About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How to stop hummingbird feeders form leaking

I've got a silly question. How do I stop my hummingbird feeder from dripping. I didn't buy the feeder from you. It was a gift but it's just a sticky mess! I get more ants than hummingbirds. ~Frustrated in Charlotte, MI

Glass hummingbird feeders with stoppers are beautiful in the garden among the flowers. There are some tricks I can suggest, but because these feeders utilize a vessel filled with water resting on top of a small column of air, they may occasionally drip. Some recommendations to minimize dripping, so that you can truly enjoy your feeder are as follows:

1. Always fill the feeder completely full with cool nectar. Push the stopper in and invert quickly to avoid any air entering the feeder. Tube feeders operate on a vacuum principle. Only if the feeder is initially filled completely full will the vacuum form!

2. Only hang your feeder in the shade or partial shade. The cooler the feeder, the less likely it is to drip. If that isn't convenient Wild Birds Unlimited does have hummingbird shades.

3. Make sure to keep the feeder very clean by regularly cleaning the vessel with hot water and a bottle brush. Do not use soap as its residue may cause your feeder to drip. Try periodically using a vinegar rinse to thoroughly clean your feeder and then rinse well with hot water.

4. Last resort: place stopper assembly in very hot water to soften the tube. You can bend it slightly to increase the angle. This will stop dripping, but might make it more difficult for nectar to come down the tube.

5. If you've tried all these tips and it still drips try a different feeder like our best selling saucer feeders.

And if you have an ant problem we have an easy solution. There are ant moats you can add to any feeder. Simply fill the little container with water. Ants can't cross the water moat to reach your hummingbird feeders' nectar.

Good luck!

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