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Bird Feature: Allen's Hummingbird

Bird Feature: Allen's Hummingbird

Identifying Allen's Hummingbirds:

Allen's hummingbirds are rust orange and green all over. Adult males have a rust colored tail, eye patch and belly with a deep red-orange throat. Immature males and females have similar coloring with only small spots of iridescent bronze on their throats.

male allens hummingbird female allens hummingbird

Left: male. Right: female.

Similar Species:

Both Allen's hummingbirds and Rufous hummingbirds share many of the same physical characteristics and can be extremely hard to distinguish in the field, even by experienced birders. The only true way to decipher between these species is by subtle differences in the shape of their tail feathers. In the Allen's hummingbirds, all tail feathers are narrower than their Rufous counterpart. The Rufous hummingbird has a subtle but distinct notch at the top of the R2 feather (second from center). 

Where Allen's Hummingbirds Live:

When the earliest signs of spring begin to show, as early as January, Allen's hummingbirds make their appearance in their breeding grounds along the western coast of California and Oregon. Males can be found in open areas of coastal scrub where they can be seen perched conspicuously keeping a close watch on their territory. The females visit these areas to find a mate but will retreat into the forest or thickets to build her nest and raise the young. There are two subspecies of Allen's hummingbirds; one which stays in California year-round and a second which migrates to Mexico during the winter months. These two subspecies are not distinguishable in the field. 

What Hummingbirds Eat:

Allen's hummingbirds feed on nectar from tubular flowers and insects which they catch during flight or may even pull from spider webs or plants. Hummingbirds will also readily consume artificial nectar from hummingbird feeders. Nectar can be made using a ratio of 1 cup white sugar to 4 cups water. The use of dye or food coloring in artificial nectar is not necessary for attracting hummingbirds to a feeder and is not recommended due to the sensitive nature of these tiny birds.

How to Attract Allen's Hummingbirds to Your Feeder:

Placing feeders near flower beds or planters may help attract more
hummingbirds to your feeder. For the best chance of hummingbirds discovering your feeder, it is recommended to have it up and ready before they return from their winter migration. Be sure to research the migratory pattern of hummingbirds in your area to make sure you haven’t put your feeder out too late, since this can cause them to overlook it later in the season. Feeders with built in perches can help these tiny birds conserve energy and feel more comfortable feeding, prolonging feeding times and increasing hummingbird viewing. 

allens hummingbird at hummingbird feeder

Nesting:

Constructed from plant down from willows and plants in the sunflower family and held together using spiderweb strands, female Allen's hummingbirds build their nests anywhere from 2 to 50 feet off the ground. Nests are usually located on a branch near shady streams. Small strands of grass are woven together to form an outer layer which is camouflaged with pieces of lichen and moss. 

A clutch size is typically 2-3 eggs that are roughly 0.3 inches wide and 0.5 inches in length. The tiny eggs are white and weigh less than half a gram. Eggs hatch in 17 to 22 days and will fledge the nest after an additional 22 to 25 days. There can be 1 to 3 broods per year depending on weather and location.

Related Articles:

Are you ready for hummingbird season?

Common hummingbird feeders and solutions

Homemade hummingbird nectar recipe

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Bird Feature: Black-chinned Hummingbird

Bird Feature: Black-chinned Hummingbird

Identifying Black-chinned Hummingbirds:

These quick little birds are a dull metallic green on the back of the head down to the tail. While both male and female have a grey-white underside, only the males have a very distinct black patch on their throat. The shape and size of the patch can vary from bird to bird, with a thin iridescent purple strip at the base, sometimes unnoticeable until catching the light.

male black chinned hummingbird female black chinned hummingbird

Left: male . Right: female. [Photo credits to: Joan Gellatly | Flickr & ©Marky Mutchler | Macaulay Library]

Where Black-chinned Hummingbirds Live:

These hummingbirds inhabit the Western United States during breeding season. They can be found in Texas, New Mexico, parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana and West to the Pacific Coast. They have even been found to travel as far North as the southern part of British Columbia. After the breeding season, some adults will first move to higher altitude mountain habitats where flowers are still abundant because making the long migration south to winter in western Mexico.

What Hummingbirds Eat:

Black-chinned hummingbirds feed on nectar from tubular flowers and insects which they catch during flight or may even pull from spider webs or plants. Hummingbirds will also readily consume artificial nectar from hummingbird feeders. Nectar can be made using a ratio of 1 cup white sugar to 4 cups water. The use of dye or food coloring in artificial nectar is not necessary for attracting hummingbirds to a feeder and is not recommended due to the sensitive nature of these tiny birds.

How to Attract Black-chinned Hummingbirds to Your Feeder:

Placing feeders near flower beds or planters may help attract more
hummingbirds to your feeder. For the best chance of hummingbirds discovering your feeder, it is recommended to have it up and ready before they return from their winter migration. Be sure to research the migratory pattern of hummingbirds in your area to make sure you haven’t put your feeder out too late, since this can cause them to overlook it later in the season. Feeders with built in perches can help these tiny birds conserve energy and feel more comfortable feeding, prolonging feeding times and increasing hummingbird viewing.

black chinned hummingbird at hummingbird feeder

Product shown: Mason Jar Hummingbird Feeder (Model# MJF1)

Nesting:

Most nests are typically located between 6 to 12 feet above the ground on an exposed horizontal branch well below the canopy. Roughly the size of a large thimble (1 inch deep and 2 inches wide), the female builds the nest out of soft down held together with strands of spider silk and cocoon fibers. Nests in cooler areas will typically have thicker walls than those found in warmer climates.

A clutch size is typically 2 eggs that are roughly 0.3 inches wide and 0.5 inches in length. The tiny eggs are white and weigh less than half a gram. Eggs hatch in 12 to 16 days and will fledge the nest after an additional 21 days. Black-chinned hummingbirds can have between 1 to 3 broods per season depending on the weather and breeding location.

Related Articles:

Are you ready for hummingbird season?

Common hummingbird feeders and solutions

Homemade hummingbird nectar recipe

Read more →

Bird Feature: Anna's Hummingbird

Bird Feature: Anna's Hummingbird

Identifying Anna's Hummingbirds:

At just under 4 inches in length, Anna's hummingbirds are small in comparison to other birds but in the hummingbird realm they are medium-sized and somewhat stocky. Mostly pale gray on the underside with an iridescent emerald green back, tail, and wings (sometimes also extended around the abdomen), the Anna's hummingbird is distinguishable from the Rufous hummingbird because it lacks any orange or rust-colored markings. While sometimes appearing a dull brown without direct sunlight, the male's face and throat are covered with brilliantly colored fuchsia feathers.

annas hummingbird annas hummingbirds at hummingbird feeder

Left: male. Right: females.

Where Anna's Hummingbirds Live:

These dazzling jewels can be found year-round along the western coast of the US and into Arizona. Occasionally Anna's hummingbirds can be seen in parts of New Mexico in winter months and in rare occasions they can be sighted north along the very coastal western strip of Canada.

What Hummingbirds Eat:

Anna's hummingbirds feed on nectar from tubular flowers, insects which they catch during flight or may even pull from spider webs, and sometimes tree sap. Hummingbirds will also readily consume artificial nectar from hummingbird feeders. Nectar can be made using a ratio of 1 cup white sugar to 4 cups water. The use of dye or food coloring in artificial nectar is not necessary for attracting hummingbirds to a feeder and is not recommended due to the sensitive nature of these tiny birds.

How to Attract Anna's Hummingbirds to Your Feeder:

Placing feeders near flower beds or planters may help attract more
hummingbirds to your feeder. For the best chance of hummingbirds discovering your feeder, it is recommended to have it up and ready before they return from their winter migration. Be sure to research the migratory pattern of hummingbirds in your area to make sure you haven’t put your feeder out too late, since this can cause them to overlook it later in the season. Feeders with built in perches can help these tiny birds conserve energy and feel more comfortable feeding, prolonging feeding times and increasing hummingbird viewing.

anna's hummingbirds feeding from the Nature's Way Vintage Blossom Decorative Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Product shown: Vintage Blossom Decorative Glass Hummingbird Feeder (Model# DGHF3)

Nesting:

Nests are typically built on a horizontal branch of a tree or shrub between 6-20 feet off the ground close to a nectar source. Roughly the size of a large thimble (1 inch deep and 1.5 inches wide), the female constructs the nest over the course of roughly a week using plant down held together with strands of spider silk and camouflages the exterior of the nest with lichen or moss. 

A typical clutch contains 2 eggs that are roughly 0.3 inches wide and 0.5 inches in length. The tiny eggs are white and weigh less than half a gram. Eggs hatch in about 16 days and will fledge the nest after an additional 20 days. Anna's hummingbirds will typically have 2-3 broods per year.

Related Articles:

Are you ready for hummingbird season?

Common hummingbird feeders and solutions

Homemade hummingbird nectar recipe

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Bird Feature: Rufous Hummingbird

Bird Feature: Rufous Hummingbird

Identifying Rufous Hummingbirds:

These small hummingbirds are roughly 2.8-3.5 inches in length and have fairly straight bills and short wings that don't reach the end of the tapered tail when perched. Male Rufous hummingbirds are fiery orange in good light with a bright iridescent red throat. Females are green on their backs with rust colored feathers on their flanks, tail, and often a small patch of orange on the throat as well. Both male and female Rufous hummingbirds are aggressive and can typically be found performing aerial launches to chase off any other hummingbirds that appear, even in areas where they're spending only a short amount of time passing through for migration.

male rufous hummingbird female rufous hummingbird

Left: male. Right: female.

Similar Species:

Both Allen's hummingbirds and Rufous hummingbirds share many of the same physical characteristics and can be extremely hard to distinguish in the field, even by experienced birders. The only true way to decipher between these species is by subtle differences in the shape of their tail feathers. In the Allen's hummingbirds, all tail feathers are narrower than their Rufous counterpart. The Rufous hummingbird has a subtle but distinct notch at the top of the R2 feather (second from center). 

Where Rufous Hummingbirds Live:

During summer breeding season this particular species of hummingbird resides mainly in the Pacific Northwest into the Southwestern strip of Canada in open or shrubby areas of forest openings, yards, and parks, and can also sometimes be found in thickets, swamps, and meadows ranging from sea level to about 6,000 feet. When in their wintering grounds in Mexico, these hummingbirds are found between 7,500 to 10,000 feet elevation in shrubby areas and thorn forests. These birds can also often be found in the Southwestern portion of the United States on their migratory path to Mexico although only for a short period of time while passing through.

What Hummingbirds Eat:

Rufous hummingbirds feed on nectar from tubular flowers and insects which they catch during flight or may even pull from spider webs or plants. Hummingbirds will also readily consume artificial nectar from hummingbird feeders. Nectar can be made using a ratio of 1 cup white sugar to 4 cups water. The use of dye or food coloring in artificial nectar is not necessary for attracting hummingbirds to a feeder and is not recommended due to the sensitive nature of these tiny birds.

How to Attract Rufous  Hummingbirds to Your Feeder:

Placing feeders near flower beds or planters may help attract more
hummingbirds to your feeder. For the best chance of hummingbirds discovering your feeder, it is recommended to have it up and ready before they return from their winter migration. Be sure to research the migratory pattern of hummingbirds in your area to make sure you haven’t put your feeder out too late, since this can cause them to overlook it later in the season. Feeders with built in perches can help these tiny birds conserve energy and feel more comfortable feeding, prolonging feeding times and increasing hummingbird viewing. 

Nesting:

Wasting no time, female Rufous hummingbirds begin constructing their nests within 3 days of arriving at the breeding grounds. Nests are typically located in large deciduous or coniferous trees roughly 30 feet in the air. Roughly the size of a large thimble (1 inch deep and 2 inches wide), the female builds the nest out of soft down held together with strands of spider silk and sometimes pine resin and camouflages the exterior of the nest with lichen or moss. 

A typical clutch size is typically 2-3 eggs that are roughly 0.3 inches wide and 0.5 inches in length. The tiny eggs are white and weigh less than half a gram. Eggs hatch in 15 to 17 days and will fledge the nest after an additional 15 to 19 days.

Related Articles:

Are you ready for hummingbird season?

Common hummingbird feeders and solutions

Homemade hummingbird nectar recipe

Read more →

Bird Feature: Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Bird Feature: Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Identifying Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds:

Beating their wings on average 53 times per second, these quick little birds are a bright emerald green on the back of the head down to the tail. While both male and female have a grey-white underside, only the males have a very distinct ruby red patch on their throat. The shade of red and size of the patch can vary from bird to bird, with the feathers sometimes appearing very dark until catching the light.

male ruby throated hummingbird female ruby throated hummingbird
Left: male. Right: female.

Where Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds Live:

This particular species of hummingbird lives in forest edges, meadows, grasslands, open woodlands, and in gardens, parks, and backyards. During the summer months of breeding season these birds can be found across the Eastern half of the United States and the southern portion of Canada. This is the only species of hummingbird found in the Eastern United States. Despite their small stature, most of these little birds make the amazing trek all the way to southern Mexico for winter months, while a small number may remain in the southern most tip of Florida.

What Hummingbirds Eat:

Ruby-throated hummingbirds feed on nectar from tubular flowers, insects which they catch during flight or may even pull from spider webs, and sometimes tree sap. Hummingbirds will also readily consume artificial nectar from hummingbird feeders. Nectar can be made using a ratio of 1 cup white sugar to 4 cups water. The use of dye or food coloring in artificial nectar is not necessary for attracting hummingbirds to a feeder and is not recommended due to the sensitive nature of these tiny birds.

How to Attract Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds to Your Feeder:

Placing feeders near flower beds or planters may help attract more
hummingbirds to your feeder. For the best chance of hummingbirds discovering your feeder, it is recommended to have it up and ready before they return from their winter migration. Be sure to research the migratory pattern of hummingbirds in your area to make sure you haven’t put your feeder out too late, since this can cause them to overlook it later in the season. Feeders with built in perches can help these tiny birds conserve energy and feel more comfortable feeding, prolonging feeding times and increasing hummingbird viewing.

ruby throated hummingbirds at Nature's Way Illuminated Hummingbird Feeder

Nesting:

Nests are typically built on a slender branch between 10-40 feet off the ground but have also been found in more surprising locations such as wire, loops of chains, and extension cords. Roughly the size of a large thimble (1 inch deep and 2 inches wide), the female builds the nest out of thistle or dandelion down held together with strands of spider silk and sometimes pine resin and camouflages the exterior of the nest with lichen or moss. 

A typical clutch size can range from 1-3 eggs that are roughly 0.3 inches wide and 0.5 inches in length. The tiny eggs are white and weigh less than half a gram. Eggs hatch in roughly two weeks and will fledge the nest after an additional 18-22 days.

Related Articles:

Are you ready for hummingbird season?

Common hummingbird feeders and solutions

Homemade hummingbird nectar recipe

Read more →

Hummingbird Feeder Selector

Hummingbird Feeder Selector

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NATURE’S WAY BIRD PRODUCTS SUPPORTS FIGHT AGAINST CHILDHOOD CANCER WITH NEW HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER

NATURE’S WAY BIRD PRODUCTS SUPPORTS FIGHT AGAINST CHILDHOOD CANCER WITH NEW HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER

Advanced bird products company donates portion of proceeds to childhood cancer fundraising foundation to help cure childhood cancer

September 1, 2021 (CLEVELAND) – Having a child with cancer is one of the most painful and difficult situations a family can face. To support children and families affected by childhood cancer, Nature’s Way Bird Products is donating a portion of the proceeds from their new Hummingbird Lemonade Stand feeder to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, a pediatric cancer non-profit organization.

Nature’s Way, a manufacturer of wild bird products, has revealed a new hummingbird feeder with bright lemonade-inspired patterns and colors. Along with its sweet design, this feeder features a built-in continuous perching ring, lifelike flower feeding ports and an ant moat cap. All feeder parts are removable for a complete cleaning, extending the life of the feeder and keeping the hummingbirds healthy.

“Our family at Nature’s Way is inspired by the courage of childhood cancer heroes,” said Cristin Smith, Director of Product Development and Marketing at Nature’s Way. “As a family-owned and operated small business personally affected by cancer, we felt it our duty to offer our support to others in similar situations. Through this simple gesture of creating the Hummingbird Lemonade Stand feeder and launching during National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we can provide another way to raise awareness for childhood cancer support. We hope our ongoing donation helps these children and their families during a really challenging time.”

The Hummingbird Lemonade Stand feeder will be available on natureswaybirds.com and at select retailers beginning 9/1/2021.

ABOUT NATURE’S WAY BIRD PRODUCTS

Established in 2011, Nature’s Way Bird Products engineers and manufactures advanced bird products with superior quality components and innovative designs. Through a dedicated and extensive network of local dealers and global retailers, Nature’s Way delivers a full line of products to enhance the backyard birding experience including bird feeders, birdhouses, bat houses, insect houses and more. Based in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Nature’s Way is committed to bringing wildlife back to your yard in a sustainable, enriching, and enjoyable way – just like nature intended! For more information, visit natureswaybirds.com.

ABOUT ALEX’S LEMONADE STAND FOUNDATION

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of 4-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Scott, who was fighting cancer and wanted to raise money to find cures for all children with cancer. Her spirit and determination inspired others to support her cause, and when she passed away at the age of 8, she had raised $1 million. Since then, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement. Today, ALSF is one of the leading funders of pediatric cancer research in the U.S. and Canada raising more than $200 million so far, funding over 1,000 research projects and providing programs to families affected by childhood cancer. For more information, visit AlexsLemonade.org.

Read more →

What colors are hummingbirds attracted to?

What colors are hummingbirds attracted to?

With their iridescent feathers and shimmering wings, hummingbirds bring quick bursts of color into our backyards! Many of us look for brightly colored flowers and feeders when trying to attract hummingbirds. Color can help birds remember food sources, signal danger and even find a mate. But what colors are hummingbirds actually attracted to?

Seeing red

As you look for an attractive hummingbird feeder, chances are you’ll find an abundance of red, red and more red! Why do hummingbirds seem to gravitate towards this fiery color? Researchers have studied to find the answer to this tricky question.

hummingbird at red flowers

Hummingbird vision

To understand how hummingbirds perceive color, it’s helpful to first think about the color spectrum humans are capable of seeing. Humans have three types of color cones – red, green and blue, allowing us to see all the colors of the rainbow (spectral hues). Nonspectral hues are considered colors seen outside of the rainbow. For example, we can perceive the color purple because it stimulates our red and blue color cones simultaneously.

Hummingbirds have four color cone types in their eyes, creating color possibilities that we can only dream of! Hummingbirds are able to see a variety of nonspectral colors in near UV, including UV+red, UV+green, UV+yellow and purple. And while research has shown that hummingbirds have a heightened sensitivity to the red and yellow end of the color spectrum, they’re also attracted to many more colors that humans can only imagine - so don't let that limit your feeder choices!

Expand your color palette

Now that you understand the range of hues that hummingbirds can see, don’t be afraid to try out new colors and types of feeders that will both attract the birds and beautify your backyard. We have a wide variety of bright and bold styles of handblown glass feeders in reds, pinks or blues, like the Artisan Gravity Hummingbird Feeder - Sunny Day or our best-selling Illuminated Hummingbird Feeder with a solar-powered LED light.

Or give our So Real Series a try, with realistic flowers in oranges and reds, like the So Real Mini 3D Hummingbird Feeder, or pinks, and purples, like the So Real Gravity Hummingbird Feeder - Pink Fuchsia.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a traditional red hummingbird feeder! Our Traditional Window Hummingbird Feeder will mount right onto your window for the closest hummingbird viewing. Or a Traditional Gravity Hummingbird Feeder might be just what you’re looking for.

hummingbird feeder  hummingbird perched on hummingbird feeder  hummingbird at red window feeder

  

It’s all about the nectar

More important than the color of the feeder is what’s inside of it. Be sure to reward the hummingbirds with sweet homemade nectar and soon you’ll be enjoying regular visits from your feathered friends!

Read more →

Common hummingbird feeder challenges and solutions

Common hummingbird feeder challenges and solutions

Setting up a nectar feeder is one of the simplest ways to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Being a responsible hummingbird host can sometimes come with challenges, so we’ve put together the solutions to some of the most common hummingbird feeder questions to help you get the most out of your hummingbird feeder!

hummingbird flying to a hummingbird feeder

Why aren’t the hummingbirds coming to my feeder?

There are a few different factors that could be causing a hummingbird to choose a different source of food. Hummingbirds are migratory birds, meaning they leave and return from a specific area seasonally. As they return from migration and end up in their ultimate destination, they will remember the source of their first meals - oftentimes coming back to the same feeders repeatedly. For the best chance of hummingbirds discovering your feeder, it is recommended to have it up and ready before they return from their winter migration. Be sure to research the migratory pattern of hummingbirds in your area to make sure you haven’t put your feeder out too late, since this can cause them to overlook it later in the season.

One thing to keep in mind is that all birds are creatures of habit. They may be hesitant to try out a new feeder, especially if you have been offering nectar in other feeders – a tried and true food source. It could also take some time for the hummingbirds to get used to a new landing pattern or learn the mechanics of drinking from a new feeding port. It may take several weeks before the hummingbirds find and begin feeding regularly from a new feeder. Before making any changes, try waiting at least two weeks to give them enough time to discover your feeder.

Here are some more tips to help attract birds to your hummingbird feeder:

  • Take down other feeders: Hummingbirds may prefer to feed from dependable food sources like existing feeders. If you have other nectar feeders in your yard, try temporarily taking them down until the hummingbirds find and use the new feeder. Once they are regularly using the new feeder, existing feeders can go back up.
  • Increase the sugar content: Try slightly increasing the sugar content of your nectar. This will immediately reward the hummingbirds for visiting your feeder and encourage them to come back. Once until the hummingbirds are regularly drinking from your feeder, you can then lower the water to sugar ratio back down to the recommended 4:1.
  • Keep it clean: It is recommended nectar feeders be cleaned at least every 4-5 days. To clean, take down your feeder and discard any unconsumed sugar water. Take apart your feeder and flush it with warm water. You must also change the nectar frequently - at least twice a week. If you notice that the nectar is turning milky, or that white strings or black spots are growing in it, change it more often. If you notice any mold, take down the feeder immediately, give it a thorough cleaning and follow the steps below to prevent mold growth on your feeder.
  • Change locations: Placing feeders near flower beds or planters may naturally attract more hummingbirds to your feeder. Feeders should be hung or mounted closer than 3 feet from a window or farther than 15 feet from a window to help prevent fatal window collisions.

What should I put in my hummingbird feeder?

The formula for hummingbird food is simple: about one part white granulated sugar to four parts water. Boil the water for approximately 2 minutes, add the sugar, and stir to dissolve thoroughly. We do not recommend adding red dye to the nectar mixture. Cover and allow the nectar to cool before using or pouring into a clean storage bottle. A large batch of nectar can be made and stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. This makes refilling the feeder easy so you won't mind doing it every few days.

hummingbird feeder filled with clear nectar

How do I keep mold from growing on my hummingbird feeder?

It is inevitable that sugar water will eventually break down and cause mold, fungus, or other harmful bacteria to grow inside of a hummingbird feeder. To prevent mold growth, hummingbird feeders should be taken down and cleaned at least every 4-5 days. To clean, take down your feeder and discard any unconsumed sugar water. Take apart your feeder and flush it with warm water. If mold is present, you can sanitize the feeder by placing all dishwasher-safe parts in the dishwasher for a thorough cleaning. If washing by hand, soak and clean the feeder thoroughly with a solution of ¼ cup bleach to one gallon of water. Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry completely before refilling.

Since mold growth can be accelerated by heat, especially in the warmer summer months, try keeping your feeder in a shaded area. Keeping the nectar cool helps to delay fermentation which is the process that causes nectar to spoil and mold to grow.

How do I prevent bees at my hummingbird feeder?

Bees, wasps, and hornets are hardly welcome guests at any feeder and can be harmful to hummingbirds if stung. Typically, if bees don’t have access to the nectar, they should eventually move on from the feeder to a more rewarding source. Here are some additional tips to help deter the bees:

  • Keep it clean: Make sure there is no exposed nectar on or around the outside of your feeder and thoroughly clean it with warm soapy water every 4-5 days at minimum.
  • Change it up: Periodically move your feeder. Birds will usually look around and find a relocated feeder, but insects will not.
  • Lower the nectar level: If using a dish style feeder, try decreasing the amount of nectar in your in the dish to keep it lower than the feeding ports. This will make it more difficult for bees to reach. Keep in mind that a hummingbird’s tongue is twice as long as its beak so it can easily reach near the bottom of the dish.
  • Get in the shade: If the feeder is currently in the sun, try moving it to a more shaded area.

How do I keep ants off my hummingbird feeder?

Although hummingbirds do eat insects, they do not eat ants. The presence of ants on your hummingbird feeder can prevent them from using it, or the ants may enter the feeder and contaminate the nectar which can be harmful to hummingbirds. Here are some ant-proofing tips to try:

  • Use an ant moat: Many hummingbird feeders have built-in ant moats, which trap ants in a small cup of water before they have the opportunity to reach the feeder. If your feeder does not come with an ant moat, you may choose to purchase one separately. Be sure to keep it full of water! If the weather is particularly hot and the water is evaporating quickly, check it regularly to prevent it from sitting empty.

    ant moat
  • Keep it clean: Make sure there is no exposed nectar on or around the outside of your feeder and thoroughly clean it with warm soapy water every 4-5 days at minimum.
  • Change it up: Periodically move your feeder. Birds will usually look around and find a relocated feeder, but insects will not.
  • Get in the shade: If the feeder is currently in the sun, try moving it to a more shaded area.
  • Try fishing line: You may try hanging your feeder using fishing line, as it is very difficult for ants to climb. Keep in mind this may not be feasible for heavier feeders.
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How are handblown glass hummingbird feeders made?

How are handblown glass hummingbird feeders made?

Handblown glass hummingbird feeders are bright, bold and beautifully made pieces of art that serve as both a feeder and a stunning decoration. But what does it take to craft one of these colorful feeders? Come along as we go behind the scenes with the glassblowing artisans who practice this fascinating process to bring our hummingbird feeders to life!

How it’s made

Glassblowing artisans practice 3-5 years to be able to achieve the unique patterns and designs of our hummingbird feeders. To begin making any piece of glass blown art, a blowpipe is dipped into molten clear glass. The artisan blows air into the opposite end of the blowpipe to form a bulb out of the molten glass.

Depending on the ultimate form and design of the piece, the glass bulb may be colored or treated before eventually being placed into a mold. While inside the mold, the artisan blows air once again to help achieve its shape and to reinforce the integrity of the glass.

After the main piece has been formed, additional features like hooks or handles may be manually crafted and attached using specialty pliers and shears. Every one of our handblown glass feeders are individually hand blown, giving each feeder its own unique and beautiful pattern.

Glass

The type of glass used to make our handblown glass hummingbird feeders is soda lime glass. As its name suggests, soda lime glass contains a few safe and stable chemicals including soda, lime and silica, which allow it to withstand the extreme heat and workability needed for glassblowing.

Unlike painted glass or plastic, our Artisan Collection of glass hummingbird feeders feature actual colored glass, ensuring that the colors remain bold and vibrant for years to come! Different hues are achieved by initiating a chemical reaction in the metallic oxides used to color the glass. The colors are custom made by our factories, making every piece truly unique.

colored glass or frit

Heat

Applying extreme heat to soda lime glass allows it to be enlarged, treated and manipulated into a finished piece of work. So how hot does the oven need to be in order for the glass to be in a workable state? A glassblowing kiln is approximately 1,380°C/5,416°F which heats up the glass to a temperature of 1,300°C/2,372°F!

handblown glass in kiln

Special Effects

Speckle

Our speckled top-fill hummingbird feeders, like the Garden Hummingbird Feeder - Ocean Sunset, feature bright bursts of color that will bring a beautiful accent to your yard. It all begins with individual pieces of colored glass, or frit. After the artisan picks up a mass of molten glass on their blowpipe, it is dipped into a tray full of frit until it’s completely covered. Then, it is placed into a mold help reach its final form.

dipping handblown glass in frit handblown glass covered in frit 

wwghf1

Swirl

To create the stunning swirls found on the Spring Rain and Sunny Day Artisan Gravity Hummingbird Feeders, one side of the molten bulb is dipped into the frit. Then, the artisan gently drags a special tool through this area to create a beautifully blended swirl of colors.

glass dipped in frit hand blown glass hummingbird feeder

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Crackle

Our elegant crackled Artisan Gravity Hummingbird Feeder - Blush is crafted through a process that ensures durability and integrity by the expertise of talented glass blowing artisans. This unique crackle effect is achieved by submerging a fully formed, but still hot, bulb of glass into water. The glass is then placed back into the kiln to melt the glass again slightly – just enough so that the artisan can ensure the cracks are stable and smooth.

Bubble

The playful bubbles found on the Artisan Gravity Hummingbird Feeder - Teal are formed as a chemical powder is added to the molten glass while still inside the kiln. The bulb is then placed into its mold to help reinforce the integrity of the glass and to help achieve its final shape.

 

Be sure to check out our selection of Artisan handblown glass hummingbird feeders and add one of these unique and beautifully made art pieces to your backyard!

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