Few things are as majestic as fluttering, jewel-colored hummingbirds. These pint-sized birds are fascinating to watch as they hover above flowers looking for nectar. Another common food source that attracts hummingbirds is a man-made feeder.
Even if you don’t have much yard space for flowers, a hummingbird feeder can be hung to encourage the little guys to come around. Using a feeder is fairly simple, but you have to know how to properly fill and clean it if you want to continue getting frequent visits from the local hummingbirds.
Properly Filling a Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbird feeders are made up of several components. There’s usually a lid, body/bottle that holds the nectar, ports that the hummingbirds stick their beaks into for the nectar and a base.
Most hummingbird feeders are top-fill feeders. That means you pour the nectar in from the top into the body portion of the feeder. But before you do that there are few things to check first:
- Make sure the base of the feeder is screwed together tightly.
- Next, check to ensure the body is screwed in tightly to the base and fully closed – you don’t want to lose any of your sweet nectar. The majority of feeders are designed so that the body pops up from the base so the hummingbirds can access the nectar once the feeder is filled.
- Now you’re ready to unscrew the lid from the top of the feeder.
- Pour in nectar until it’s about an inch away from the edge of the lid.
- Screw the lid back on tightly. If the lid isn’t on tight enough there won’t be a vacuum seal that allows the nectar to flow properly out of the ports.
Once the feeder is filled and you’re ready to hang it, pull or twist up on the body so that the nectar can flow down to the ports. That’s all it takes, just a few minutes to properly fill your hummingbird feeder.
How to Clean Hummingbird Feeders
In order to keep the nectar flowing, hummingbird feeders need to be cleaned at least every 3-5 days. While that may seem like a lot of work, it’s quick and easy to properly clean a feeder. All you need is soapy water and a sponge.
Step 1. Pour out any nectar that’s still in the body of the feeder.
Step 2. Unscrew the base of the feeder from the body.
Step 3. There should be two parts to the base that can be unscrewed to reveal the inside of the base.
Step 4. Remove the ports from the base.
Step 5. Remove the lid from the bottle.
Step 6. Thoroughly clean each part with the soapy water solution.
Step 7. Rinse well. If there’s leftover residue it could alter the taste of the nectar.
Step 8. Once everything is dry reassemble the parts starting with the base.
Step 9. Refill the bottle with nectar and you’re done!
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