These are some of our most asked questions. For additional questions and answers about hummingbirds, visit the Professor Bird web site. Search for "hummingbirds" in the key word search field.
Q - When should I take down my feeder so the hummingbirds do not stay too long into the fall or winter?
A - Hummer migration is triggered by the shorter fall days, not the amount of food. Keep your feeders up until the birds have completed migration through your area, often into mid-October or later. Keeping your feeders up will not cause otherwise healthy birds to delay their migration.
Hummingbird nests are surprisingly strong structures made of lichen, spider webs and various plant materials.
The selection of materials allows the nest to expand as the young hummers grow.
Q - What is the best way to attract hummers to my feeder?
A - Use several small feeders spread throughout your yard or, even better, plant a hummingbird garden. See the section on gardening for hummers.
Q - How long is incubation for hummingbirds?
A - This varies a little by species. Hummingbirds usually lay one or two eggs that hatch within 2-3 weeks.
The male leaves after mating, leaving the female to provide all the feeding and care of the baby hummingbirds.
Q - How long do hummingbirds live?
A - The average age is about three to four years, although some may live twice that long. The record is about 12 years.
Window-mounted feeders and ant guards are two of the many...
There are a variety of feeders on the market. They range from a simple, single feeding tube to larger feeders with multiple feeding stations. Some people elect to locate several smaller feeders throughout the yard. This approach sometimes helps attract hummingbirds and can reduce the stress of competitive behavior.
Feeder designs and key features
The most popular hummingbird feeders come in one of two designs, saucer-shaped and bottle-shaped.
Saucer-shaped feeders are attractive and easy to clean.
Bottle-type feeders come with bases of various styles.
In general, you will to select a feeder that has the following features:
Quality hummingbird feeders usually have the above features built into the design. We recommend sticking with products from companies like Aspects or Droll Yankees. Hummingbird feeders are not expensive and a quality feeder will do an excellent job in preventing problems from occurring.
Be wary and do your homework before purchasing hummingbird feeders from grocery or discount stores. Some look really nice, but the designs can make them hard to fill, some leak, and some provide an open invitation to bees and wasps.
If you feed hummingbirds you will eventually have to deal with insects. Ants can usually be foiled with water barriers or the use of petroleum jelly on the "hard" approaches to the feeder. Flying insects such as bees and wasps can be more difficult. Bee guards are available for many feeder brands and some have bee guards built-in. Spreading petroleum jelly or mineral oil on the surface of the feeder can also be effective in controlling the airborne intruders.
Ant moats can be purchased and placed above a hanging feeder.
The moats are filled with water, which prevents ants from crawling down to the feeder. Two colors shown.
Some hummingbird feeders are designed to be attached to a window. It may take a little time for the hummingbirds to become comfortable with feeders so close to the home. Having a feeder nearby will help attract hummingbirds to the area.
Aspects window-mounted feeder. Available in the Hummingbird Pro Shop.
There are many fancy looking hummingbird feeders, some of which double as a feeder and a work of garden art. When purchasing one of the fancy feeders, consider the key points listed above. You might be quite willing to spend a little extra time cleaning and filling a feeder, just be sure to understand your options.
When to feed