3 Tips (plus 1) for Placing Your Hummingbird Feeder

Categories: Hummingbird

 

Hummingbird Feeder Placement Tips

Your hummingbird feeder should be clear of trees and bushes, but close to them for quick escapes.

You’ve purchased one of Perky-PetⓇ ’s Hummingbird Feeders. You’ve mixed their sugary treat and you’re ready to open your very own “hummingbird cafeteria.”

But there’s just one question lingering in your head –- one people are always asking the experts here at Perky-PetⓇ: “Where’s the best place for a hummingbird feeder?” Well, never fear. We have the answer to keep your hummers well fed and always coming back for more. Would you expect anything less from a site called birdfeeders.com? We hope not!

 

TIP 1: Let the hummingbirds see your feeder

The first thing you need to do is make sure the hummingbirds know you’re ready for them. The best way to do that is to position your hummingbird feeder in a highly visible place in your yard.

No, we aren’t saying it should sit out in your yard, like it’s an oasis in the middle of the desert. When a feeder is too far away from any cover, hummingbirds are reluctant to feed there. It makes them feel exposed and unsafe.

Instead, you’ll want to place your new feeder near some sheltering plants, but also in a spot that provides a wide, unobstructed view from another angle. This allows any new hummingbirds a chance to see the feeder when they zip through your neighborhood.

Remember, aside from getting a satisfying meal, it’s all about safety for a hummingbird.

Hummingbirds in Nature

Hummingbirds will often wait in a nearby tree for space at a hummingbird feeder.

TIP 2: Hummingbird feeders should be 10-15 feet from cover

Hummingbirds don’t like to stay out in the open when they’re not feeding. They’re all about conserving energy when they can. That’s why it’s best to place a feeder 10 to 15 feet from a tree, shrub or other appropriate hiding place. Doing so gives them a place to rest and stay out of the sun.

On the flip side, hummingbirds who suddenly feel vulnerable will appreciate a quick “getaway” route from the feeder. Giving them nearby cover does just that.

Just imagine, if your feeder is a truly successful one, you’ll soon have more hummingbirds visiting than you have feeder space! All those trees and shrubs you planted give other hummingbirds a place to roost while they wait their turn for an open feeder port.

TIP 4: Place a feeder where YOU can see it

Don’t forget to place your hummingbird feeder somewhere that allows you to view the comings and goings of the little dynamos. Assuming you fulfill all the other requirements listed above, here are some ideas:
  • At the edge of your porch (but not near a smoky barbecue).
  • Near an eastward facing garden bench (to avoid the harsh afternoon sun in your eyes).
  • Close, but not too close, to a window (Hummingbirds can hurt themselves in a collision)
  • Within range of your binoculars or camera equipment (because there’s nothing better than seeing them up close).
 Further, you need to place your hummingbird feeder in a spot that’s easy for you to reach so that you can reach it to refill it, clean it and monitor it for pests.

BONUS TIP: Don’t let good nectar go bad

We hear this concern a lot at Perky-PetⓇ : “I never get any hummingbirds. What am I doing wrong?” And they often wonder if the feeder isn’t in the right place.

But we know better. The first thing we ask after getting that sort of complaint is, “When was the last time you changed the bottle of hummingbird mix?”

The answer, all too often, is: “It’s not empty, so why would I change it?”

Well, there’s your problem! Hummingbird nectar can spoil or ferment, meaning hummingbirds will try it once or twice, but then it goes bad and they may never come back.

You must change your feeder’s nectar, even if it looks like it hasn’t lost a drop, on a regular basis. During hot weather, change it every two days. In milder weather, once a week is fine.

To further protect your hummingbird nectar from going bad, you’ll want to put your feeder in a place that gets a mix of sun and shade throughout the day. If the sun is too intense, the nectar can heat up and spoil or ferment in just a few hours.

That being said, keeping a feeder completely in the shade isn’t ideal either. When you do that, it will be harder for you to see your visitors’ iridescent colors.

You definitely don’t want to miss out on that!

Hummingbird nectar

Having trouble with attracting hummingbirds? Change your nectar more often — it could be spoiling. (Photo by Deb Kestler)

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Indulge your orioles’ sweet tooth with special oriole feeders

Categories: Seasonal Bird Feeding

Male Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole is perhaps the most famous oriole, thanks to the species’ status as the mascot for the Major League Baseball team of the same name.

The flowers are in bloom and soon orioles will grace gardens across the northern states with their vibrant orange feathers.

There are 5 main breeds of orioles in the United States: Baltimore and Orchard Orioles are found mostly in the North and Midwest; Bullock Orioles, found in the West; and the Scott’s and Hooded Orioles, found in the South and Southwest.

As with other birds, orioles migrate south once the temperature begins to decline in the winter. Around April and May, when the Northern U.S. begins to warm, the orioles return to breed. As they make the long, difficult journey north, they’ll be looking for a place that offers plentiful food and a good nesting spot. If an oriole finds no suitable food in your backyard, the likelihood it will return is relatively small. Fortunately, if you prepare your yard for their arrival with an oriole feeder, they may opt to stay for the spring and summer seasons.

What They Like to Eat

Like hummingbirds, orioles have a sweet tooth. In particular, most orioles enjoy sugary foods such as oranges and fruit jellies. Many people who see orioles in their backyard year-after-year swear by grape jelly, while others are convinced that slices of oranges are enough to keep the birds happy. In any case, a combination of these two treats is sure to keep the orioles in your area satisfied.

To help you remember what orioles like, just think of orange. They have orange feathers, they like the color orange, and they love the taste of oranges. The Perky-Pet® Deluxe Oriole Feeder, which is bright orange, is specifically designed with orioles in mind. It provides flavored nectar formulated just for orioles. The color also helps them see the feeder from great heights as it reminds them of their favorite fruit.

Another option is the (more…)

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Species Spotlight: Prothonotary Warbler

Categories: Species Spotlight

Prothonotary Warbler song

The Prothonotary Warbler’s song is loud, ringing “tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet,” with little variation.


As the Spring sun begins to warm woods and fields and backyards, it’s time to focus on a bird that brings music to our ears. The Prothonotary Warbler, or Golden Swamp Warbler, is a unique songbird of the New World warbler family. “Prothonotary” refers to an order of Catholic clerics who wore bright yellow hoods. This small, gorgeous bird is on the Audubon’s priority list. Besides Lucy’s Warbler, it is the only cavity-nesting warbler, and it is the only member of the genus Protonotaria. The Audubon Society is giving priority to the Prothonotary because its habitat is in decline. In Canada it is endangered. Each Spring, starting in mid-March, the attentive and lucky birder can spot it as it migrates up, first touching down along the Gulf Coast and finding its way north in April and May.

Environment and Habitat

Conservationists and enthusiasts can help the Prothonotary Warbler by putting up nest boxes before breeding season in their backyard or near water. The Prothonotary Warbler nests in small cavities near swamplands and waterways. You can sometimes see it (more…)

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Hummingbird Safety: 5 things to do now to protect your hummingbirds

Categories: Hummingbird

Hummingbird Safety

Promote hummingbird safety by maintaining clean feeders and a safe environment.

 

 

Attracting hummingbirds to your yard with a Perky-Pet® hummingbird feeder is a wonderful experience. You’ll spend hours enjoying the sight of hummers as they dart around your yard and hover at your feeder for some tasty nectar.
But by tempting the tiny creatures into your yard, it’s also important that you do what you can to protect them from dangers that you or the world around them have created. Hummingbird safety should be on the top of your mind.

1. Limit Pesticide Use

Just like any animal, hummingbirds are vulnerable to ingesting and absorbing pesticides.
If you use chemicals to control insects or weeds, make sure you (more…)

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Bird Migration: Birds of the Atlantic Flyway

Categories: Wild Bird

Atlantic migration flyway

Birds using the Atlantic flyway can migrate as far north as Greenland.

iStock_000003596236_LargeThrough the Fall and the Spring, many birds of North America set to wing in a twice a year ritual that sends them in search of food and breeding opportunities. In the Fall, they head South toward warmer climates with more food and less severe weather. In the Spring, it’s a northward journey to breeding grounds.

In the so-called Atlantic Flyway, a bird migration pattern that goes along the East Coast of North America, birds move through U.S. and often into Canada.

Some migrating birds, including the duck-like Eider and the Snowy Owl, can fly all the way to Greenland, the massive island nation East of Canada.

BIRD MIGRATION: ATLANTIC FLYWAY

The states generally covered by the Atlantic flyway include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.

A significant section of Canada is also included in the flyway. The provinces and territories these birds head toward include Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon Territory.

The other flyways include the Central, the Pacific and the Mississippi. Other flyway maps can be slightly different than the one above — showing fewer states for each flyway. We opted to be more inclusive in which areas to include in the Atlantic Flyway.

 

Eastern Bluebirds at bird feeder

Eastern Bluebirds are infrequent visitors at bird feeders, but they will use feeders on occasion.

 

LIST OF MIGRATORY BIRDS

The Audubon Society explains that about 500 bird species use the Atlantic Flyway, which actually covers a relatively small landmass. Instead, much of the flyway is (more…)

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