It’s exciting to put out hummingbird feeders and anticipate charming visits from these thirsty flying jewels. But if you don’t hang feeders in the right place, the birds may pass them by. With the right feeder placement, however, hummingbirds will find your feeders more quickly and your yard will be abuzz with glittery visitors.
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10 Considerations for Proper Feeder Placement
Putting hummingbird feeders out means much more than just hanging a nectar feeder from any hook or branch. By carefully considering where you put a feeder, you will have much more success with attracting hungry hummers. When hanging feeders, be sure to consider:
If hummingbirds can’t see your feeders, they won’t visit them. Hanging feeders in dappled sunlight will help them sparkle and shine as birds fly nearby. You also need to consider your own lines of sight and the feeder’s visibility so you can watch every bird that takes a sip.
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When considering the visibility of hummingbird feeders, also consider the feeders’ distance from your own viewing area. These birds are only three to four inches long, and if your feeders are across the yard, you may not be able to see the details of each hummingbird clearly.
While you want to see the hummingbirds that visit your feeders, you want to be sure your feeders are safe from the windows where you watch the birds. Positioning feeders less than five feet or more than 15 feet away from windows minimizes the risk of fatal collisions.
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While hummingbirds are tiny, they still need room to maneuver around feeders so they can feel comfortable. Hanging hummingbird feeders in dense brush can discourage frequent visits, but positioning the feeders in a more open spot will help the birds feel more comfortable.
While some sunlight can help a hummingbird feeder be more visible to passing birds, direct sunlight can also make nectar spoil more quickly. Positioning feeders where they will be shielded from the hottest afternoon sun can be the best option.
It is best to place hummingbird feeders within easy reach so you are able to clean and refill them frequently. Avoid hanging feeders too high or deep in a dense flowerbed that are a challenge to reach. If the feeders are convenient, you will be able to maintain them better.
Predators and Pests
Hummingbirds aren’t the only visitors who will enjoy sweet sips of nectar. Consider how many insects are nearby and might take over a feeder. Also consider what predators, such as outdoor cats, snakes, raccoons or even large praying mantises, might stake out a feeder for a quick meal.
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These birds can be very territorial and one aggressive hummingbird may chase away other hungry guests. If you hang multiple hummingbird feeders out of sight of one another, however, the birds’ territoriality can be reduced and more hummingbirds can feed easily.
When a hummingbird feeder tips, it may leak. Place feeders away from busy pathways and play areas where they could accidentally be bumped, and keep them out of breezy spots where they may leak more easily.
While hummingbirds visit feeders frequently throughout the day, they spend up to 80 percent of their time resting between feedings, perching nearby as they watch their favorite territory. Hanging feeders near convenient perches will keep your feathered guests nearby.
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Best Spots to Hang Hummingbird Feeders
Every yard has a wide range of great places where hummingbird feeders can easily be hung. While every yard, garden, and landscape is different, the top locations to hang hummingbird feeders include easy spots such as:
- In a flowerbed filled with nectar-rich flowers. Use a shepherd’s hook or freestanding arbor as a beautiful support for a flowerbed hummingbird feeder.
- Near a safe window with suitable decals or other steps to minimize bird collisions. This will give you great views while keeping the birds safe.
- From an overhead gutter, awning or roofline. This can provide easy afternoon shade for hummingbird feeders, keeping the nectar fresh for longer.
- Within 10 to 15 feet of safety. Hanging feeders near a brush pile or dense shrubbery will give these delicate birds a safe space to retreat if they feel threatened.
- From a deck railing with an extendable arm. Specialized hangers can attach to a deck railing for convenient hanging in an area where you can easily watch and reach the feeders.
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Properly placed, your hummingbird feeder can become a hummer’s favorite feeding spot. As you see more and more hummingbirds enjoying the feeder, it will quickly become your favorite viewing spot as well, and you will be able to witness these birds’ stunning beauty all summer long.