With a bewildering array of hummingbird feeders on the market today, it is not surprising that I am frequently asked, “What type of hummingbird feeder should I buy?”

Whenever this question is posed, I tell folks that I personally prefer feeders that are easy to clean, have perches, and feature components that are red.

I like a feeder with perches for two reasons.  While I have no data to prove it, I am of the opinion that hummingbirds seem to linger longer at a feeder that is equipped with perches. Since on an average, hummingbirds feed for one to two minutes five to eight times an hour, I want to enjoy the birds’ iridescent beauty for as long as I can.

In addition, if a feeder does not have perch, a hummingbird is forced to hover while it feeds.  Hovering requires the bird to expend more energy than any other form of movement.  As such, I want a hummingbird to use as little energy as possible while it is trying to dine on the energy-rich nectar offered at my feeder.  This is important to a creature that has an extremely high rate of metabolism.  This rate of metabolism is so high a hummingbird often consumes 50 percent of its weight in food each day.

The reason I am a fan of feeders that are easy to clean is simple–cleaning a hummingbird feeder is a chore.  If there is any way to cut down on the amount of time I have to spend keeping a feeder clean, I am all for it.

It is extremely important to keep feeders clean.  If a feeder is allowed to be contaminated with fungi and bacteria, it becomes a health hazard for the hummingbirds that use it.

With this in mind, I select feeders that are easy to disassemble and do not have hard to clean areas where bacteria and fungi are difficult to remove.

All my feeders feature some parts that are red.  Although hummingbirds will feed and flowers of varying colors, for some reason, they are drawn to red objects. This is illustrated by the fact that sometimes they will hover if front of a woman wearing red lipstick, or a person wearing a red hat.

Although some beautiful feeders will never hang in my backyard simply because they do not possess the features I am looking for, I never have a problem finding a suitable new feeder. More importantly, the hummingbird seems to love them.


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