Watching hummingbirds is one of my favorite past times. Not only do we have a lot of plants that the birds can feed from, but we also hang up several feeders. There are many different types of hummingbird feeders available. The best ones are easy to clean, easy to fill, and are sturdy enough to last several years. I have reviewed four popular feeders, providing the pros and cons of each.
I have owned and used each of these feeders for four years now. I no longer have the Four-Flower Frolic Feeder as I was unable to keep it clean and thus disposed of it.
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Aspects HummZinger Excel Hummingbird Feeder
Although this feeder is all plastic, it’s pretty sturdy. We’ve had two that have lasted four years so far. They do discolor after years spent in direct sun.
You can hang it on the supplied brass hook that simply screws into the center of the built-in ant moat, or you can mount it on a post. It does not come with a post. You can use a 5/8″ wooden dowel or 1/2″ copper tubing. I suspect mounting it on a post would circumvent the ant moat.
The feeder has 6 feeding spots and a circular perch that surrounds the reservoir. The ant moat in the center of the feeder isn’t very big, so you’ll have to keep adding water to it during the hot summer months. However, it’s nice to have a built-in moat.
The lid easily pops off of the reservoir, making it easy to clean both reservoir inside and out and lid. You will need to carefully clean out the holes that the hummingbirds feed from.
The only negative of this feeder seems to be that it can get unbalanced if there isn’t much liquid in it, making it lean to one side or the other. That means hummingbirds might not be able to feed from all ports. This is largely a problem on this style of feeder in the large capacity reservoirs.
Price is also a factor on this feeder, but since it is built to last, it is a decent investment. If you’d like to purchase this feeder, click here:
Best-1 Hummingbird Feeder
I really like this feeder because it comes with a way to order parts as needed.We have an old one (about 6 years old) that the foot perch just broke off of. I’ll be ordering a new part in order to keep the feeder.
The maker has added some improvements to this hummingbird feeder. It’s a lot sturdier than it used to be. They have increased the thickness of the plastic perch and also made it easier to remove the lid from the perch (it used to take a knife to pry it off). They have improved its ease of use considerably.
While it’s a little challenging to get a cleaning brush into the mouth of the glass reservoir, you can do it. Because of the width of the mouth of the reservoir, it’s a little bit more difficult to clean it. However, the lid pops off of the plastic reservoir quite easily, making it a cinch to clean the inside and out side parts of the feeder.
As with anything glass, if it falls on concrete, it may break. The glass is pretty thick though, so in many situations on bare ground, it should be fine.
The feeder has 8 feeding stations and the feeder holds up to 8 oz. I don’t recommend filling it up the whole way as unused food will begin to mold (especially in hot weather, in the sun). You only want to add as much food as the birds will eat in about a week, maximum. You will need to use a measuring cup with a spout or a funnel to fill the reservoir.
This brand advertises that it is bee and wasp proof. I’m not sure what they mean by this. I haven’t seen bees or wasps get into the glass reservoir, but they definitely drink from the feeding holes.
After a long period of time, the red plastic will fade after long-term use in direct sunlight. The landing circles on the base of the feeder (adjacent to the holes) is much sturdier than that found on the Dr. JB’s Feeder and has lasted me for 5 years so far without breaking off.
Four-Flower Frolic Hummingbird Feeder
While this is a popular model sold at many local garden stores, it’s my least favorite of the four. Mainly because this feeder is hard to clean. The plastic yellow bee-guard “grates” that protect the feeding holes are prone to growing mold and impossible to get a brush in to clean it. The nooks and crannies created by the extruding flowers also provide places for mold and bacteria to grow.
In addition, the glass reservoir also has a mouth that is way too small for most bottle brushes. My other complaint is that the plastic parts are pretty fragile. The perches will easily snap off and the yellow grates pop off readily.
This feeder has four perches and can hold up to 8 ounces of nectar. You will need to use a measuring cup with a spout or a funnel to fill the reservoir.
I suspect the red plastic will fade with time, but I have not had one long enough to know for sure. I abandoned one of these feeders last year because I simply could not get it clean.
Dr. JB’s Clean Hummingbird Feeder
Of the four hummingbird feeders I have reviewed, this is my favorite. It has a very large mouth on the glass reservoir, making it very easy to clean and to fill. Finally – no sticky sugar water spills out when I’m filling a hummingbird feeder.
The plastic reservoir is very sturdy and is held in to place when the glass reservoir is screwed in. You will need to pop the two plastic parts apart when ready to clean. Simply push the inner part of the base downward, and it will release from the top. Be careful not to hold on to the perch that encircles the base of the feeder when doing so.
This feeder holds up to 16 ounces of nectar, but you will probably not need to put that much in at one time. It has four ports and a perch for your hummingbirds.
Although it says that you can clean this feeder in the dishwasher, if your dishwasher is like mine and has a rinse (JetDry) feature, this is not advised. You should also rinse the feeder very well before refilling to remove any residue. If you’re like me and just find putting something that birds use in with your dishes distasteful anyway, hand cleaning is the way to go.
I also like the sturdy hanger at the top of the feeder as well. This makes it easy to remove and put back on a hook. I am excited to get this feeder, as I’ve never had one before. It’s ease to clean and fill is what I am happy about.
The one problem I have discovered with the JB’s Hummingbird Feeder after several years, is that the red landing circle (adjacent to the holes) is somewhat flimsy and may break off. I have had one feeder that this has happened to thus far after 3 years of owning the feeder.
Ranked Hummingbird FeedersRated on a scale of 1 to 10, these are my personal opinions
Purchase one of these feeders by clicking a link below:
I avoid all decorative glass flower feeders or other oddly-shaped feeders. While they look pretty, the glass flowers and parts are very hard to get completely clean. Additionally, small glass components break easily. When looking at feeders, think easy to clean, easy to fill, and long-lasting.
Hummingbird Food Recipe
Mix one cup of white sugar to four cups of water (not brown sugar or honey!). Place it in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow it to completely cool before filling your feeders. Fill the feeder up for a couple of days use.
Put the remaining amount in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be sure to let it warm up to room temperature before putting it our for your hummingbirds. No red food coloring is necessary!
Keep an eye on the hummingbird feeder in hot weather, when it starts to cloud up, it is time to change the food. You don’t want your hummingbirds to eat moldy liquid.
Cleaning Your Hummingbird Feeders
Keeping your feeders clean and free of mold will help keep your hummingbirds healthy and prevent disease from spreading. If your feeder is in a bright, sunny spot, you’ll need to clean it more frequently (but you’re more likely to get birds too). For a cleaning solution, Audubon recommends one part white vinegar to four parts water about once a week. Cleaning out the reservoir with a bottle brush will remove any mold in the reservoir. Use pipe cleaners or a small specialized brush (available at most birding stores) to clean out the holes from which the birds feed. Scrub away any mold or crystallized sugar. Rinse really well and let dry before putting fresh feed back into it.
Here’s a link to purchase the bottle brush:
If you’re looking for those tiny brushes to clean out the feeder ports, you can buy a three-pack here:
Droll Yankees Perfect Little Brushes
How to Keep Ants Out of Your Hummingbird Feeders
Ants often climb into hummingbird feeders and die, causing mold and fungus in the feeder, or just making your feeder leak. Keeping ants out of the feeder is the best way to avoid this. We bought some really cool water reservoirs or moats that keep ants from reaching the feeder. The moat is hung between the feeder and the hook it hangs on. Ants can not cross the water and thus never reach the feeder. Just make sure you keep water in it. I am pretty sure that you can build one yourself (out of an old liter soda bottle). The birds may also drink out of this for fresh water, so keep an eye on it too, and change the water when needed. If you want to buy one already made, check this link out
Super Big Nectar Ant Guard
NOTES: There are affiliate links on this page. I love writing about birds, backyard habitat and gardening and these links help support my time doing so (although it’s definitely more of a hobby for me). I did NOT get paid to review these feeders, this information is based on my own experience and preferences. Please read my disclosure page.