So you already have the right type of hummingbird feeder. You might even have made the hummingbird feeder and the sugar solution yourself. And you are doing a good job keeping insects away. But are you hanging the feeder in the best place available?
The placement of a hummingbird feeder can help you attract the highest number of birds possible. It can help the birds avoid predators and safety hazards. It can also help keep unwanted animals such as squirrels away.
Feeder Placement to Attract Hummingbirds
Hummingbirds like to take showers by flying through fine sprays of water. This cleans their feathers and keeps them cool on hot days. Place the feeder near your lawn sprinkler if you have one. Otherwise, consider investing in a birdbath with a mister or dripper.
If you grow plants that attract hummingbirds, hang the feeder nearby. Visiting hummingbirds will stay for longer in your yard.
Hummingbird Feeder Placement for Safety
Hummingbirds like it when they can access resting places of hiding refuges from a feeder. Hang the hummingbird feeder close to trees or shrubs, ideally evergreens for year-round protection. A distance of about 10 feet between a hummingbird feeder and the branches is enough to give hummingbirds the opportunity to escape from aerial predators such as hawks. Don’t hang it too close because animals like squirrels can use branches as jumping-off points to reach the feeder.
Predators like cats could also sneak up from the ground, so hang the hummingbird feeder about five or six feet above the ground. This height gives the hummingbirds enough time to notice the predator and fly away.
Window glass presents a great danger to hummingbirds, with at least 100 million birds dying every year in the USA alone, according to Cornell University. Place the hummingbird feeder in an open area, away from houses, windows or eaves.
If no open area is available, paste a picture on a window and hang the feeder three feet or closer to the window. This minimizes the possibility of fatal crashes into the window glass because hummingbirds need a distance of at least six feet to reach their fastest flying speed.
Practical Considerations for Hummingbird Feeder Placement
A hummingbird feeder needs protection from wind so the sugar solution doesn’t spill. It should also be under the shade because direct sunlight causes the sugar solution to spoil more quickly.
A hummingbird feeder needs cleaning every two to three days, so you should place it in an accessible place. For best viewing enjoyment, it should also be in a quiet spot where you can easily see it.
Number of Hummingbird Feeders
A male hummingbird often gets territorial around a feeder. It defends the feeder and prevents other hummingbirds from using it. It sometimes enters into aerial combats with other hummingbirds. These fights can be entertaining to watch.
However, if the fights become too intense, it's better to place more feeders to reduce confrontations and encourage more hummingbirds to come. Place these feeders out of sight from one another, at least 15 feet apart. Separate them with vegetation or other barriers and take them inside as hummingbirds leave for their annual migration.