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10 Best Hummingbird Feeders Buying Guide 2022

Choosing the best hummingbird feeder can be tricky, with so much to choose from, and dozens of different design choices, but what’s best?

In this article, we’re going to look at the difference between hummingbird tube feeders, hummingbird dish feeders, and answer some important questions to get hummingbirds into your garden quickly.

If you’ve ever seen those videos of people feeding hummingbirds on the move from adapted hats and wondered how hummingbirds are attracted to feeders, then this is the article for you.

We’re not going to encourage close up feeding like you’ve seen trending, but we love these little birds and want to explore the science, and instinct of this tiny bird.

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Best Hummingbird Feeders Buying Guide

Best Hummingbird Feeders Product Chart

What are Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are small hovering birds with a distinctive hum created by the extreme pace of their wings

Hummingbirds (scientific name: Trochilidae) are small hovering birds with a distinctive hum created by the extreme pace of their wings while they hover for food, and zip across the garden. 

They are identifiable when resting by flashes of color across their bib and their uniquely long, narrow beak, designed to get right to the base of flowers.

Where Do Hummingbirds Live?

Hummingbirds aren’t capable of long migratory flights so are very much landlocked to the Americas, but have been seen as far north as Alaska in recent years, and as far south as the tip of Argentina.

To really understand the modern distribution of hummingbirds it’s important to discover a little bit of geological history.

Birds evolved from dinosaurs around 150 million years ago, at a time when the Americas were still firmly attached to Africa, and at its tip, Europe. Hummingbirds came a little later, with a pair of 30 million-year-old fossils found in Germany.

Earth’s current continents were still actively moving away from the supercontinent of Pangea at this point, and the North Pole hadn’t become the ice desert we see today, so the birds were likely able to travel between the continents, choosing the warmer tropical regions of South America, where they are firmly based today.

What Do Hummingbirds Eat?

What Do Hummingbirds Eat

Hummingbirds eat a mix of insects and nectar so rely on sweetly scented flowers for a large portion of the sugars. Their protein is mostly from mosquitoes and spiders, often using spider webs as a binding material for their nests.

The best food to provide for hummingbirds at any time of year is nectar, either as a sugar syrup (without dye), fruit juices or natural saps if you can find it. The sugars help them to sustain their incredibly fast heart rate (hummingbirds have the fastest heart rate of any invertebrate on the planet so need as much as they can get).

While sugar syrups and nectar are a good food source for hummingbirds, they do require proteins, so while they may visit your garden in passing for nectar, the only way to keep them around is to encourage other wildlife, insects and invertebrates to give them the protein to sustain their growth and health. 

Plant a wildlife garden with nectar-filled flowers and plenty of hiding spots for insects. Add trees and pergolas so your hummingbirds have a comfortable feeding height away from the ground too.


Most Common Hummingbird Species in America

1. Ruby-throated hummingbird

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common hummingbird species in America

Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the most common hummingbird species in the Americas, and the one you’re most likely to attract to your garden. Their opalescent green bodies are smaller than the palm of a hand, with wings that beat 50 times per second. 

The ruby-throated hummingbird has a distinctive mouse-like squeak that may help you identify resting birds nearby in the garden, particularly during nesting seasons.

2. Rufous hummingbird

Rufous hummingbird are one of the most widely seen hummingbirds in the Americas

I’d quite like to come back as a rufous hummingbird if reincarnation exists. Their handsome rusty feathers are neatly capped by a bright red bib in the males and they dash between feeders at a tiny 3 inches from beak to tail.

What’s most extraordinary about these minute birds is their migration, flying an astonishing 2,000 miles during their migration, making them one of the most widely seen hummingbirds in the Americas.

3. Anna’s hummingbird

Anna’s hummingbird are bright green during the mating season, but their plumage dulls later in the year

Anna’s hummingbirds have adapted well to habitat loss. Despite the overall decline in hummingbirds, Anna’s hummingbirds have increased their population in recent years thanks to gardeners taking more care and attention to feeding them. 

They are bright green during the mating season, but their plumage dulls later in the year so they go from fluorescent pink and green to a dusty red-throated green/gray bird.

4. Black-chinned hummingbird

Black-chinned hummingbird have distinct purple flashes across their chins, paired with matt-black heads and soil colored back

The black-chinned hummingbird is a great example of ornithologists’ grasp on irony, as these birds have distinct purple flashes across their chins, paired with matt-black heads and soil colored back. 

Their migratory routes are smaller than most hummingbirds, traveling between Mexico and the southwest of Canada.

5. Calliope hummingbird

Calliope hummingbird are one of the most likely birds to stop and perch in your garden

The Calliope hummingbird usually looks more like they’ve spilled paint down their bib's informal groupings of violet feathers and grassy-green backs.

Calliope hummingbirds are commonly spotted at feeding stations like most other hummingbirds, but they’re also one of the most likely birds to stop and perch in your garden so you can get a really great look at them in full detail.


Hummingbird Feeders Buyer’s Guide

What are Hummingbird Feeders

What are Hummingbird Feeders?

Hummingbird feeders come in all shapes and sizes, but the one they all have in common is small holes that are ideally suited for the hummingbird’s beak to fit into, preventing other wildlife from taking advantage of this important food source.

With reservoirs for syrups, nectar or sap, the feeders provide a slow release food source that hummingbirds can come back to time and time again. In migration seasons, they can be used up incredibly quickly!

How to Use Hummingbird Feeders

Hummingbird feeders are easy to use, and typically come with a screw-off cap for a reservoir that either works as a covered plate or a drip feeder. Both styles of feeder work well, and hummingbirds are really clever birds that are able to find food and are quick to find feeders when they move, or new feeders are introduced.

The most important things to consider with hummingbird feeders are the food you use, and their position.

What Is The Best Food for a Hummingbird Feeder

The best food for hummingbirds is flower nectar, but unless your garden is filled to the brim with nectar-rich blooms all year round, the next best thing is a simple sugar water solution. 

Flower nectar is a naturally occurring sugar source, so the simplest syrups are the best as they mimic the simple sugars these beautiful birds would be receiving in the wild. 

Do not add red dye to hummingbird syrups as it may harm them. While there is no proven evidence of red dye causing harm to the birds, it is unnecessary, and it’s much better to be safe than sorry. The safest hummingbird foods contain no dye or artificial colors or flavorings.

Hummingbird Feeder Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 4 cups of water

Method:

  1. Mix 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water until the sugar dissolves. There is no need to heat the water.
  2. Pour the sugar water into hummingbird feeders.
  3. Store any extra sugar water in the fridge (to make large batches stick to one part sugar to four parts water (1:4)
Best Hummingbird Feeder Reviews

Where to Place a Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbird feeders should be placed out in the open, somewhere visible to the birds. They have fast reactions so are quite happy to feed in the open as they can easily escape most predators.

Either hang a feeder with red parts from the branch of a tree or use a feeding spike in the center of a lawn where hummingbirds will be able to spot the feeder for miles.

What to Look for When Buying a Hummingbird Feeder

The best feeding type of Hummingbird feeders are the hanging type, which encourages hummingbirds to hover while they feed, and discourages other birds from trying to access the sugar reservoir.

For example, Orioles love sugar water, but can’t access the small holes so can damage the feeder if you use plate-type feeders. Hanging reservoirs tend to stay cleaner for longer too so need cleaning less often. Feed Orioles using the best oriole feeders instead. 

There is some contention around whether red feeders attract hummingbirds because they are attracted to red flowers, or because they have learned that humans feed them from predominantly red feeders. Either way, red feeders are the best color for hummingbirds, whatever their reason for loving them.


Best Hummingbird Feeder Reviews

Wild Wings Top Fill Hummingbird Feeder

Source: amazon.com

If you want to pamper your hummingbirds with a little bit of quality, the indulgent blown glass bowl of the wild wings hummingbird feeder is completely beautiful.


The flowers are standard so they’ll find it really easy to find their food, and the opalescent glass catches the light and attracts birds from up to a kilometer away.


For any gardener with pristine lawns and perfect hedges, this is the hummingbird feeder for you, with every possible bit of attention paid to design.

Wild Wings Top Fill Hummingbird Feeder are for gardeners with pristine lawns and perfect hedges

Source: amazon.com

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill & clean

  • Beautiful design

  • Dish feeding with perch & hover options

  • Good value (for the materials)


Cons

  • Expensive (for the size)

  • Small reservoir


SEWANTA Hummingbird Feeder 16oz

Source: amazon.com

For gardeners on a budget these are really practical hummingbird feeders with loads of feeding stations, so you can have up to 6 birds feeding at once.


The small reservoirs might need refilling a lot during busy periods, but they have more than enough space to feed hummingbirds for a day or two per feeder for most of the year, and their open reservoir shape makes them really easy to clean.

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Dish feeding attracts birds quickly

  • Easy to fill & clean

  • Great value


Cons

  • Small reservoir

  • Perch makes other birds more likely to try to use the feeding station


Woodlink Swirl Glass Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

Source: naturehills.com

NatureHills Nurseries are best known for their incredible plant collections, but they also have great garden accessories, including this bird feeder from the woodlink range. 


The swirl pattern on the bottle seems like pure decoration (and it does look great) but it has a more important function; by catching the light it creates an iridescence that helps to attract hummingbirds.

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill & clean

  • Side feeders for hovering birds

  • Good value


Cons

  • Small reservoir

Sunnydaze Mosaic Bluebird Outdoor Hummingbird Feeder - 6-Inch

Source: sunnydazedecor.com

Hummingbird tube feeders typically have a single hole, so can only feed one hummingbird at a time and aren’t ideal for gardens with a lot of birds already.


But, gardeners trying to attract hummingbirds provide a more natural way for them to feed and are more likely to bring hummingbirds to the garden quickly.


This mosaic hummingbird feeder from Sunnydaze might seem like they’ve got the basics wrong with the blue reservoir, but hummingbirds can be attracted to any iridescence, and the small red flower on the end of the feeding tube is enough to catch their eye.

Sunnydaze Mosaic Bluebird Outdoor Hummingbird Feeder

Source: sunnydazedecor.com

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill

  • Tube feeding is more natural for hummingbirds

  • Bird reservoir

  • Good value


Cons

  • Tricky to clean properly

Nature's Way Mason Jar Hummingbird Dish Feeder

Source: amazon.com

This mason jar hummingbird feeder might be small, but it’s easy to use, and really cute. The spiraled wire detail on the jar rim makes it really easy to hang and adds character to this hummingbird feeder.


While the biggest concern for any bird feeder should be whether or not it attracts birds, it’s also important to think about how it’s going to look in the garden, because you’re more likely to keep using it if it looks good.

Nature's Way Mason Jar Hummingbird Dish Feeder's spiraled wire detail on the jar rim makes it really easy to hang and adds character to this hummingbird feeder

Source: amazon.com

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill & clean

  • Good value

  • Dish feeders are easy to use and quick to attract birds


Cons

  • Small reservoir

Sunnydaze Red Mosaic Flower Hummingbird Feeder - 7-Inch

Source: sunnydazedecor.com

For gardeners who like the visuals are traditional hummingbird feeders, using glass mosaic to attract birds to the reflected light, this is a wonderful modern twist on the classic design.


The dish feeder screws onto the reservoir really simply, with well-positioned feeding holes for up to four hummingbirds at a time.


The only downside here is that it’s quite hard to clean sticky sugar water out of the reservoir, but as one of the most attractive hummingbird feeders on review, it’s a great choice for style-conscious gardeners.

Sunnydaze Red Mosaic Flower Hummingbird Feeder is a great choice for style-conscious gardeners

Source: sunnydazedecor.com

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill

  • Dish feeding

  • Good value


Cons

  • Difficult to clean

Muse Garden Hand Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Source: amazon.com

If you’re looking for a bit of everything, this hummingbird feeder from Muse has it all; size, beauty and convenience all in one neat package.


The designers of this hummingbird feeder have really paid attention to detail, with brass gaskets connecting the flowers to the feeder to give the look of pollen in the flowers’ center (which I’m sure the hummingbirds will appreciate), and the hanging point of the blown glass reservoir is set in to form a simple and reservoir to keep insects off the feeding holes.


Important care note: The blown glass reservoir should be kept away from hot water to prevent cracking and should be stored indoors if there is any risk of frost, or at least drained so there is space for liquid to expand.
Muse Garden Hand Blown Glass Hummingbird Feeder has it all; size, beauty and convenience all in one neat package

Source: amazon.com

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill

  • Ant reservoir

  • Dish feeding

  • Attractive

  • Good value


Cons

  • Hard to clean

  • Perches might attract other birds


More Birds 30 OZ Diamond Hummingbird Feeder

Source: naturehills.com

For some gardeners you just need to go all out and buy a big hummingbird feeder. This large hummingbird feeder by More Birds holds 30oz of sugar water and has seven feeding stations making it the longest-lasting feeder on review here.


The twisted glass bottle catches the light perfectly to attract birds, with a rich crimson base that tells them exactly where the food is and pale yellow flowers to focus their attention on the sugar rather than the red petals most feeders use.


What’s more, it’s got to be the easiest hummingbird feeder to clean in all of our reviews.

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill & clean

  • Huge reservoir

  • Dish feeding

  • Good value


Cons

  • None

Perky-Pet Antique Bottle 10-Ounce Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Source: amazon.com

The Perky-Pet hummingbird feeder proves that color isn’t everything. As long as there are red feeding points on your hummingbird feeder you’re almost certain to attract these clever birds to the garden. 


This hummingbird feeder is best used with a clear syrup, so the light catches through the glass bottle and shines off the stainless steel feeding tray making the red flowers stand out even more.

Perky-Pet Antique Bottle 10-Ounce Glass Hummingbird Feeder is best used with a clear syrup

Source: amazon.com

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill & clean

  • Tray feeding

  • Great value


Cons

  • Small reservoir

More Birds Red Jewel Hummingbird Feeder

Source: amazon.com

It might not have the iridescence of some of the blown glass hummingbird feeders you can buy, but this is one of the best hummingbird feeders on the market for visuals alone.


The base tray feeds five hummingbirds at a time, with a large glass reservoir in red glass that is sure to catch the attention of passing hummingbirds even during migration so you can extend your bird watch season even more.

Pros

  • Easy to hang

  • Easy to fill & clean

  • Dish feeding

  • Big reservoir

  • Good value


Cons

  • None

Hummingbird Feeders Top Picks 2022

Our Top Pick Hummingbird Feeder

Top Rated Best Hummingbird Feeder
Wild Wings Top Fill Hummingbird Feeder

Source: amazon.com

I’ve just fallen in love with this hummingbird feeder. Wild Wings Top Fill Hummingbird Feeder might take more filling than other hummingbird feeders but it’s the best hummingbird feeder for me, and it’ll fit perfectly in the garden hanging from the tree near the kitchen. 

Hummingbirds aren’t shy birds and are well known for feeding from handheld feeders, so you can place this right up close to the house so you’re always able to enjoy the beautiful birds as well as the beautiful hummingbird feeder.

Best Value Hummingbird Feeder

Best Value Hummingbird Feeder
SEWANTA Hummingbird Feeder 16oz

Source: amazon.com

SEWANTA Hummingbird Feeder 16 oz is the best hummingbird feeder in terms of value. It might not be the best-looking bird feeder in the world, but it’s practical, easy to clean and if you set the two feeders up side by side you’re sure to get a flurry of hummingbirds in the garden every day once they realize it is there.

Premium Choice Hummingbird Feeder

Premium Choice Hummingbird Feeder
Woodlink Swirl Glass Bottle Hummingbird Feeder

Source: naturehills.com

The hue sugar water reservoir in the Woodlink Swirl Glass Bottle Hummingbird Feeder is great for anyone with loads of hummingbirds, meaning you won’t need to replace it every day in summer, and can therefore clean slightly less often too. 

The way the glass catches the light is just perfect for passing birds too, who are attracted to light as well as red details on feeders, so Woodlink is making the most of these instincts on this feeder that does set itself apart as the best hummingbird feeder for anyone looking to buy something more substantial.

Hummingbird Feeders FAQs

Is homemade hummingbird food better?

Like any wildlife feeder, it's best to make your own food so you know exactly what’s in it, but most store-bought hummingbird foods are a great food source for hummingbirds provided they don’t have food coloring or additives. Realistically though, it’s a cheap recipe and costs much less to make your own.

What else can you feed hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds benefit from nectar-rich flowers, so planting tropical plants in the garden is a great way to attract the birds, and leaving overgrowth in winter to support insects in the garden will give them the protein they need to help balance out the sugars in their diet.

Can you feed hummingbirds honey?

Don’t use any artificial sugars or honey to feed hummingbirds. Candidiasis is a fungus that grows rapidly on syrups made with honey and can be fatal to hummingbirds.

This is the same fungus that causes yeast infections in humans. Stick to beet and cane sugar.

Can you feed hummingbirds without a feeder?

It’s really hard to attract hummingbirds without a dedicated feeder as they will have loads of competition from other nectar-feeding insects, birds, and mammals that will quickly learn there is an open plate of sugar water to drink?

If you don’t want to spend money on a feeder, you can pierce holes in the lid of a Tupperware as a DIY option.


Get the Best Hummingbird Feeder Today

Remember that hummingbirds need protein as well as sugar, so with any hummingbird feeder try to attract insects alongside it so they get a sugar hit as well as access to insects.

Placing fruit on spikes in the garden can attract flies that they will feed on and you’ll quickly start to see hummingbirds flying between the sugar and the fruit picking off flies.

With so many bird feeders, there are great DIY options you can try, but for hummingbirds, you really need a dedicated feeder to avoid competition from other birds. Hopefully, this guide has given you the confidence to go out and buy the best hummingbird feeder.

About the Author Lane Perry

Lane shares her knowledge and creative ideas with our audience at Sumo Gardener as an exterior decorator. She has previously worked as an exterior decorator on home renovation projects across the west coast USA, adapting to different environments for both large and small homes. When it comes to transforming your outdoor entertainment space or coming up with creative ways to enjoy your garden, Lane is our expert.

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