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How to Keep Unwanted Birds Away from Hummingbird Feeders

Photograph by Chris Selvig via Flickr

The past few weeks, we’ve been writing about keeping your hummingbird feeders free from pesky ants and flying insects. One of our readers brought up another threat to hummingbird feeders, other birds.

Orioles are known for raiding hummingbird feeders, but they’re not the only ones. Woodpeckers, House Finches and other species tend to invade hummingbird feeders for a chance to drink the sweet nectar. And when these bigger birds eat the nectar, they usually scare away the hummingbirds, which defeats the whole purpose.

So here’s what you can do to protect your hummers from unwanted birds.

Get an oriole feeder, suet feeder and/or seed feeder

One of the best solutions is to simply get more feeders. If you mind having orioles coming to your hummingbird feeders, you can buy feeders especially for them. Oriole feeders are essentially the same as hummingbird feeders, but they can accommodate fruits and jelly as well as nectar. For woodpeckers, you can also put up suet feeders for them to get nutrition. You can do the same thing with other feeders, depending on the species hanging around your hummingbird feeders. Remember to make sure they’re always full, so the birds don’t have to turn to your other feeders for food.

Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder

Get a hummingbird feeder without a perch

Small, perchless feeders essentially keep out every bird except hummers because most birds need to perch while eating. A simple feeder like the Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder requires the birds to be in flight while drinking the nectar. A larger bird like the woodpecker wouldn’t be able to mob the small feeder. You can also trim down the perches on your existing feeders.

Buy or make a bird baffle

Even if the feeder itself doesn’t have a perch, sometimes birds are able to perch on top of the feeder or grab onto the wire that holds it up. You can put a standard baffle or create your own makeshift one out of an old CD.

Separate the feeders

If you have separate feeders for orioles and woodpeckers, but they’re still going to the hummingbird feeders, try separating them. Putting them farther apart will make it less tempting for an oriole to move over and target the hummingbird feeder.

Please let us know any solutions you found.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.


  1. Owl & Hawk, plastic birds do not work. Owls feed at night and do not hunt during the day. Cooper hawks hunt and do eat small birds, i do not believe they hunt Humming Birds, at least I have never seen a hawk try to catch one.

  2. Bluebirds are sitting on the two sided post hanger that holds the hummingbird feeders and not only do they chase the hummingbirds and oreoles away but they leave their droppings right on the feeders making them a mess. How can I get them to stop hanging around there.

  3. I have found that if you buy a hummingbird feeder with bee guards on it the other birds can’t drink from it. I like the Perky Pet model with bee guards.

  4. Oh yes, hawks, do eat hummers. I have seen then come to my feeder and gobble them up. Have even had 2 or 3 at a time sit on the eave of the house waiting for them to show up. Don’t be deceived…they will eat them.

  5. Bee guards are definitely useful. Glad they help you.

  6. My hb feeder has bee guards and the woodpeckers keep coming

  7. The birds have found that if they jar the feeder liquid is spilled which they drink I’m thinking of doing away with mine and just let the hummers feed on the flowers

  8. I have tried giving the orioles a separate feeder, they ignored it in favor of my hb feeder. I tried a baffle. It scared the hummers away. The only thing that has worked is removing the perches.

  9. We have talented woodpeckers and flickers. They are able to hang onto the little round glass feeders base and drink from it. Because they do that, they end up pulling the bottom of the feeder off and spilling the contents!!

  10. The Orioles siphon the nectar out of our feeders very quickly, and if they fight over it, they spill it onto the porch.
    Its like a F-15 attacking where a Cessna is supposed to be.

    Then the little Woodpeckers discovered it, but a compact disc hanging and flopping around on the wire just above the feeder, keeps them away.

    But the Orioles? The only thing that keeps them away is a human waving at them, or our Yellow Lab jumping under the feeder.
    She hasn’t caught one yet,,,,,,,,,,

    I read that a perch-less feeder will solve this problem, as the larger birds cannot eat unless they are perching on something, while the hummers can eat in flight.

    We would love to buy one, as we dont want to cut and alter our feeders.
    Also I read that a bee-guard won’t accommodate the large beaks of the Woodies and the Orioles.

  11. Bats will empty the feeders over night,,,,only way to stop this ….move feeders to a protected area, yeeper.


  13. Nothing! I have yet to find ANYTHING that will keep woodpeckers off my hummingbird feeders…except standing by the feeder and chasing off the woodpeckers myself. If only I had all the time in the world.

  14. I have a ‘perchless’ HB feeder and continuously little 4 inch birds hook their toes between the glass top & the plastic bottom, hanging upside down & tilting & spilling HB nectar on concrete which then attracts ants. Any solution? It is maddening!

  15. We have tried everything too, but my husband said that the other birds need to eat too. So we just put out more feeders, move them, fill them constantly, and they all seem happy. The hummers will go to a feeder which we have moved, sometimes where only the small birds can get to it because we place it under thick branches.

    Our Yellow Lab helps sometimes, as she will scare the Orioles if she gets up on her hind paws under the feeder.
    However we did find a way to deter the squirrels before we stopped feeding the birds. Thats another story, and it worked.

  16. Our HOA only allows hummingbird feeders, no other bird feeders. Unfortunately, there are still many large, pesky birds hanging out on my patio & roof. Will the flash tape I put up to keep the larger birds away also scare away the hummingbirds?

  17. a shot gun is the best deterrent for bully birds!

  18. POW! that would get rid of a couple, but it would blow your feeders to oblivion! And there are plenty of back-up bully birds.
    This year, we are going to set up the feeders inside of some of our Azalea branches so that the thick branches will surround them. See if the little hummers can get into there to feed. And my husband will put a few other feeders in plain sight so the bully birds can get to them, and of course provide plenty of entertainment for our Yellow Lab. Though she wont catch any of them, just scare them a bit.

  19. Has anyone ever made a cage like the ones for birdseed feeders to go around the feeder? That seems like the best solution. I’m going to try to make one. Just not sure if it will scare the hummers or if they’ll figure out how to fly through the squares to get to the feeder.

  20. My husband saw a woodpecker at our hummingbird feeder, a first for us! When I went to refill the feeder, I realized that the white bee guards were all missing. Evidently the woodpecker remodeled the feeder to its liking. Anyone else have that occur?

  21. Thats interesting! Those little woodpeckers are quite clever.
    We have some Orioles this spring, and they seem to intimidate the little woodies, so they are not coming onto the porch in plain sight of the Orioles very much.

    We have more Catbirds than ever this year, and feed them raisins on our picnic table. The Cardinals love the raisins too. And the woodies are very wary of these birds also.

    But I know this is not the solution either. We just are living with it, making more sugar water and putting out more feeders.

  22. Something is removing the yellow flower covers on the feeder and draining it. Could house finches do that? We have a lot of those around the feeders

  23. We had two HB feeders with he yellow bee guards. Found the woodpeckers came and somehow got them off and carried them off. Found most of them about 50′ away. Didn’t bother to put them back. Still have woodpeckers after the HB feeders.

  24. Me too I’m in Fountain Hills I really dislike the woodpeckers.

  25. Struggled to attract hummers in NJ for years. Moved to Scottsdale and THRILLED with hummer visits. After 3 years suddenly now birds attack feeders until they’re empty. So angry!! Even if big birds can’t get to ports they still spill it. Trying perchless next

  26. For some reason, a hanging plant with a lot of ‘interference’ is working for us.
    I think the larger birds cant navigate around those plants. The woodpecker will try, but is discouraged, especially if the winds move those plants.

    Another thing my husband is trying, is to fill the feeder only to a level which just so that a long beak can reach in.
    Even tho the woodies can tip the feeder, they cant get their fatter beaks in far enough to get to the juice.

  27. i had ants on my hummingbird feeders last year i bought ant guguards you can buy them at lowes or walmart i used them this year also no ants but this year i have mockingbirds sitting on top of my hunfeeders and scared both of my humming birds away

  28. Sat with a squirt gun last night shooting the darn woodpeckers away worked for a little time.

  29. the problem I have is they don’t eat, they just leave bowel movements that block the feeder holes

  30. I was going to do the same thing but feared it wouldn’t get out or the woodpecker would get trapped. They’re all feathers. I think they could squeeze through.

  31. In all the years I have never had a problem with other birds on my hummingbird feeders. This year I have woodpeckers and other birds draining them even tho I have suet feeders, seed feeders, oranges and grape jelly out. What gives? It’s annoying.

  32. Now we have the babies, and they are learning from their parents how to use the hummer feeders.
    We sort of gave up, and just keep filling the feeders all the time, and both the woodies and the hummers seem to get along.
    Thats as long as they arent trying to be on the same feeder at the same time. Yes, they do poop on our porch under that particular feeder, I have to scrub and wash it off.
    Oh, well, they are hungry too.

  33. I have the woody problem this year, thats why I’m here. I just looked at my feeder
    and the perches are detachable by a screw.

  34. I have hilarious video from last year. The Orioles consistently went to the Perky Pet Hummingbird feeder and the Hummers consistently went to the Oriole feeder – I finally just took the Oriole feeder down and now they both share the Perky Pet one. Since the bee guards have fallen off this year, now the house finches are there as well. None of them seem to spill and they seem to share – and of course the two hummers that come dive bomb one another but …

  35. Apparently they have changed their tastes? Who knows, maybe they enjoy ‘junk food’ sweets? In the 20 years I’ve had hummer feeders up (as well as black oil seed feeders) I only had the non hummers start this past year in 2016 and again now in 2017.

  36. Had an ant problem. Took a cotton ball and wiped the hanging pole and top of the feeder with cinnamon bark oil. No more ants. They hate cinnamon.

  37. I fed hummers ( and only hummers) in Sc for over 20 yrs. Moved to Nc 5yrs ago. Started with just hummers…3yrs ago woodpeckers started….this year add finches to the gang.The woodpeckers and finches both frequented my other large bird feeder have no idea why they have added the hummer one to their menu!

  38. My HB feeder recently installed, seems not to feed. It was purchased and using the store bought nectar solution is bright red. The white flowers at the base have a two inch tube with orifice I think is large enough for the birds. As I watch even the Finches don’t seem successful with drawing the nectar through the ports inside the flowers.

  39. Yep it also stops the bully males from chasing the females away

  40. Try the Bb gun it quicker…to many males anyway

  41. Use plain ole sugar water. …stop with the color crap

  42. I have two hummingbird feeders on my back patio. Sparrows are a real nuisance because they scare off hummingbirds that attempt to land and feed. But sparrows are mostly a nuisance because they poop all over the feeders, especially near the feeder holes. This contaminates the nectar. I usually try to shoo them away by opening the back door, yelling and waving my arms.

    But my husband came up with an idea: a remote-controlled noise machine. There’s one on the Walmart website called (don’t laugh) a Fart Machine. It works from 100 ft away (according to the package). I’m thinking of trying one! They’re not expensive, around $15. It may not completely solve the problem, but it would save me having to jump up every time I saw sparrows around. Who knows, maybe after enough “farts” the sparrows would get the message and go bother somebody else’s feeders!

  43. I watched a Egret nab one of my hummers, i have a tall 4 plant holder with 8 feeders on it and an Egret laned on top and snatched it up. Anyone have a solution to keeping them away from the new found pleasure it seems to have. We live on a farm in SW Louisiana and they are always around because of the horses and cattle. Not just a couple there are tons of them. I want to enjoy my hummers with out worring about them being eaten. The holder is out side the family room windows about 10 ft from house. I was thinking maybe something like an umbrella but we have a lot of windy days. Any ideas welcomed, thank you.

  44. We have a covered porch and that discourages all the large or the bully birds. The crows and hawks will never approach it.
    Even the Blue Jays arent brave enough to come under the roof. Once in a while our Yellow Lab will bark at the larger birds if they land in the yard within her sight, if she is on the sofa on our porch. They dont like her either.
    I did hit a big hawk with a tennis ball, and he never returned, didn’t hurt him, just scared him. Took about 10 balls for a direct hit.

    Try an umbrella, I bet that would keep the Egrets away, as they could not navigate under it.

  45. Also live in FH and bought a feeder 3 weeks ago. Obviously can’t be outside all day chasing away the birds. Very disheartening. Thought I’d give the hummers a one-up as winter approaches (well AZ winter).

  46. The ‘perchless’ feeder doesn’t stop finches or sparrows from putting their toes in the space between the glass top & the plastic bottom & hanging upside down, tilting feeder, spilling nectar on patio which draws ants. Messy.
    Any ideas?

  47. I’m trying to find a perchless feeder like the one pictured above. I click on the link, but it takes me to a feeder I already have. I’ve looked quite a bit on the web, but can’t seem to find one. Does anyone know where I could get one of these?

  48. Leslie;

    I am thinking of doing the same. Did you have success with your “cage”?


  49. The woodpeckers just piced them out

  50. Tell me more

  51. How can one keep the robins off the orioles food?????????

  52. We had more large birds each year until last year we had Titmouse, Indigo Bunting, Mockingbird, Downy Woodpecker, and House Finch eating frequently at the HB feeder. The feeder was a conventional flat base feeder and the birds would land on one side that would tip the feeder and get some sugar solution out of the holes. They would empty the feeder in a couple of days. The hummers had trouble feeding.
    I was planning to try a tube feeder but then discovered a small feeder with no flat base and the feeder holes higher up from the base. The hummers like it fine and the large birds have all looked but can’t find a way to get solution from it. Hope this continues to work.

  53. Roger, what is your feeder called and where did you find it?

  54. This is the first year I have ever had a problem with so many unwanted birds. We have tried everything. Putting up other feeders, suet, the cd’s, BB gun, and sometimes another gun. I’m going to try feeders with no perch next. I hate this. I’ve waited along time for my Hummers to return. Plus, this is getting expensive…

  55. I should have mentioned, I’ve seen the woodpeckers hang on the bee guards and TRY to eat, but it appears their beaks aren’t long enough to get much nectar since they’re hanging in an odd position. So far they quickly get frustrated and leave!

    This is a far cry from before when they’d perch on the top of a red flower and get all they wanted. I’m hopeful they don’t figure it out, and that we don’t have any contortionist woodpeckers in the neighborhood. 🙂

  56. Orioles get their claws caught on the bee guards and tear them off. Probably woodpeckers do the same.

  57. i found a solution i think. Take a piece of poultry fencing…cut a large piece of it and lay it over the top of your hummers feeder. I noticed that most of the time baltimore orioles need to drop down to the feeder and need clearance to get to it
    and with this poulty net there they can’t do that. And there is still plenty of clearance that hummers don’t even know its there. I then place a baltimore oriole feeder away from the hummer feeders. My hummers seem to only want to feed from two of my feeders and they can be really picky about that too even though i have two feeders the same, they will favor one. lol But i didn’t (finally after years of trying to attract hummers) want to quit trying because of orioles so i needed a solution 🙂 Hope this helps. For me i am in experiment mode here.

  58. I make a batch in a different feeder of water with about 2Tbls of sugar just enough to attract the bigger birds away from my hummers

  59. Would love to know how deterred squirrels from your hummingbird feeder?

  60. You may have a raccoon. We have problems with them overnight. I started taking some of them in so at least I have some nectar left without making it everyday.

  61. Haha I take the feeders in not the raccoons.

  62. me too! Did you come up with any solutions?

  63. Lol, I use the Bb gun to shoot at the squirrels that like to gnaw at the seed feeders. I take all feeders in at night, otherwise I find them empty the next morning. I don’t like the look of baffles. The woodpeckers stick with their suet feeders and so far have not bothered with the HB feeder hanging about 4 feet away on a separate pole. The HB likes to perch in the young dogwood and chases the Downy Woodpecker off every time, it’s hilarious, the Downy tries to hide on the backside of the treetrunk and keeps running from the HB that keeps finding him. Birds are so much fun 🙂

  64. We have several flocks of different hummers living in our backyard rows of Juniper trees. They seem to be the ones who keep the predators away – I’ve even seen them regularly chase stray cats out. To keep insects away from the feeders (2 hanging 32 oz. perched feeders), when I routinely bug spray the house, I carefully spray a barrier of home defense about 6 feet away from the feeders.

  65. A woodpecker has broken 3 bee guards on my hummingbird feeder!

  66. Do you have a picture? This sounds like a great idea.

  67. Used a small shiny disc hanging from the feeder and it scares the woodpeckers away.

  68. I just posted a question about the hummingbirds not coming back to the same feeder I have had for a year….reeading some of the other people’s suggestion, I think I found the answer. This summer, the bees discovered the sweetness and took over and that is problem why they just gave up trying to get there fair share…How do you keep bees away from the hot days of summer? Also, I noticed that when one hummer comes to feed and one or more come at the same time, the one there first chases them away….Is it like she is the queen and wants them to know it is her personal restaurant, or do they mind that others comes at the same time? Are they territorial? Thanks for you imput.

  69. please do not use store bought RED hummingbird food!!! It kills the hummers!! It is bad for them , it swells their
    throats. should be illegal to sell in first place. 4 parts water to 1 part sugar! PLEASE

  70. old hummer food I put in a old bird bath to attract bees or lots of butterflies.

  71. are you deranged? a shot gun to get rid of a bird by a hummingbird feeder? Ah, I get it, you are a troll….never mind….

  72. My problem is that I have birds that started nesting above my window seal last year and have been there every since. I’ve taken the best away and washed the area out when I painted the porch at the end of summer last year. They came back. They poop all over my porch furniture and they are really quite annoying to me. I don’t know what kind they are. In the summer I have tons of hummers and I LOVE sitting and watching them. I post videos and everyone loves them. My question is .. If I put something out to keep the other birds from nesting on my porch will it also keep my hummers away. I do not want to run them off.

  73. Please post a picture with your victim. This way the feds can track your ass down for violating the Migratory Bird act. Then of course, your probably a bedwetting 12 year old child trolling around the net bc you don’t have a life otherwise

  74. I think part of the problem is that nobody is thinking like the birds. Underlying principle for them is that you do not risk your life trying to get food. I have purchased multiple feeders and hang one of them close to our resident woodpeckers’s residence. Then, I placed two in favorable tree that becomes inaccessible to larger birds bc of branches and strategic pruning. Other ones are distributed throughout the property for the rest of the birds. So far, none of the birds have bothered each other cross species. In fact, the hummers are annoying bullies given their size especially in the Spring during mating season. It it is spectacular to watch their agility outflying each other to get a spot ton the table. The woodpecker are distructiv e by nature since their entire development has been focused on getting to nutrients that are hiding in wood. Plastic will not be any problems for their jackhammer type skull and beaks. The only drawback with this approch is me having to change out 6 feeders every 3 days, but that is more about me than the birds. Lastly, to read about the frustration and plain animosity toward animals that do nothing but to survive is a bit disheartening. I also know that federal staff is tough on all of you jerks that think it is OK to shoot protected animals. It’s not up to you to decide what birds can be shot or not. I know of someone who took this to the test and ended up regretting it due to the fine and legal problems that had a cascading effect. Enjoy your feathered neighbors as long as they are still around

  75. I want to put flash tape to scare away other birds but will this scare away the humming birds? If so i will not use it

  76. Tin pie plates and anything that they see their reflection in keeps my troublesome birds away. Looks tacky but it’s better that bird crap. Ball up tin foil and hang up where you Don’t want nests. My Hummers don’t seem to mind it at all. Good luck.

  77. I definitely agree! Take the aggressive route.

  78. My hummingbird feeder just has narrow slits for them to feed out of. A couple finches came around today, but I don’t think birds with bigger beaks are able to get anything.

  79. I’ve just spent hours trying to find out WHY, after 20 years in the same spot, a downy woodpecker is suddenly interested in my HB feeder…what the heck?!…I spotted it a couple of days ago. My hubby didn’t believe me, until he finally got a chance to witness for himself. I’ve been driving myself nuts wondering why…I thought the only other type of bird attracted to them would be an oriole…but this was no oriole, THAT I was sure of! I researched the downy ‘pecker’ several years ago, when I spotted one eating from the bottom of my winter season ‘seed’ feeder. And now, I am positive that’s what’s been on the HB feeder this past week. It doesn’t seem to deter the hummers, so far though, just eats a while then leaves. Darndest thing I’ve ever seen. Guess I’ll just put out more juice, more often, as long as they can all get along.

  80. Where did you find your hummingbird feeder at? I’m not having luck finding the type with the narrow slits.

  81. Hummers are disappearing as we’ve seen an increase in woodpeckers. We had to convert to metal flowers on the feeders to prevent more damaged feeders. We increased the number of feeders, with success. Unfortunately this year the woodpeckers have clearly ‘moved in’. Today we’re separating the feeders even more in hopes that helps.

  82. I have house finches that have nested up in the corner of my porch roof. All of my hummingbirds have suddenly stopped coming to feed. I keep my feeders clean and ant free. I change my nectar everyday when it’s hot and every two to three days when it’s cooler. I miss my hummingbirds. Did the finches chase them off? I don’t understand where they went.

  83. To get rid of ants or bugs, eco wise use cinnamon. If it rains you will have too do it again. Simple. Google your solution instead of complaints. Please put out the necessary food for each bird. Do not shoot them. You don’t have the legal right to do so. Phone your Conservation Wildlife and get advice. That is what we would do in Canada. Some of your comments really upset me. Our birds are slowly disappearing. And you want to kill them? I don’t know? You don’t deserve to have them in your yard. Some of our bird’s ARE under protection like the Great Grey Owl and he is very dangerous. I have one right now killing my beautiful birds and the eggs and can’t do nothing about it until Wildlife comes middle of June. I also have a Shish Tzu who the Owl is just waiting to grab.

  84. They make a roll like plastic with the little flowers for 18 fedeers or 24. They run about 25.00 I haven’t tried but that wouldbe one container for lots hummingbirds.

  85. Hummingbird feeders in azalea bushes ?! Welcome, cats! Feeders need to be at least 5 feet off the ground

  86. What is a protected area?

  87. But I do have the right, the thing is I DO NOT WANT THEM IN MY YARD SO PLEASE COME TALK TO THEM and tell them to leave , gesh there is always one in the bunch.

  88. Are all Orioles from Baltimore? I have some in North Carolina. Can I call them Carolina Orioles?

  89. We had the same issues. Our culprit was a raccoon. We caught 10 in one week. We caught them in live cages and hauled them off to conservation areas.

  90. We had many hummingbirds last season but only a few this season. I put a oriole feeder 20 ft away, since the orioles were hitting the hummingbird feeder, but they leave it alone now. Still hummingbirds are few this year

  91. Hi , we put out orange halves for the woodies and orioles a like. Keeps them Busy.

  92. We live in North Alabama. Last year a very large number of purple finches took up residence in the big lorapetalum hedge line between our house and our neighbor. They empty our 203CPBR in just a few days and the hummers stay away. Yesterday I removed the perch and red flowers but left the bee guards on. There is much less finch interference and the the hummers are back. I can deal with that.

  93. Quit shopping at Amazon. 40 billion dollar divorce. I think he has made enough money off of our cow consumerism.

  94. I have a feeder that holds a whole suet pack. This is right under my hummingbird feeder. I have a feeder under them that holds sunflower and niger seeds. My woodpeckers go right to the suet and once in a while to the seeds. All this on a 5th story apartment window!

  95. My dad’s neighbor use to live catch the squirrels and drive them out of town. My dad told me that the squirrels probably made it back into town before Skip did and he is probably catching the same squirrels over and over!

  96. I live in 5th floor apartment, next to a hill full of trees. I have a small window feeder, a suet feeder, and a hummingbird feeder.
    I put out sunflower and niger seeds every morning and nectar when it gets old or too hot. Then I sit back and watch nature happen. I see which birds bully or just plain scare others with a look! I watch how darling little chickadees will hang from a nearby screen, patiently waiting their turns. I see Mr. & Mrs. Mourning Dove, such gentle sweet greedy birds. Two different kinds of woodpeckers sit on the perch and eat suet. The third kind is way too big so he kinda sticks his legs under the table and latches on with his toes. There are a couple of starlings or grackles that visit. Nasty, messy, geedy bird! Unless you sit there and shoo 24/7, you will soon learn that they will win and you will not enjoy your feeders. They are not invading our world. We have invaded theirs, with our sweet offerings. If my feeders go empty, I fill them the next day. They learned quickly to get in, grab a seed and leave or get ready for a tussle. I enjoy all of their antics.

  97. has a large variety of feeders and food.

  98. I’ve had problems with several birds over the years, including a hawk that nearly knocked me off a 6′ ladder (cleaning out the gutters) while it was chasing a robin. Top of my head looked like a tick-tac-toe game. Both the birds and I survived but it scared the beejeesus out of me. When it comes to keeping the hummer feeder safe from the woodies (we have 4 here in SE MO but the Pilated don’t bother the feeders) the other 3 are all over a stock feeder. For the last several years I’ve been putting packing tape on them, sticky side out, to keep them off fhe feeders, which they can drain in a day. They spill more than they drink and bee guards do NOT stop them as their tongues are around 10cm/4″ long. I will look around for one of the perchless feeders. A bit of packing or scotch tape around the seem will stop the other birds. The solution to having one hummer (usually a male) staking a claim to a feeder is to put two close together but out of sight of each other (mine are at the corner of my house by the breakfast nook). Many times I’ve seen a male claim one of the feeders so the girls just go to the other one. He may try to claim both but he can only guard one at a time. I put sunflower seeds & peanuts out where all the birds except the hummer visit, so the next problem is squirrels. The squirrels can completely wipe out what I put out in 10 -15 minutes. I kinda like the squirrels but get tired of feeding them (the more you put out, the larger numbers of squirrels show up! I’ve had as many as 8 on my deck at once!) and definitely don’t like that they poop & pee constantly. I’ve resorted to shooting them in the butt with a very low powered BB gun but it only works for a while, then they’re back. The only ones I ignore are the pregnant or nursing moms but over the last couple of years, I’ve nailed every squirrel in the county (it seems) at least once but still they come back. It’s an endless battle! And I am definitely NOT winning!

  99. Hi Jane,
    I tried the suggestion about removing the perch from the HB feeders but even that doesn’t keep other birds, especially Mexican finches, from helping themselves to the nectar. In the Phoenix heat, I hate to remove this source of food from my hummers.

  100. Ditto. Same situation in both NE and Central AZ for me.

  101. Good for you Doreen! Why punish other birds for wanting what the hummingbirds want? The other birds are fun to watch too and appreciate the treats as well. That’s why I feed the squirrels too and they stay away from my bird feeders.

  102. There are plenty of product in boating catalogs that can help you.

    You can experiment with making versions of what you see in those catalogs.

    You can experiment with thin fishing line placed to disrupt a bird from flying in and balancing on the top post.

  103. My neighbor had the same “guard dog” problem with one indignant male hummingbird. Two feeders weren’t enough to keep the “bully” away. After adding a THIRD feeder to the same area, the bully finally gave up trying to guard all of them.

  104. I have heard of people discretely marking/painting them before release to track that sort of thing.

  105. I think they are eating ants.

  106. My daughter keeps her hummer feeder on a shepherds hook in between two bushes, next to the porch on her house. It is only about 3 feet tall. It gives the little ones cover while they eat.
    Growing lots of hummer and butterfly plants is good too.

  107. I keep finding the yellow bee guards on the floor. Is that what the woodpeckers do, pull them off?

  108. The best way to discourage woodpeckers from the hummingbird feeders that I’ve found is to hand up BLANK DVD’s glued together so that only the real shinny side is exposed. Next, us a button and fishing line and hand these shinny DVD’s right next to the feeders, even touching them. It doesn’t scare the hummingbirds, but it will discourage the woodpeckers since they just don’t like bright shinny objects. Also, cut off all the perches.

  109. I went to the thrigt store and found a utensil basket that i put around one feeder, upside down. It helps mostly. The hummers can get through, but the flickers etc can’t.

  110. I have Gila Woodpeckers that kill hummingbirds and their fledglings while they are nesting.

    Any suggestions?

  111. BATS !
    If you simply want to keep the nectar for your hummingbirds and still leave your feeders out in place at night. I just cut the tips of cotton swabs off, enough to poke into the feeding holes and not too deep to go into the nectar. The bats cannot stick their tongues in there.

  112. I have a child’s low powered soft air gun, it stings the hell out of them till they leave. When ever I see them I chase them off the best I can.

  113. Thank you for your great suggestion.

  114. I have a bully that perches on top of the stand to keep watch over any hummingbird that has the nerve to want to feed on His food stand. If one comes he is chased away. I wonder at the aeronautics that allow these birds to battle in air and never bump into each other.

  115. I have had 4 HB feeders out for over 5 yrs and had quite a lot of Hummers feeding here but this yr they came for about a week and now they have just disappeared and we don’t know why? Please any ideas on how to get ythem back to our feeders?? I Miss watching them and taking pics while I had my coffee very Sad 😞 I don’t understand what’s happened!! Help Me Please

  116. Mine have all but disappeared too.

  117. I’m having the same problem. Did you get any answer?

  118. Put your humming bird feeder on a table at night and bats can’t get at it but hummers can

  119. Personally, I think it would be pretty cool to see a bat eating at one of me hummingbird feeders!

  120. I slit a heavy paper plate and put it over the feeder handle, so it rests on the top of feeder.
    My flickers would get on top and lean down to drink. It spilled liquid out on ground.
    Paper plate working so far,

  121. I’m ready to catch a squirrel to relocate but I’m waiting till I’m sure if it has babies to tend to not to deprive them of their mother. That would be the end of May. Also some time in the Fall is the second rearing of the young.

  122. I have tons of Gila woodpeckers and some gilded Flickers. They drain both my hummingbird feeders in a day. They don’t need a perch. They hang from everywhere and anywhere. I put up suet and have three sunflower seed feeders. They like the suet, but their first choice is always the hummingbird feeders (they wait in line on the patio upright posts to get a turn at the feeders.) I guess I just need to keep filling them or adding more. I also have a birth bath so they have access to water . Between the finches, woodpeckers, thrashers and cardinals I am feeding at least a pound of sunflower seeds a day–also have two thistle feeders for the smaller guys. Glad I like birds!

  123. In our case, the orioles were the culprits!! I would put them back in and they would be back to take the bee guards out!!!!!

  124. I had a huge ant problem and also used the cinnamon oil. Worked great but then I. Ame up with the idea to mix cinnamon oil with Vaseline. It lasts much longer and works great!

  125. You have to keep the different birds feeders separated. I have my Blue Jay’s feeders at the opposite end of the deck from my hummers feeders. I even have Cardinal family which blue Jay’s don’t normally get along with them but mine are. Maybe my male blue Jay is a nice guy. Lol

  126. I bought the new long tubular hummingbird feeders on Amazon they are awesome! I get more hummers now it’s pretty cool! Way better than constantly filling the the little bottles all the time. They can take a break and stand on it too. Super cute best ones yet!

  127. Rick, do you have a link to the slotted hummingbird feeder?

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