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Home Best Backyard Bird-Feeding Practices Bird Feeders Nectar Feeders
Nectar Feeders

baltimore orioleNectar feeders are designed to attract hummingbirds and orioles.  Nectar feeders for orioles have larger ports, and must have a perch.  Nectar feeders vary primarily by the amount of nectar they can hold and number of ports available.  Choose a nectar feeder that matches the number of hummingbirds and orioles that feed in your area.  To reduce the possibility of waste, it may be best to start with a smaller feeder.

Nectar Feeder Types

There are two basic nectar feeder styles: saucer and vacuum.  Saucers are basin feeders covered with a lid and contain several feeding ports.  The lid lifts completely off for easy cleaning.  In vacuum feeders, nectar is stored in a container above the feeding port.  Vacuum feeders come in a wide range of capacities, materials and designs.  Both feeder types are easily hung from a tree limb or pole, and vacuum nectar feeders can also be mounted directly to a window.

Reducing Bees and Ants

Bees and ants are attracted to the same sugar-water mixture as hummingbirds and orioles  You can stop ants by putting a barrier, such as a water-filled moat, between the feeder and the hook it is mounted to.  Bee guards can be effective in reducing use of feeders by bees.

Filling Nectar Feeders

Fill nectar feeders with one part sugar to four parts water.  Do not use honey or artificial sweeteners in place of sugar.  Also, it is not necessary to add red food coloring.  You can also make more nectar than you need, and store the extra nectar in the refrigerator. 

Cleaning Nectar Feeders

It is important that nectar feeders be cleaned with soap and water once a week and filled at least every 3 to 5 days to ensure the greatest use.  In very warm weather, feeders should be cleaned and filled more often.  When selecting a nectar feeder consider the ease at which it can be taken apart, cleaned, and reassembled.

 

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