Who doesn’t love birds congregating in their yard? Hummingbirds are quite majestic to behold. These quick, agile birds are a member of the Trochilidae family and are the smallest bird species known to man.
On average, they measure only three to five inches, and weigh about two-and-a-half grams. Hummingbirds are marked by their colorful appearance, with varieties appearing in bright blues, greens, and the like. Most notable, though, is the Hummingbird’s great speed. They fan fly at more than thirty-four miles an hour and flap their wings more than fifty times a second. As such, they have a high metabolism, the greatest of any homeothermic animal.
They’re beautiful birds, and to give them a boost (plus attract them to your yard), you’ll need a quality hummingbird feeder to supply them with nutrients when they decide to hang around your property.
So what is the best hummingbird feeder?
The World of Hummingbird Feeders
On the surface, one might think that there isn’t much to a hummingbird feeder. They have a repository for the sweet mixture hummingbirds love to sip, a place for the birds to perch, and a slot where they can get to the good stuff, right? As it turns out, there are a few specifics to bear in mind before jumping in and purchasing the first feeder that you see.
First off, you want to make sure you get the right color. You might fancy blue, green, purple, or any other of the millions of colors out there. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, like red. This is because many of the flowers they feed on are also red. To attract more birds, you’ll want to go with red feeders almost exclusively.
The second thing you’ll need to consider are the perches. Hummingbirds don’t need the perches, as they can hover in the air to do their work. Perches look nice, though, and provide the birds a place to rest if they so choose, which can be nice if you want to photograph them when they aren’t flying. The downside, though, is that feeders with perches are more difficult to clean.
Which brings us to our next detail. Is the feeder easy to clean and refill? This might be the single most important factor when you’re comparing options. In the heat especially, feeders should be cleaned and refilled every two days. That amounts to a lot of work for you, and the easier it is to take the feeder apart, the less hassle you’re going to have.
Ideally, you want something that screws or snaps apart with minimal effort, has a wide mouth you can reach your hand into, and doesn’t have a lot of tiny spaces you can’t access. Areas within a feeder that you can’t clean are susceptible to becoming moldy, in which case you’re out one feeder. When refilling, you want something that you can pour your liquids into without them spilling over constantly (spills equal more cleaning).
You’ll want something that is resistant to pests. The nectar you put within the feeder is attractive not only to hummingbirds but to ants as well. Feeders with an ant cup have a barrier of water at the top of the feeder, which deters their presences.
Lastly, you should look at price and quality. You’ll no doubt want something built to last, but you should also balance this against the cost of an individual feeder. If you’re able to purchase more feeders, you can seed your lawn with several of them, attracting more birds and making sure that they won’t have to fight one another just to get some food.
Hummingbird Feeder Top Picks
For our purposes, we’re only going to explore red feeders. You can find them in other colors, but as we discussed, red works best for novice hummingbird enthusiasts because it more easily attracts the birds to your yard. They differ in other ways, though, so let’s take a look.
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Perky Pet is known for their specialization in bird feeders. For over fifty years, they have manufactured feeders for individuals who love all kinds of birds at all skill levels and backgrounds. They have a reputation for devices that are easy to use, easy to clean, look great, and well-suited for beginner bird lovers. Furthermore, they offer their wares at prices that are more than reasonable. The Perky Pet 8133-2 continues this tradition and has a good number of attractive features.
What’s Great About the Perky Pet 8133-2?
- Vintage Look. It’s similar in appearance to an old vase. The 8133-2 has a rustic charm that makes it a suitable decoration for most yards and is made of glass instead of plastic, further enhancing its look. In addition, the four feeding ports located on the base of the feeder are designed to resemble flowers, a very detailed touch.
- Ample Capacity. It’s not the biggest feeder around, but the 8133-2 still has a twenty-four-ounce capacity, more than enough to last a couple of days in the yard.
- Sturdy Hanging Loop. Whereas many feeders use a simple plastic hook, the 8133-2 has a metal alloy hanger that’s sturdier and lasts longer than many other options. The base is also made from metal, providing additional strength and durability.
- Easy to Clean. Most importantly, the 8133-2 has a wide mouth and simple design, allowing users to get inside and clean it with ease. When refilling, the wide mouth serves to reduce spillage, thus making the entire process easier.
What’s Not So Great About the Perky Pet 8133-2?
- Pricier Than Other Options. This is a pretty classy looking feeder, so you can expect the base price to be about ten to twelve dollars more than what you would pay for most plastic feeders. The tradeoff, of course, is a better-constructed end product.
First Nature prides themselves on being American made. Founded in 2001, they have a large line of feeders, baths, and other bird accessories aimed at bird enthusiasts of all stripes. On their website, they even have a FAQ with handy tips about attracting birds to your lawn and other general questions.
What’s Great About the First Nature 3090?
- Large Capacity. The First Nature 3090 has a massive thirty-two-ounce reservoir with ten different feeding ports. That’s plenty of liquid to get you through a few days, and plenty of space for multiple birds to come and say hello. It’s also easy to fill and clean, because the large mouth and ample room.
- Leak & Pest Resistant. The 3090 includes sealing rings to prevent leaks while you have it hung up in the yard. In addition, it has a built-in ant moat to keep them from getting to the sweet nectar you’ve left for your hummingbirds.
- Relatively Inexpensive. Compared to other models, the 3090 is a good deal. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay close to fifteen dollars for one of these, freeing up your pockets to buy a couple and spread them around.
- Made in the USA. If that’s an important factor for you, you can hang your hat on the fact that First Nature products are all American made. Do your part for the birds and the country in one fell swoop.
What’s Not So Great About the First Nature 3090?
- It’s Something of An Eyesore. No two ways about it, this model is unattractive. Instead of the vintage glass look you’d find with something like the 8133-2 from Perky Pet, the 3090 is composed of a polymer that’s more akin to plastic. To be fair, it’s a very durable polymer and will last for a long time, but it sorely lacks in the looks department.
More Birds has billed themselves as “a new line of bird feeders made by people who really love birds.” A bit on-the-nose, as descriptions go, but quite accurate, as their feeders, including this Garnet Hummingbird Feeder, are unique in their appearance.
What’s Great About the More Birds Garnet Hummingbird Feeder?
- Unique Design with Perches. You won’t mistake this for any other feeder. More Birds put some effort into the look of this feeder, resulting in something that is simultaneously elegant and functional. The seven flower designs for the feeding ports, coupled with the arched perches are a great touch.
- Easy Cleaning. The Garnet Hummingbird Feeder disassembles easily and has a large opening. Cleaning and refilling the unit won’t pose much difficulty.
- Solid Construction. This feeder uses a glass bottle with a plastic base and top. It’s put together well and includes a metal hanger that provides superior strength.
What’s Not So Great About the More Birds Garnet Hummingbird Feeder?
- A Bit Pricier. This model is about twenty dollars. You can find cheaper options for sure, but they might not look as elegant as the Garnet Hummingbird Feeder.
- Smaller Capacity. This feeder only has a twenty-ounce capacity, notably less than many other options.
In Summation: The Best Hummingbird Feeder
As you can see, most hummingbird feeders share a lot in common. By now, most manufacturers know that easy-to-clean designs that are well constructed are best, and have shifted their offerings to match. What differentiates the models we’ve covered today are their aesthetics and their capacity.
If you’re looking for a feeder that fits more, the First Nature 3090 is a clear choice. If you’d rather have something more attractive though, the Garnet Hummingbird feeder and the 8133-2 from Perky Pets provide a more decorative choice.