leaking hummingbird feeders ... !!

vieja_gwAugust 25, 2010

I have a handful of plastic hummingbird feeders both with plastic & with glass tops and I have yet to find one that doesn't LEAK!!! Both the ones with the holes on top of the resevoir (No perch)& those with the feeders on the side of the resevoir both with & without a perch must leak as I fill it & within the day it is empty (no, there are not THAT many patrons to the 'dinner table'!). I have sealed all the areas where the two feeder sections meet so doubt it leaks there but just maybe the leaks come from the feeding holes? OK, they are not fancy $$ feeders but I hate to buy any more $$ or fancy glass ones until I can figure out where

the leaks occur( the bottom always seems dry when I go out & touch it).

Also I rarely (or ever!) see more than one hummer at the feeder as if another comes while one is feeding they get into an aerial battle til the intruder is chased away. Is this common? Sure antisocial critters! Fun to see the gymnastics when the finches & sparrows try to take a sip without falling though!!

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bob414

I have had leaks in several models where the fluid is higher than the feeder ports. I have never had a leak in a Hummzinger type feeder and I have both Oriole and Hummingbird feeders of that type.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2010 at 7:59PM
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starlinka

This one doesn't leak, you can buy this feeder for $5 at Walmart.

Here is a link that might be useful: First Nature 16 oz Hummingbird Feeder

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 6:15AM
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dzyg

I have two of the $5 Walmart ones (that Sarlinka posted)and I love them! No leaking here either. In fact one has been dropped three times and still doesn't leak, nor did it break! They are easy to open and clean too.

Donna

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 8:51AM
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donald lucius

i have on of the walmart ones too but a bear pulled the feeder down last week and the bottom is missing now.
Also have one of the hummzingers too but the holes or ports are the same color as the base and the birds were not useing it. so i got a couple little crafts bottles of emanel paint and painted flower petals around the holes and they are useing it now. the one most of the birds both orioles and hummingbirds like best are the orange base oriole feeder with orange slice decorations around the holes and the perches of clear plastic.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 10:42AM
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vieja_gw

bob414: thanks for the info. on that feeder design but am a bit confused about the Humzinger feeders... the resevoir is at the bottom of the feeder- so how do the hummers reach the nectar when the nectar level goes down? Or is the resevoir shallow enough that the hummer's beak can reach the bottom?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:24AM
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donald lucius

on my hummzinger the resevoir is probably only a little over an inch deep and most hummingbirds bills are an inch 1/2 to 2 inches long. the canter fruit or jelly cup is surrounded by a almost flat surface and the birds stand on it to eat and poop sticks on the lid so i have to wash it off regularly but mostly just take the lid off and spray it with a garden hose but i do take all my feeders down on a rotational basis and soak them in a bucket of water with a little bleach in it. I check the trrift stores or yard sales and pick up extra feeders cheap if i find them and always have a spare one or two on hang.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 11:48AM
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donald lucius

i ran out to the back yard and meassured mine just now and the resevoir is 1 1/4 inches deep and holds 2 cups or 16 oz of liquid. you can just lift the lid up and pour more in without taking the feeder down or taking it apart.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:00PM
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vieja_gw

dklucius: Thanks! I had wondered about the depth of that feeder & how often one would have to refill it but 16 oz. should last longer than my 'leaky' ones do & shallow enough for the hummers to suck to the bottom!!

I had also wondered which the hummers preferred: drinking while hovering or standing while drinking but if on your's they can rest while snacking it seems to me to be preferable! The ones x WalMart are easy to fill (nothing for the hummers to stand on though) with a wide mouth reservoir but I found it leaked around the rim where the two red plastic sections joined & despite my placing a ring of glue around that ring area it seemed to still ooze a bit. Too, it seemed I could see fluid coming out of the drinking holes on the top ledge.. due to the reservoir being on top? Maybe I just got a couple of defective feeders! I will try to find one of those humzingers here locally & try one!
Do hummers prefer to 'sit down for dinner' or 'eat on the fly'?!... was curious.

Thanks for everyone's input!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:28PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Don't be too sure that the hummers are not draining your feeder. Ours empty out quickly this time of the year when the hummingbirds are fueling up for the migration south.

However I believe that high winds occasionally blow some of the nectar from our feeders as well.

It's important to take down your feeders and rinse them out and refill every 3 days, and to soak them in a chlorine bleach solution for 1/2 hour once a week, to prevent mildew. So I wouldn't worry if the level of fluid goes down. Just think of it as a reminder to clean and refill the feeders.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 12:41PM
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donald lucius

one litle rufous hummingbird always perches and sits there for minutes at a time sipping till he get his fill. then he lands on a branch above and thinks its his duty to chase off anymore that come around. but most of them eat on the fly hovering. but my orioles and tanagers both prefer to perch or hang and all the birds share the feeders so one ones without perches i either glued or screwed on strips of plastic to make perches on them,
i also have a one like yours with a snap on bottom base and it was also seeping between the two pieces. I snapped it apart and coated both lips with super glue and snapped it back together and then painted the seam with an eyebrow brush with another coat of glue and so far has quit seeping.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 1:44PM
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wakechick

i feel your pain but i found this one and it does not link

Here is a link that might be useful: non leaky hummingbird feeder!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 3:56PM
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bob414

The only hummers I get are Anna's. They have long tongues and I think could easily reach nectar 2" deep. Some day I'm going to get a video clip of one drinking. It's fun watch through the side of the feeder and see the action of their tongue while they are feeding.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 5:14PM
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bob414

When the hummers use the feeder that the Oriole is on in the picture they hover. I've never seen one sit on it. The Hooded Orioles (also Bullock's) drank the nectar but never the oranges or grape jelly that I put in the depressions made for that on the lid of this feeder. Another thing I like about these feeders is that you can put them in the top shelf of the diswasher to clean them.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2010 at 5:23PM
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janie_lynn

I stopped using plastic long ago and switched to glass. I've read that some of the plastic in the feeders may contain BPA which contaminates the nectar and is harmful to the birds.

I have found some really pretty ones on sale at Kohl's and some nice ones online, too. The birds love 'em and so do I.

Here is a link that might be useful: hummingbird feeders

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 9:32AM
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bob414

They are pretty. How do you clean them?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 10:41AM
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chris8796

Males will claim a feeder and chase off others. Their energy requirements are so high, its more efficient to protect a good food source than constantly search for sources. They will also do this with high energy flowers sources, which are mostly in the tropics. They claim an area that produces 2-5 times their needs. There has been research the shows mating success is related to the quality of the food resources the male controls.

One year, I had a smart female that would come to the feeder when I was replenishing the other feeders. She wasn't afraid of me, but the male was, so she would get a drink while he was frantic about 5-10 feet away.

There is a place in Costa Rica that has about 100 Hummingbird feeders each about 10 feet apart. Each one has a male protector and they spend all day flying in circles protecting it for the others.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 3:14PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

I have two plastic hummingbird feeders; one made by Droll Yankees and one by Audubon.

The instructions that came with the Droll Yankees feeder say:

"A hummingbird's tongue is roughly twice the length of its beak. It licks the nectar. (Approximately 13 licks per second!) You might see its beak and think that it can't reach the nectar in the bottom of the feeder. Look closely with binoculars to see the tongue."

Also, one feeder states a capacity of 10 ounces and the other 12 ounces. Neither amount fills the feeder to the rim so I don't think they are designed to be filled up to the rim.

Bottom line, it seems to me, is that you don't need to fill the feeder that full - the hummingbirds will sip the nectar just fine.

Claire

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 5:58PM
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sunburned

I use hummzingers and have the little caps that keep the bees from draining it but the hummers can still enjoy. How late do we continue to put out food?

I live near St. Louis, and I have tried putting out fruit for any birds that would eat it oranges, apples stay till they are leather like. Am I in wrong area for those birds?

What birds eat grape jelly and I have heard it it different from our grape jelly. Thanks

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 8:06AM
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donald lucius

here anyway the orioles and tanagers eat the fruit best
oranges and watermelon and apples. But the woodpeckers and grosbeaks do eat some. I use the regular grape jelly from the grocery store both the store brands and welch's jelly.
I had several jars of homemade apricot jam in the pantry from last year and tried it and the birds enjoyed it.
My orioles and tanagers have already left for the year headed south but the grosbeaks are still here and eat raisens and jelly the hummingbirds here leave out in september when it started frosting at night. I take down my necter feeders by the last of september. I was lucky this spring to have a pair of Lewis's woodpeckers fledge 4
young woodpeckers and they loved the jelly and watermelon
and really devored the homemade woodpeker blocks made with sorgum and nuts and rasens and fruit bits. They have left
recently but hope to see them in the spring. Our seasons here change earlier because of the higher elevations and mountains so we are probably way ahead of you in cool weather and frosts. which starts the summer birds on their way south.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 10:55AM
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