We grow plants to feed ourselves, but the gardens we create are also dining areas for pollinators. Birds, bees and other insects depend on our gardens for food – just as we depend on them for pollination. Of the many pollinators out there, the hummingbird is one of the most effective and beautiful. These tiny speedsters pollinate hundreds of flowers every day, so it's no wonder many gardeners want them in their yard. What better way to do this than offering a sweet treat in a DIY hummingbird feeder?
Hummingbirds are hungry creatures. They can eat up to 3 times their body weight in just one day! A homemade hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water is clearly just the starter. The hummingbirds it attracts will move on to pollinate your garden. The best part? Hummingbirds will return to the same place every year, so you'll make friends for life!
Let these colorful birds know that we can rise to the challenge of feeding them – without breaking the bank. In this article, we go over 4 easy DIY designs for hummingbird feeders that will turn your garden into an abundance of pollination.
How to attract hummingbirds into your feeder
There's no point in having a hummingbird feeder if the lobsters can't find it! Fortunately, we know quite a bit about hummingbirds and have ways of attracting hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds rely heavily on eyesight and love bright colors, especially red. The basic rule to attract hummingbirds to your homemade hummingbird feeder is to use this color. If you want to add a second color, choose yellow. You can also hang red ribbons around the bird feeder to get the hummingbirds' attention.
Along with vibrant colors, hummingbirds look for Flower shapes. Making a circular shape around the bird seed hole will help them find the source of sugar. The red lid on the soy sauce bottle used in one of our DIY hummingbird food dispensers is perfect for this!
Help the lobsters feel comfortable in your yard by setting up the homemade hummingbird feeder out of the reach of cats and other predators. Open areas at height are best to give the lobsters plenty of room to fly around.
You wouldn't guess it from their small frames, but hummingbirds are very territorial. A lobster can claim one of the homemade bird feeders and protect it from other birds. If you're looking to attract lots of lobsters, you'll likely need to hang out multiple hummingbird feeders at least 15-20 meters apart.
Some hummingbird enthusiasts will add perches on or near the hummingbird feeders.
Hummingbirds like it perch after eating so they can digest (who doesn't like to relax after a big meal?). They also clean their feathers, sleep, and guard their territory from perches. Hence, some hummingbird enthusiasts will add perches on or near the hummingbird feeders. However, perch can also attract larger birds which scare away the lobsters. So if you're using perches, you might want to use tiny, twig-like ones that only support hummingbirds. Alternatively, you can put a bird feeder on the other side of the yard so that the larger birds have their own space.
Last but not least, hummingbirds will appreciate shallow water Bird bath. Sugar water is their food, but it doesn't keep them hydrated. So the little lobsters will really appreciate a drink with their meal.
4 Easy DIY Hummingbird Feeder Builds
We have four simple hummingbird feeder designs to share with you. From a simple soy sauce bottle to an industrial feeding station, any of these project ideas are guaranteed to be a hit with the hummingbirds!
Soy Sauce Bottle Hummingbird Feeder
A restaurant-style soy sauce bottle is a good feeder.
Perhaps the best easy-to-make homemade bird feeders only need 2-3 things:
- A Kikkoman soy sauce bottle (brand is important as it comes with a restaurant-style lid!)
- Pliers (optional)
The Kikkoman brand costs just $ 1-2 and is perfect for a homemade hummingbird feeder (it's almost like they did it on purpose!). If the glass bottle is hung upside down, the liquid is easily accessible through the two beak-sized openings in the closure.
You can get creative by hanging the bottle hummingbird feeder. We wrapped wire from the smallest to the largest part around the self-made Kolibri feeder, with an extra left at the end. You can buy a hand-bendable wire or, for convenience, just unwrap a wire coat hanger with pliers. After wrapping the feeder around a branch, make sure the bottle hangs straight down. The low air pressure in the plastic soda bottle prevents the nectar from leaking out of the do-it-yourself feed.
Mason jar hummingbird feeder
Mason jars are synonymous with DIY projects, so we might as well make a hummingbird feeder out of them! Here's what you need:
To start, we'll replace the flat glass lid with a circle cut out of the plastic folder. After you trace it and cut it out, use the hole punch to add some access points for the birds to sip nectar. Put the plastic circle in the metal screw tape and attach it to the glass filled with nectar.
You can now hang the glass upright on a branch or other pole. Since the hummingbirds eat from above, you may need to top up the nectar frequently (empty bird feeders are not enough!).
DIY kid-friendly plastic bottle hummingbird feeder
While not as durable as the previous hummingbird feeders, this is a simple, nifty project that kids can enjoy. Plus, you probably already have the materials for this simple DIY pet feeder made from recycled plastic water bottles. You need:
- Any size of water bottle or soda bottle (with the cap!)
- A red or yellow flexible straw
- A drill
- A red plastic folder or construction paper
- Pressure sensitive adhesive
Start by drilling a straw-sized hole in the water bottle cap. Have your child cut a flower shape out of the red folder / paper. The flower should be big enough to fit around the straw. Punch a hole in the center of the flower.
Next, thread the long end of the flexible straw first through the flower and then through the cap. Adjust it so that the water bottle cap and flower both sit right at the beginning of the bend in the straw. The long end is in the water bottle, so cut it to a third of the length of the bottle.
Use glue to secure the cap and flower in place. Fill in any gaps around the straw to keep the hummingbird food from dripping out. While the glue dries, wrap the wire around the bottom of the bottle with a loop (it hangs upside down).
Once the glue has dried, fill the bottle with sugar water and turn the cap on. Hang the Kolibri food dispenser upside down and fold the end of the straw to one side for easy access. Now your child can sit nearby and watch the hummingbirds eat from the water bottles!
Homemade hummingbird feeder for multiple birds
If you want to feed the hummingbirds why not give it your all and build them a banquet table? This DIY project is a bit more work than the other, but very rewarding. Start collecting:
- Thin PVC pipe (at least 30 cm long)
- 2 PVC end caps
- Red paint (and a brush!)
- A drill
Start by drilling tiny holes every few inches across one side of the PVC pipe. The pipe is hung horizontally and filled with nectar so all the holes must be on top. Next, paint a red flower on each hole, with the hole in the middle.
Once the paint has dried, cut two long pieces of wire and bring everything to the designated branch. Wrap the wire around the pipe one end at a time, loop it over the branch, and then wrap the rest back on the pipe. Make sure that the holes in the pipe are facing up.
Finally, put an end cap on the pipe and pour sugar water into the other end. Remember that the water level must be below the holes to prevent leakage. Once it's full, secure the other end cap. Now your self-made hummingbird feeder is ready for a whole flock of hummingbirds!
DIY hummingbird nectar recipe
Homemade hummingbird nectar is incredibly easy to make.
You don't need a store-bought mix to make hummingbird nectar. All it takes is water and cane sugar! Store-bought mixes usually contain additives, such as red dye, which can be harmful to the hummingbirds. Sure, the red color may seem more appealing to the hummingbirds, but it's unnecessary since the hummingbird feeders are already colored.
To make hummingbird nectar, simply mix one cup of sugar with three cups of room temperature water. You can heat it to help dissolve the sugar, but it should dissolve perfectly at room temperature.
Remember, sugar water attracts ants, so make sure your hummingbird feeder isn't dripping. The nectar can also attract bats and bears at night, so be sure to bring the hummingbird feeder indoors when it gets dark.
frequently asked Questions
Q: Is homemade sugar water bad for hummingbirds?
A: No, DIY nectar is actually better than most store-bought nectars because it doesn't contain any artificial colors.
Q: Do hummingbirds prefer bird feeders with perches?
A: They may appreciate it, but perch bring their own problems. Often they attract larger birds, which deter the lobsters from the hummingbird feeder.
The green fingers behind this article: