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Best Hummingbird Feeders

Updated August 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 22 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 130 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best hummingbird feeders

    Last Updated August 2018

    Tiny and much-loved, hummingbirds are a joy to watch. A hummingbird feeder can attract these adorable birds to your garden, so you can watch them from the comfort of your own home.

    Deciding you want a hummingbird feeder is the easy part; it's choosing the right one that's a challenge. How do you select the best hummingbird feeder, and how can you tell which features are important, and which are redundant? If you're in need of some guidance, we at BestReviews are here to help.

    Our mission is to create thorough guides and reviews that aid consumers in making tough purchasing decisions. To do so, we test products in our labs and out in the field, gather feedback from existing customers, and consult experts.

    Read on for our full guide to hummingbird feeders, then, when you're ready to buy, scroll up to the top of the page to see our five favorite models.

    Bees also drink nectar and have been known to chase hummingbirds away from hummingbird feeders. Look for feeders with built-in bee guards and make sure it doesn't leak — bees will soon lose interest if they can't access the nectar.

    What is a hummingbird feeder?

    Nectar from flowers is one of a hummingbird’s main food sources.

    Nectar is essentially a simple sugar syrup, so hummingbird feeders hold sugar water (or "hummingbird nectar") for these birds to drink.

    Hummingbirds are reluctant to feed on sugar water unless the experience is similar to feeding from a flower (which is why you can't just put down a bowl of hummingbird nectar), so these feeders are specifically designed to attract hummingbirds and make them feel comfortable feeding from them.

    While you can purchase commercial hummingbird nectar mixes, it's cheaper to make your own, and easy, too.

    Types of hummingbird feeders

    Bottle hummingbird feeders

    Bottle-style hummingbird feeders have a large bottle containing nectar, which runs into a base. A number of feeding ports surround the base.

    • Pros: They have a large capacity, so they don't need to be refilled as regularly. Their large size may make them more visible to passing hummingbirds.

    • Cons: Can be more difficult to clean than basin-style feeders.

    Basin hummingbird feeders

    Basin-style hummingbird feeders are shaped like a flying saucer. The hummingbird nectar sits in an enclosed basin, with several feeding ports on the top.

    • Pros: Tend to be easy to clean, and most models have built-in bee guards.

    • Cons: Need filling more regularly than bottle-style hummingbird feeders.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Hummingbirds can be territorial and may chase others away from "their" feeder, so you're likely to attract a greater number of them to your yard by placing several smaller feeders instead of a single large one.

    Considerations for selecting a hummingbird feeder

    Ease of use

    A hummingbird feeder should be easy for hummingbirds to drink from. If it isn't, they're unlikely to return regularly, as they won't see it as a convenient food source.

    It can be hard to tell if a feeder is easy to drink from just by looking at it, so we recommend looking at customer reviews. If customers are satisfied and report that hummingbirds are visiting their feeder regularly, you can assume it's easy enough for them to use.

    EXPERT TIP

    Hummingbirds also eat insects. You can attract them to the area by leaving overripe fruit near your hummingbird feeder.


    Color

    With most products, color is only an aesthetic consideration, but it does make a difference for hummingbird feeders.

    Hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, so a red hummingbird feeder encourages these birds to investigate and subsequently feed from it.

    Red also doesn't tend to attract insects, so you should find that fewer hang around a red hummingbird feeder than would come to one of a different color. Hummingbirds usually won't drink insect-infected nectar, so this is important.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Some people dye their sugar solution red to encourage hummingbirds to visit their feeder, but this is a bad idea, as food coloring could be harmful to them.

    Style

    The style of feeder can be important to both you and your visiting hummingbirds. Since hummingbirds tend to prefer feeders that give them an experience similar to drinking from a real flower, they may be more likely to frequently use feeders with drinking ports that look like flowers.

    Apart from that, choose a style that you like the look of. You can find modern-looking hummingbird feeders, vintage style models, and plenty of others.

    While it's more important that the hummingbirds like the look of your feeder, you should also select one that appeals to you.

    EXPERT TIP

    Look for a hummingbird feeder that's easy to fill. Some require filling with a funnel to avoid spillage, which can wear thin when you're refilling your feeder every day or two.


    Material

    The most common construction materials for hummingbird feeders are glass, plastic, and metal.

    The feeder's bottle or basin is usually made from either glass or plastic, and the perches and ports from either plastic or metal.

    Glass is often easier to clean and is heat resistant, but it is more fragile if dropped. Plastic is durable, but make sure any plastic parts on your chosen feeder are heat resistant, UV stable, and preferably food-grade. Any metal parts should be properly coated, so they don't rust or get too hot for your feathered friends to perch.

    Hummingbird feeders need to be suspended, so make sure you have a suitable place from which to hang yours.

    Number of ports

    The drinking ports on a hummingbird feeder are where the birds sup their nectar. Most feeders have between four and ten ports, but you may find some exceptions.

    Only one hummingbird can feed from each port at a time, so the more you have, the more hummingbirds can eat at your feeder — in theory, at least.

    While it may depend on the species, and the temperaments of the individuals that visit your yard, hummingbirds can be aggressively territorial, so you may find that one hummingbird claims your feeder, and will try to chase others off. In this case, we'd recommend placing a few feeders with a smaller number of ports, to encourage more hummingbirds to different feeders.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    The more drinking ports on your hummingbird feeder, the more oxygen the sugar solution will be exposed to, and the sooner it will need replacing.

    Price

    You can find hummingbird feeders at a range of price points.

    Here's what you should expect to get for your money:

    • Basic hummingbird feeders cost under $10. These tend to be made entirely from plastic, and may not be UV stable.

    • Mid-range hummingbird feeders cost $10 to $30. You can find more durable, heat stable plastic models in this price range, as well as those with glass bottles.

    • High-end hummingbird feeders cost $30 to $100 (but most are priced under $50). These include intricate, all-glass models.

    EXPERT TIP

    You should try to replace the nectar in your hummingbird feeder at least every other day.


    Tips

    • Most hummingbird feeders come with a perch, since some birds like to rest on the feeder, even though they often hover while drinking nectar. Some perches are removable, so you can see whether you attract more hummingbirds with or without the perch.

    • Many insects — including bees and wasps — are attracted to yellow. Avoid hummingbird feeders with yellow parts if you'd like to keep insects at bay.

    • Look at the capacity of your chosen feeder. If a large number of hummingbirds visit your yard, you'll need a greater capacity than if you just have a handful of regulars to your feeder.

    • Some species of bats may visit your hummingbird feeder at night. While some people choose to deter them, there's no reason why you shouldn't let them join in the fun. Many bat species are endangered or vulnerable, and they won't prevent hummingbirds from using the feeder since these birds feed during the day, whereas bats feed at night.

    Most hummingbirds are migratory, visiting the U.S. only during the warmer months, so don't be surprised if they stop visiting your feeder once it cools down — they will have moved on to warmer climes.

    FAQ

    Q. How do I make hummingbird nectar?

    A. You can make hummingbird nectar by mixing together water and white sugar, at a ratio of four parts water to one part white sugar. Never use honey, food dye, or brown sugar in your hummingbird nectar. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the water.

    Q. What will attract more hummingbirds to my garden?

    A. Simply placing a hummingbird feeder in your yard may not be enough to attract hummingbirds, especially if you've never noticed them in your garden before. You can, however, take steps to encourage these birds to visit.

    • Plant hummingbird-friendly flowers, trees, and shrubs in your garden (such as hollyhocks, begonias, and azaleas, to name but a few).

    • Time your planting so that there's always something in bloom in your yard.

    • Tie red ribbons in trees or on fences to attract hummingbirds that might be passing by.

    • Avoid using pesticides in your garden.
       

    Q. Are hummingbird feeders easy to clean?

    A. Some hummingbird feeders are easier to clean that others. Basin-style feeders tend to be the easiest to clean, but most bottle style models aren't too much of a challenge to wash, especially if all or part of the feeder is dishwasher-safe. It's best to clean your feeder using hot water only — sugar dissolves in water, so if the feeder's sticky, just leave it to soak.

    The team that worked on this review
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      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jeff
      Jeff
      Editor
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer