12 TIPS for Where You Should Hang a Hummingbird Feeder!
The location of your hummingbird feeder is very important.
And here’s why:
First, where you hang your hummingbird feeders affects the number of these wonderful birds you can attract.
Second, there are places in your yard that are actually dangerous for hummingbirds. Today, you will learn the spots you should avoid to help keep your hummers safe!
And lastly, you want to make sure that feeding hummingbirds stays fun and does not become too much of a burden. Some of my favorite tips below help make it easy to keep your feeders clean and full of fresh sugar water. 🙂
I hope you enjoy this article! Please leave a COMMENT at the bottom if you have any additional ideas.
12 Tips For WHERE To Hang Your Hummingbird Feeder:
#1. Make sure the feeder is visible!
Hummingbirds locate nectar sources by SIGHT. So if they can’t SEE your nectar feeders, they won’t be visiting them.
Make sure to hang the hummingbird feeder in your yard where passing hummers will easily see it. It’s best if they can see it from multiple angles and heights.
And DON’T put hummingbird feeders in the woods or among too many trees. Hummingbirds don’t live in the forest!
#2. Don’t hang them in the middle of a barren yard!
So in Tip #1, we learned that your hummingbird feeders need to be easily seen. But you don’t want to just throw them up in the middle of a yard without any shelter, safety areas, or perching spots nearby.
From a small bird’s perspective, it’s incredibly dangerous to visit an exposed area to feed. Hummingbirds will feel way more comfortable visiting your nectar feeders if there are places nearby for them to hide.
The best places to hang a hummingbird feeder are near a flower garden, thick shrubs, or other vegetation.
The video above shows some locations of my hummingbird feeders. As you can see, it’s placed next to a fence in between some bushes and flowers!
In addition, hummingbirds spend a lot of time resting in between feeding. So having lots of perching areas where they can keep an eye on your entire yard is incredibly helpful to them.
You want to combine Tips #1 and #2 to find the best place for your hummingbird feeder. You need it to be visible to hummers, but also in a location that makes them feel safe and provides perching spots.
#3. Put hummingbird feeders near flowers!
Do you already have flowers in your yard that attract hummingbirds?
If so, I would try and put your feeders near these existing flowers. The hummingbirds are already used to visiting this area for food, so it should be easy for them to find a new source of sugar water!
And if you don’t have any hummingbird flowers growing yet, you should definitely add some! The best part about flowers is the plant does all the work. You never have to change the nectar or clean a feeder. 🙂
My favorite tip for a successful hummingbird garden is selecting flowers with a wide range of bloom times so that you can attract hummers all season long.
#4. Don’t put it too close to a bush or flower!
Ok, so you want to hang your hummingbird feeders near flowers or bushes, but you don’t want them actually touching a plant OR within a few inches.
First, if you have ever watched a hummingbird eat at a feeder, you know they like to hover around it before feeding. You need to make sure they have space to do this. If the entire feeder is surrounded and too close to vegetation, the hummers won’t have room to maneuver.
Second, believe it or not, hummingbirds are preyed upon by Praying Mantises. So if you put your feeder right next to a flower or bush, you are basically giving these predatory insects access to an easy meal!
Lastly, you don’t want ants to become a problem since they LOVE eating sugar. If the hummingbird feeder is touching a flower or leaf, you have basically built a bridge for an entire colony of ants to invade.
#5. Pay attention to the sun.
As far as the sun goes, the best place to hang a hummingbird feeder would be where it receives sunshine in the morning but then is shaded for the hot afternoon sun.
Inside your hummingbird feeder is nectar, which is a sugar solution that you make yourself in the kitchen. And the warmer that your sugar water becomes, the quicker it will ferment and spoil!
So it’s great to keep the feeders in the shade to keep the sugar water cooler. You will thank yourself when you don’t have to replace the nectar and clean the feeder every two days during the hottest part of summer. 🙂
#6. Make sure you think about your view!
I’m guessing the main reason you bought a hummingbird feeder was so that you could watch hummingbirds?
If that is correct, then make sure you have a FANTASTIC view of the feeders!
First, think about your preferred hummingbird watching spot. Will you be observing them from your kitchen windows? Or how about while sitting outside on your patio or deck?
Wherever your preferred choice happens to be, find a close area nearby that will provide excellent viewing of the visiting hummers! If you put your feeder on the side of your house where no one ever visits and you can’t see, you will never actually know if birds are visiting.
#7. Follow this rule to keep hummers safe from windows.
If you have feeders in your yard, then you know when birds randomly get scared by something, they take off quickly in different directions. Whether it is a hawk, cat, or something else perceived as a threat, the birds are trying to quickly get away to safety.
Unfortunately, these moments of panic can lead to birds flying directly into windows!
Luckily, this can be prevented by making sure you don’t place your hummingbird feeders in the “danger zone,” which is between 3 feet (1 m) and 10 feet (3 m) from your home! Here’s why this strategy helps:
If the feeding station is over 10 feet (3 m) away from your house, the hummingbirds should have time to realize they are flying towards a window when they get scared.
And if the feeders are within 3 feet (1 m), they won’t have time to build up enough momentum to harm themselves if they accidentally fly into a window.
Another way to help protect against hummingbirds crashing into a window is to put a nectar feeder DIRECTLY on the window.
Ok, I know this tip sounds a bit counterintuitive at first. But please hear me out!
Click HERE to see the window hummingbird feeder I use!
I have had a hummingbird feeder hanging off my kitchen window for many years. And I can’t recall ONE time that a bird has run into the window.
First, the feeder helps break up reflections the window causes. Second, since the hummingbirds come to the feeder for food, it seems to train them that there is a window there!
In addition, having a window hummingbird feeder is loads of fun. It’s incredible to stay still and watch them from only a few feet away! 🙂
#8. Make the feeder convenient to refill.
When you hang a hummingbird feeder, there is a bit of a commitment you have to make.
Roughly once every week, you need to take down the feeder to clean it and refill it with fresh sugar water. Otherwise, the nectar is going to ferment and become incredibly disgusting. And gross nectar will either make the hummingbirds sick, or they just won’t ever visit your feeder.
So, make your life easier by putting your hummingbird feeder somewhere super convenient to take down and clean! Here are a few tips:
- Don’t hang the feeder too high! You don’t want to have to use a ladder every time it needs to come down.
- Don’t put the hummingbird feeder too deep in a flower garden. This can easily happen in the spring BEFORE all the plants are growing. Once mid-summer arrives, and everything is growing like crazy, you may find it difficult to bushwhack your way to the feeder!
- Try to find a location just off a deck, patio, or garden path.
- The closer to the door, the better! I often think about refilling my feeder in the morning when I’m not entirely prepared to walk around the yard. It’s super convenient to just take a few steps out of my backdoor to grab and bring it inside.
#9. Do this to keep hummingbirds safe from predators!
Don’t hang your feeders too low to the ground.
If the feeder is too close to the ground, you are inviting predators, like domestic cats, to come and get an easy meal.
Luckily, this problem is easily avoided by putting it high enough in the air.
#10. Avoid windy areas!
If a side of your house or section of your yard is particularly windy, you should avoid that spot when hanging a hummingbird feeder.
The reason is that when a feeder blows excessively in the wind, it can cause the sugar water to spill out from the feeding ports.
Unfortunately, once the nectar dries, it leaves behind a sugar residue.
And guess who LOVES eating sugar?
Hornets, wasps, and bees! If you’re not careful, your hummingbird feeder can quickly turn into a “bee feeder!”
#11. Don’t put hummingbird feeders near this!
I know it’s tempting, but don’t hang your hummingbird feeders near your normal bird feeding station. You know, the one that has traditional bird feeders filled with sunflower seeds and peanuts.
Unfortunately, the hummingbirds seem to get intimidated by all the activity. Trust me on this because I have tried for YEARS to put hummingbird feeders at my main bird feeding station.
As you may know, I have live cameras in my yard that stream my feeders 24/7. Press PLAY below to watch what is currently happening at my feeding station.
Watch all my LIVE cameras on Youtube!
Almost every summer, I try putting a hummingbird feeder in the camera’s view. I think it would be awesome if we could all watch hummingbirds live!
But unfortunately, the hummingbirds have never visited my nectar feeders when it was placed along with all my other feeders. And trust me, my yard attracts LOTS of hummingbirds, but just not near where the other birds eat.
#12. Try and protect the feeder from rain.
During a heavy rainstorm, water can come through the feeding ports on your hummingbird feeder. Unfortunately, the rain can dilute the sugar water and introduce bacteria.
If possible, keep your nectar feeder sheltered and out of the rain. This location might be under part of your house or a gazebo.
But with all else being equal, I would not worry about keeping your hummingbird feeder out of the rain. The other tips take priority!
Do you have any tips for where to hang a hummingbird feeder?
If so, please leave a COMMENT below!
We hang hummingbird feeders on our balcony amidst flowers they enjoy and bird seed feeders. This year, we welcomed 2 hummers who come twice daily. However, we are also being invaded by carpenter ant that are attracted to sweetness! Ugh!
— Placing hangers at a yard space several feet away might be better, but that is not an option for us.
— Our trays have “ant guards” that we fill with water, but perhaps a bit of sugar solution spills when we hang them. Or perhaps spills if birds knock the hangers. Or perhaps the scent alone attracts the carpenter ants.
— We won’t spray or set carpenter ant baits because these can be fatal to birds.
— We will be trying a squirted Terro product specifically for carpenter ants that has a straw to define where the product goes. We will squirt it in cracks and gaps, especially around a wooden post on the balcony near the hummingbird feeders.
Additional suggestions that are safe for birds are welcome! We want to continue feeding hummingbirds and other wild birds but are dismayed by the carpenter ants!
such great information!!! I am a newby, and this really helps. thanks =)
How you managed to take this informative article and turn it into an interesting piece of writing is simply amazing to me. After reading this article iget to know more about bee feeder.
My friend had that happen and used a trail cam and believe it or not it was bats that cleaned out her feeder night after night!!
Our neighbors had bees. They could easily clean out a feeder overnight.
Do you see any damage on the feeder or spillage on the ground? Racoons or squirrels are a possibility. Good luck figuring out the mystery.
Raccoons and/or squirrels are likely culprits.
Just a reminder: Don’t put the hummingbird feeder on a ‘flat’ surface. I didn’t get a chain or hanger with my gifted feeder, so I placed it temporarily on a rain barrel. This morning I found a tiny hummingbird struggling on top of the barrel! Some sugar-water had leaked out overnight and thickened into glue! Luckily it was noticed in time and the bird was freed using a bit of gently warm water! Best to hang the feeders!
A nice article RUINED by all the ads surrounding the article from top, sides, bottom and middle as you scroll. I absolutely hate that and usually don’t bother reading these type of articles. If I was rating this, it would be a 5 for article and 0 ZERO for layout. The only reason I read this is I love hummingbirds and some of my photos have made Birds and Blooms magazine.
Hello Jack. I’m sorry for the ads. I really don’t like them either, but unfortunately, they are a neccesity to keep the site free. Writing on Bird Watching HQ is my full time job. I can either make it a subscription site or free, and for now, I’d like to keep it free and deal with the ads. I’m glad you at least thought the content was beneficial!
How far from other bird feeders is “far enough?” 6-8 feet? More?
Gregg, I would try to separate them a bit more if possible, but there is no rule. See what works in your own yard and if the hummingbirds seem scared.
I love all these tips. But I have one question, what could be cleaning the nectar out of my feeders literally overnight? I have never had this happen before.