny loyal friends might drink the sweet water, but they will drop dead after a while. Therefore, honey should be avoided at all costs. Here are things other than sugar water you can put out for traveling hummingbirds.

  • Fruit juice
  • Flower nectar
  • Tree sap
  • Pollen
  • Tiny insects

You can put out flower nectar by planting colorful flowers in your backyard. This will attract more hummingbirds in your backyard because you have a buffet open for them.

Wrapping it Up

Hummingbirds are fascinating yet delicate creatures. They are extremely sensitive to cold water so avoid that. Plus, they need sugar to survive because their metabolism is faster than humans. In most cases, hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers, so you can decorate your backyard with them to attract more hummingbirds.

But don’t use honey because it quickly ferments and becomes poisonous. Finally, always clean the feeder before you put it out. Hummingbirds are clean freaks, and they won’t come to your backyard if your feeder is dirty or smelly. I hope this article helps you understand how often you need to change hummingbird feeders. Happy feeding, everyone!