Why Arent The Hummingbirds Feeding From My Feeder?

Filed Under: Birds · Keywords: Hummingbirds, Not Feeding, From, Feeder · 4486 Views
Last year we had lots of hummingbirds but this this year they come to look but not sipping.
Feeder has been cleaned twice and new juice has been changed each time ... no visitors . Do I need to get a new feeder or could it be the oleander plant? Please any ideas! I miss my friends! Thank you ....

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Linda Atkinson

Linda Atkinson · Gardenality Sprout · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
Here's an update on my question..... THEY'RE BACK ! Moved the oleander to the other side of deck and made my own juice now they fight each other to get a very long sip. Either they didn't like the oleander and/or the store bought juice but most important they're back and I'm enjoying 'my little friends' again. Thank you

6 years ago ·
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Gardenality.com · Gardenality Genius · Zone 8A · 10° to 15° F
That's great! Thanks for the report. It was probably a combination of moving the Oleander and making your own nectar.

6 years ago ·
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1 Answer

Answer #1 · Gardenality.com's Answer · Hi Linda - There could be several reasons the hummingbirds aren't feeding from your feeder.

They stopped feeding from my BEST 1 Hummingbird Feeder after I planted several varieties of salvia in pots on the back deck and in garden beds. I guess they like the real thing better than the cocktail I mixed for the feeder. Even used organic cane sugar in the mix and they still wouldn't feed on it. I have about 10 different varieties of salvia planted but the ones they like most are Black & Blue (Salvia guaranitica), Hot Lips Salvia, and the Salvia greggi. They also like Sonset Lantana and Hummingbird Plant (Dicliptera suberecta).

If the feeder was cleaned with a strong, chemical-based detergent and not rinsed thoroughly this might deter the hummingbirds.

The hummingbirds at my house didn't like the nectar I made with processed sugar. I found they really liked the nectar made with Turbinado Evaported Cane Sugar. But they really like natural nectar more than anything we can make for them. Now that I have all the salvia I don't bother with a feeder. Here in Georgia, the salvias will bloom way beyond the time the hummingbirds leave in fall. My Hot Lips was blooming in December last year.

During warmer weather the nectar in a feeder should be changed every 4 to 5 days or it can sour. Because the hummers usually won't empty a full, large feeder in a few days time, it's best just to fill a feeder about one-third to halfway. This ensures the nectar will be fresh.

Regarding the Oleander. I know it is a highly toxic plant but have heard that if there are other flower sources in an area that the hummingbirds will go to them instead of the Oleander. If Oleander was all that was available to a hummingbird it can make them ill. To be on the safe side, I probably wouldn't grow Oleander in areas where I wanted to feed hummingbirds.

Hope this was helpful and let us know if you have any other questions.


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