Got Ants on Your Feeders? & Other Hummingbird Info

It’s so easy to keep ants off your hummingbird feeders. I often hear people say they can’t feed the hummingbirds because the ants take
over the feeder. The solution is simple. Use an ant moat! An ant moat is a very small water barrier the ant has to cross before it gets to the
feeder. The ants will not swim the distance of ½ inch to get to the sugar water.

Some ant moats are separate from the feeder. (Imagine a spray paint can lid turned upside down with a hook on the inside and the outside.)
Fill the moat with water and place the moat between the hummingbird feeder and the hook where you usually hang the feeder.

My favorite feeder has the ant moat built in. This feeder is called the HummZinger and is available at the local bird stores.* This is easiest of all the feeders to clean and does not have any yellow color on it. (Yellow is supposed to attract bees and wasps.) I use a sun/rain shade to protect the feeder from rain.

Prepare for the Hummingbirds

  • If you don’t leave feeders out all year, put them out by mid-March. Expect to see the first hummingbird anytime between mid-March and the first week in April.
  • Hummingbirds are very territorial and one bird will defend a feeder. If you want to see more birds in
    your garden, place several feeders together.
  • In early spring before your garden has flowers blooming, buy a basket of colorful annuals to attract the
    birds. Plant your garden to provide blooms as early as possible and lasting until frost.
  • Red food coloring is not required to attract the birds.
  • Yellow attracts wasps and bees. Use red nail polish to cover any yellow on existing feeders.
    Keep the feeders clean and change the sugar-water mixture every third day when weather is hot.
  • Hummingbirds are important pollinators. Avoid pesticides!
  • Use a mister or dripper to provide a water source for hummingbird baths.
  • My favorite hummingbird flowers: columbine, red and blue salvia, impatiens, coral honeysuckle,
    butterfly bush, lantana, petunias, trumpet vine and lobelia.
  • My favorite bird store is “Strictly for the Birds” in Lawrenceville.