Pick the Best Hummingbird Feeder

Last updated 11/10/2020 | |

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Pick the best hummingbird feeder with this review of several popular hummingbird feeders. Learn what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

glass hummingbird feeder and hummingbird

There are lots of different types of hummingbird feeders to choose from, and I've had many of them over the years. How do you pick a good hummingbird feeder?

Parts of a Hummingbird Feeder

First, a bit of hummingbird feeder anatomy. We’ll use my old feeder, the Perky Pet Hummer’s Favorite, as an example.

Most hummingbird feeders consist of two pieces. The reservoir is the chamber or bottle where the nectar goes, and the base is where the hummingbirds sit or hover and drink.

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, and what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

In this case, the base has detachable flowers, which means more pieces that need to be scrubbed when it's time to clean your feeder. There's also more potential for mold growth, as you can see.

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, and what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

hummingbird at feeder

Choosing the Best Hummingbird Feeder

What do you need to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder? There are a few key points:

A hummingbird feeder must be easy to fill. Nobody wants hummingbird nectar spilling all over their kitchen counter. This means you want a wide opening for easy pouring.

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, and what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

Important note! Don’t buy the packaged, red hummingbird food from the store. The red dye is harmful to hummingbirds, and you can make your own hummingbird food with this easy recipe.

Because hummingbird food is sugar water, it can spoil fairly quickly in the summer heat. You could end up with mold in the feeder, so your hummingbird feeder must be easy to clean. You'll need to clean the inside of the reservoir and the base, hopefully without any special tools. A wide opening on the reservoir will help with this.

To attract hummingbirds, the feeder should have red accents--either built into the feeder, or added on. This Sapphire Starburst feeder is beautiful, but it's a little harder for the birds to figure out. If you have a a hummingbird feeder without any red, you can tie a red ribbon on it to get the birds' attention.

hummingbird at feeder

Hummingbird Feeder Review

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, both the great and not-so-great.

hummingbird at red feeder

First Nature Hummingbird Feeder

This is my current favorite. The First Nature hummingbird feeder is made of plastic, and is easy to fill. The reservoir holds 32 ounces of water, which is great when you have a mob of hungry hummingbirds to feed.

The base is a solid piece (no detachable “flowers”) and is easy to clean. Do not put it in the dishwasher, but it's easy to wash by hand. Here it is in action in the backyard. Rating: A

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, and what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

Perky Pet Pinch Waist Hummingbird Feeder

The Perky Pet Pinch Waist feeder has been around since for-ev-er. My Grandma had several of them in her backyard! Perky Pet has made some improvements to Grandma’s version, though. The new model has an ant moat on the top and bee guards over the “flowers.”

The reservoir is glass, but it only holds 8 ounces of nectar. Plus the removable bee guards mean there are lots of parts to wash. Rating: B

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, and what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

Aspects HummZinger High View

I was surprised by the look of the Aspects HummZinger High View, because the reservoir is under the base. This is supposed to help you get a better view of the birds as they sit and eat.

I’ve found that when there is a territorial male defending the feeder, other hummers will hide behind the reservoir and grab a sip or two of nectar before he catches on. So this feeder, without a reservoir to hide behind, might work in a more egalitarian society. But in my yard...not so much.

This feeder is made of polycarbonate (unbreakable plastic), which is nice, but that also makes it a bit more expensive. Rating: B

hummingbird feeder

Grateful Gnome Red Mushroom Feeder

This certainly caught my eye when I was scrolling past! Grateful Gnome makes a variety of hummingbird feeders with colorful reservoirs and metal bases, like this one named Red Mushroom.

They are interesting and colorful, but the unusual shape of the reservoirs and the small opening can make them hard to clean. The metal base can get hot, so there’s a greater chance of mold growing in the base. Rating: C

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, and what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

Zummr Hummingbird Feeder Ring

Wouldn’t this be neat, if it actually worked? The idea is that you wear this Zummr Hummingbird Feeder Ring on your finger...then the hummers come up and eat out of your hand.

However! Who’s going to sit still long enough for the hummingbirds to find the feeder, get over their fears, and actually take a drink? Not me, that’s for sure.

The picture from their website was Photoshopped (you can see there’s no hummingbird in the reflection in her glasses). Nice try, but no. Rating: D

Here’s a review of the most popular hummingbird feeders, and what to look for when buying a hummingbird feeder.

What's your favorite hummingbird feeder? Any others I should try?

Read more about Hummingbirds

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Hi, I’m Pam! I created Brown Thumb Mama to share my natural living journey, and help you live a greener life. Thanks for being here, and please check out the resources in my Natural Living Shop!

2 Comments

  1. Gina Correa on July 1, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    I bought the feeder with the reservoir under the base at Wild Birds Unlimited and it’s the best for easy cleaning and filling. I have many types of nectar feeders and like this one the best. I give it an A.
    Also, your D rating for handheld feeders without you even trying it is misleading. If you want proof of it actually working take a look at Instagram accounts: hummingbirdsxoxo and _plantwhisperer. Why choose to post a photoshopped picture to even further discount it working? I bought a variety pack from Hum-fi which is the _plantwhisperer and the first day I tried it I had a female Black-chinned fly around my head and hover in front of the handheld several times. She ended up sipping from the feeder right above me. SW Idaho is hot as ever right now so I haven’t been able to sit outside to gain her trust but once it cools down I’ll be back outside.
    Lastly, I agree 100% with the comment about making sure to keep the feeders clean. Changing the nectar daily when it reaches hot temperatures is important as well. There is a chart that gives the breakdown on temperatures and how often to change it as well as the 4:1 ratio to make nectar at home. Website for info is: thebirdhousechick.com

  2. Jennifer on June 28, 2019 at 4:50 am

    I can’t read something about hummingbird feeders without telling people just how important it is to clean feeders everyday or at most every other day.
    Proper care of Hummingbird feeders takes a significant commitment on your part, so please consider this before you start. Please Note:
    If you do not follow these instructions, you could be responsible for giving Hummingbirds a serious and deadly fungus infection. This fungus condition causes their tongues to swell, making it impossible for the Hummingbird to eat. Ultimately, they die of starvation, a slow and painful death. Please do it right or don’t do it at all.

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