Best Hummingbird Feeders Rated and Reviewed for Quality
The hummingbird is an incredibly interesting animal. They are among the smallest birds existing today and have the highest metabolism of any other animal as well. They are known for their size and how fast they flap their wings. They can flap their wings up to 12 times per second. Just think about that for a second, 12 times per second. It is incredible. They have such a high metabolism because they need to be able to support the rapid flapping of their wings. Their heart also beats very fast, at about 1260 beats per minute. To put it into perspective, humans typically beat between 70 and 100 beats per minute. Another interesting fact about hummingbirds is that they have been known to travel 800 KM nonstop flight. That is the size of the Gulf of Mexico! They are interesting little beings which is probably why having feeders specifically for them is so popular.
- First Nature 3055
- Wide Mouth Reservior
- Perky-Pet 8116-2
- 4 Feeding Ports
- Droll Yankees Ant Moat
Typically they will feed on flower nectar. Flowers produce nectar that is parts sucrose, glucose and fructose. They need these sugars in order to have enough energy to flap their wings that fast. Humans came into the picture and added artificial nectar in feeders in order to allow closer observation of the species for entertainment and educational purposes. These products are positive in that they provide more reliable sources of food for this type of animal especially at times when there are fewer blooms available for them. The only negative downfall of this type of product is that it reduces the amount of pollination that the natural derivation of food would typically provide.
The liquid usually used in this type of product is a white sugar water solution. The red typically seen in this type of liquid is only for aesthetic purposes. The option to make your own solution is available as well however most major outdoor retailers will also sell feed at a fairly inexpensive price for convenience. In this article, we discuss the feeders themselves though. We did research on the best on the market currently in order to help you in your buying needs. We looked at specific criteria which we listed below, in order to decide on what products on the market are superior. We also read reviews and viewed the ratings on this type of product in order to see what people specifically liked and what they disliked and included those in our reviews. So without further adieu, here are the best hummingbird feeders on the market today.
10 Best Hummingbird Feeders
1. First Nature 3055
This product has 10 feeding ports to maximize the number of birds feeding at one time.
Sealing Rings to Avoid Leaks
The rings of this product have an innovative sealing ring to help it from leaking and thus causing an ant problem.
Cost and Value
This product is inexpensive in price. It sits about mid-range. It has a wider-opening reservoir and easy to clean two-part base. Because of these features, this product is worth the cost.
Easy to fill
Holds quite a bit of liquid
Easy to clean
Feeder is clear not red (picture is a little deceiving)
Some complained that it doesn't attract birds
2. Perky-Pet 8116-2
This product is unique in that its container is square and more decorative. The glass has a nice etched design and the base of the product has a brushed copper exterior.
Decorative Drinking Ports
The drinking ports are decorative flowers for both appearance as well as to attract more birds.
Cost and Value
This product is fairly inexpensive in price. It is beautiful in design and comes apart for easy cleaning. For those reasons the price is justified.
Attracts hummingbirds easily
Easy to open lid
Foolproof to fill
More aestheically pleasing than other options available
The color is a film and not colored glass
Has been known to leak a bit
3. Droll Yankees Ant Moat
This product has a unique design, looking similar to a tulip. it is considered a "moat design."
This product has a hook at its base so that one may add more feeders to it. This can be done with additional of the same product or another option for even further customization.
Cost and Value
This is our best value product because it is very inexpensive in price. It is very highly rated and low in cost, there's no reason to not buy this option.
Built to last
Hook system makes it easy to take down to clean
Easy to fill
Ants find their way to it easily
Some found it wasn't attracting birds
4. First Nature 3091
This product has an extra large mouth for easier filling which means no more of that precious nectar will be wasted and your local birds will be able to enjoy more of the liquid.
This feeding rings on this product are sealed to help with leaks, again to ensure that your flying friends won't be missing out on any of their food.
Cost and Value
This product is relatively inexpensive, sitting mid-range in price. It has an attractive red base to attract more birds and holds quite a bit of nectar. For these reasons this product is worth the cost.
Perch goes all around the product
Easy to take apart and clean
Made of quality materials
Feeding rings are a little far from the perching points
Known to leak
5. Aspects 367
This option has a built-in moat to help prevent ants from getting in and clogging the feeder.
This product is both leak and drip proof to help save on nectar.
Cost and Value
This product is a little more expensive in price. With the built-in moat and the leak-proof features this product is worth the cost, especially if you are saving on nectar costs in the long run.
Easy to clean and fill
Raised ports help divert water
Very well made
Other birds may drink from the ant moats
Not the prettiest in design
The ports should be yellow flowers, not red, to help attract more birds
6. Perky-Pet Ruby Starburst
This product has an attractive design. It is red and hexagon shaped with a pretty brushed nickel base. It has also four red flowers covering the feeding ports to help attract more birds.
This product has a wider mouth for easy filling and less clean up which will be attractive to some buyers.
Cost and Value
This product is mid-range in price but still fairly inexpensive. With its attractive design and its ability to also attract more birds, this product is worth the cost.
Color is very rich
Sturdy and solid glass
Comes apart for easy cleaning
Larger capacity - can hold 2 cups of liquid
Doesn't attract as many birds as competitive products
A little heavy (hard to hang on trees with weaker branches)
7. Pet Zone Lighthouse
This product has a unique design. It looks just like a lighthouse. This makes it a fantastic option for gifting.
Can Hold 16 Ounces
This option is a little larger in size, allowing up to 16 ounces of nectar to be held at a time.
Cost and Value
This product is mid-range in price. It holds quite a bit of liquid and comes in a unique design, for these reasons this product is worth the price.
Perching bar is handy for birds
Holds quite a bit of liquid
Easy to clean
Walls are thin
Perching bar is flimsy
8. Apsects Aspects 153
This product is both drip- and leak-proof to save on any unnecessary additional nectar costs.
Feeding Ports Divert Rain
The feeding ports have raised flowers on them for the purpose of diverting rain avoiding diluting the nectar inside.
Cost and Value
This product is a little higher in price but not overpriced. It is easy to clean, has an ant moat and is both drip and leak proof, for these reasons this product is worth the cost.
Built-in brass hook won't rust
Easy to see nectar level
Birds have a place to sit and drink
Stable in windy conditions
Less feeding ports than comparable products
Doesn't hold as much liquid, in comparison to similar products
This product is easy to put together and also take apart for easy cleaning.
Flat Design Allows for Better View
Because this product has a flat top and a container below the ports, it is easy to see all the birds coming to drink. Also because the base is clear, that helps with the view as well.
Cost and Value
This product is on the expensive side. The product has a clear view of the birds, is leak proof and comes with cleaning accessories, for these reasons the product is worth the cost. The manufacturer is also known to have high quality customer service which should add piece of mind when purchasing.
Comes with plastic covers to keep pesky insects out
Perch bar easy for birds to use
Ant moat helps keep ants out
Included a sample recipe for hummingbird food
Users found that filling the product too full will cause mold issues
They also found filling it all the way attracts bees
10. Nature's Way GHF5
This product comes with a lifetime warranty for easy of mind when purchasing.
Easy to Clean
This option is an absolute breeze to clean and is even dishwasher safe for easier cleaning.
Cost and Value
This product is on the expensive side however it is beautiful in design, the glass is thick, vibrant and hand-blown. It also has a large opening for easy filling. For these reasons this product is worth the cost.
Silicone gasket for less leaking
Easy to fill
Beautiful & unique in appearance
Vibrant in color
Metal has been noted as getting rusty over time
Bottom can eventually get hard to screw on with elemental damage
In conclusion, the things you want to consider when purchasing this type of product is where the product is going to be placed, the number of animals in your area to know the size of the product you are going to need as well as if there is wildlife in your area that may attempt to also feed. The product should be made of sturdy and reliable materials especially because it will be left outside in the elements and should be able to handle both heat and cold without fear that it will crack or break. Remember that your feeder will be full of sugary liquid. If the liquid gets everywhere not only will it be a pain to clean up, but may encourage an ant problem, so just make sure that the product you are using is reliable. Watching these little birds lightly zoom around your yard can be an incredibly joyous and interesting experience. It is also great for children for both entertainment and educational purposes. We hope that this review was helping in your decision-making process. Below are the criteria we used to evaluate these products as well as some frequently asked questions for any additional information you may need. Happy bird watching!
Criteria Used in Choosing the Best Hummingbird Feeders
The materials used for this type of product are important because it will be out in the elements all the time. The feeder needs to be able to withstand rain, heat, wind and even snow so the materials used need to be strong and durable. This will be more than likely batted around by animals as well so it needs to be able to take that too. The majority of these products are made of either plastic or glass, and the hanging mechanism is usually made of a metal. The plastic should be thicker and preferably colored rather than with a film over top. The glass should also be thicker but keep in mind the thicker the glass the heavier the product and therefore the glass variation may not be best for hanging in trees. The metal should be coated to avoid rust damage over time. These products can’t just be refilled and left alone, they do require washing. The liquid inside is essentially liquid sugar and will get gunky or may even encourage some mold within the container so the product should be taken down from time to time to be cleaned (this is described in more detail below in the frequently asked questions section). The materials need to be durable but the product also will require maintenance in order to add longevity to the product.
The area that the feeder is going to be left may dictate the type needed. Because these are meant to be left outside all the time the condition of the environment it is left in is important. The hummingbird does migrate so the feeder does not need to be left outdoors in winter conditions. They will return in the spring when things warm up a little which is easier on the product as well. The product should not be left out in the winter due to the liquid in the product freezing. Sugar water will freeze and expand and therefore possibly wreck your feeder. It may also affect the function of the feeding ports if frozen liquid is left within the small spaces. Regardless of leaving it outside in the winter or not, there are other environmental factors that may affect it even in the summer. High humidity, rain storms, as well as wind and dust storms can affect your product. It is important that if the area you are in is really hot, that it is left in the shade and perhaps a glass version is purchased with fewer metal elements. If you live in an area with more wind and dust you may want to consider a plastic version as this type of material, if banging against a wall or dropped from a high area, will be more resilient than glass would be. Additionally, the moats will require less wind due to them being open. An internal moat may be required in areas of high winds to keep the addition functioning correctly. High wind and high humidity may also affect any plastic coating on the product that is used for color. This is more common on the glass versions than the plastic though.
This product is quite inexpensive in price, most of the options on the market don’t go over $50.00. It will ultimately dictate the quality of the product you are purchasing due to the low margin. Because they really are quite inexpensive consider buying something on the higher end of the price range. The benefit of buying a better quality item is more than just the longevity of the product. It will also determine the overall frustration with it. Because the primary purpose of these items is to hold a liquid that the birds can drink, the liquid just needs to sit until needed. However, if you are purchasing something cheap you will see far more leaking and drips than you would on something made with better materials and better seals. There are many complaints that the product purchased initially did not leak but did so over time or connecting the container with the base became harder over time and therefore started leaking later. Having a leak will lead to bigger problems like ants. Because you don’t often see this type of product with technology added onto it, it’s important you are buying something that is good quality, will not break down over time and is easy to clean. This is dictated in the price for this type of product.
Amount of Liquid Needed
These products come in different sizes and can hold different amounts of liquids. The amount of liquid needed should be taken into consideration when purchasing. If you are in more of a wooded area and there are more birds around consider something larger. This way you will maximize the number of birds coming to your window. If you are living in a more urban environment get something smaller. The reason you don’t want to just opt for something bigger regardless of your environment is that the liquid can’t stay in the canister long before it needs to be replaced. The sugars will change texture and granulate over time. This will cause the birds to have issues getting the liquid out of it. It will also gunk up your feeder and potentially wreck it. Additionally, not replacing and cleaning the unit will cause some mold to form inside of the canister which is both hard on the product as well as dangerous for the birds. For this reason, you want to make sure that the product you are using is ideal for the environment. As soon as the product is out of liquid it should be cleaned with soap and water to ensure that it is running optimally. Without doing this there can be hard side effects and ultimately diminish the purpose of the purchase.
The reputation and experience of a company are important when purchasing anything, really, because this will dictate the quality and reliability of the product you are purchasing. Companies, when they start out, rarely make a superior product. Initially, the product will need to go through some trials and tribulations before the company upgrades it and creates a better product. If the company is unreliable or not upgrading then you will end up with a lemon and the company will more than likely not survive long. The reputation of the company comes into play typically with faulty products but also with poor customer service. Customer service will aid in replacing defective units. Typically more reliable companies have better warranty policies. The warranty of a product speaks strongly in reference to the companies reliability. This will prove that they stand behind their product. For these reasons, the reputation and reliability of the company are very important.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How are they cleaned?
A: They can be cleaned with just soap and water if cleaned regularly. You want to ensure that you are using a cleaner that will not harm the animal feeding from it. Even if you rinse the harmful product off the unit, it can still hurt the animal and alter the taste of the liquid inside. In order for the product to clean well it is just a matter of cleaning more frequently. You should be cleaning it before every refill to keep it from getting clogged up as well as to prolong the life of it. Bring the unit inside and take it apart, the product usually separates into two pieces. Soak for a minute and then wash with soap and water. Some of the options on our list come with little cleaning brushes so try to clean the feeding ports as this is where the animal drinks from and will experience the most exposure to the product and air simultaneously. Allow to fully dry and then put back together, refill and reinstall. Some products are dishwasher safe but double check before running yours through a dishwasher to ensure that it is safe to do so.
Q: How do they work?
A: Through gravitational force. In the reservoir of fluid sitting at the bottom of the product, there is a gravitational force that keeps the liquid in the base. As the product flows through the feeding ports air bubbles will flow to the top of the canister and this helps the liquid flow into the ports and creating a seal to stop liquid from flowing out of the feeding ports. When the animals start to drink the liquid they can only withdraw a certain amount of liquid before the product can re-pressurize itself. Once the bubbles make their way to the top of the liquid and the pressure is back to regular levels, the product can be withdrawn from again. The system works for the most part but if not enough liquid is withdrawn from the unit sometimes the unit will leak. This can be prevented if proper seals are in place to stop additional liquid from leaking. These seals aren’t always included though so it is important to look for them. Additionally, if they are not cleaned frequently they may stop working as efficiently. Once the liquid is completely withdrawn over time by the animals, the liquid will need to be replaced. This is usually done by flipping the product upside down, filling the canister, resealing and flipping back upside down to recreate that pressure/gravity force. Then the whole process starts all over again.
Q: How are they installed?
A: Installation of these products is pretty easy. Most come with a hook that can be attached to anything really. If the product is to be put in front of a window consider buying a second screw-in hook to go into an area by the window and connecting the feeder to that. It is important that wherever the unit is going that it will not be taken away by the wind so attempt to install it as securely as possible. If it is being installed on a tree branch then consider buying a lighter one (something made of plastic rather than glass) so that the tree can support it. Some trees have thicker branches which will help but if it is installed on a weaker branch the glass will more than likely fall out of the tree.
Q: What type of liquid do they require?
A: You can either buy the feeding liquid from a store or online. These mixes are a pre-made solution, typically red in color and fairly inexpensive. Alternatively, you can make your own by mixing white granulated sugar with warm water until the sugar dissolves. The liquid should still be relatively thin. Either will work.
Q: Why do I see so much red on this type of product?
A: Hummingbirds are drawn to the color red. This type of animal looks for flowers for their sugar needs. Most of these products have little flowers as decorative feeding ports but it also helps draw in the animal. The one issue is that the red dye has been known to affect the birds negatively so opting for a red canister and clear liquid may be a safer choice for the animal.
Q: How do I avoid ants?
A: The primary method for this is ensuring that you are using a product that hangs and doesn’t leak or drip. This will help keep the ants at bay. They are tricky little buggers though and will climb onto a roof, down the line, and into the feeder. What you can do is buy a ‘moat’, this is a product that can either hang above the unit to catch the ants before they get into the product. Alternatively, there are products on the market that have built-in moats. These aren’t typically too much more expensive and it will stop the ants from getting in. Ants will die in the liquid and end up clogging up the feeding ports. Ants will be your biggest issue when purchasing this type of product so consider buying an additional moat or a product with a moat already inside it.
Q: Can they double as regular bird feeders too?
A: Unfortunately, no. This type of product has very small feeding ports (meant for the tiniest beak) and therefore if used with regular bird feed the animals will not be able to get the seeds through the feeding ports.
Q: Should I opt for glass or plastic?
A: This is discussed a little above, but it depends on where you are hanging this as well as aesthetic needs. The glass variation looks so much more aesthetically pleasing than the plastic variation. They are usually etched and have a bit of a vintage look to them. They are however usually surrounded by a film for color which doesn’t always stand up to the test of the elements. The glass variation isn’t great if being hung from something that isn’t as strong (like a tree branch) but works very well when attached to a house. The plastic variations are typically less aesthetically pleasing, however, are usually easier to take apart and clean, they are also better for hanging on fewer sturdy supports. They are usually better for wear and tear of the elements. It really depends on your circumstances.