How Long Does It Take for Hummingbirds To Find Feeder? 

  • By: TheWalledNursery
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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It can take months for hummingbirds to find a new feeder in your yard. If you want to attract them sooner, you’ll need to take some extra steps. Being consistent in refilling the feeder will help more come. Plus, careful placement helps make the feeders noticeable. 

Overall, it takes hummingbirds a long time to find your feeders naturally. However, you can speed up the process!

The color of the feeder and whether there’s a nearby water source also matter. Soon enough, you’ll have plenty of these tiny birds at your feeder. 


How Long Until Hummingbirds Arrive?

If you don’t do anything to attract the hummingbirds, they can take months to find the feeder- if they ever find it all! It would be disappointing if that were to happen. 

There are a few reasons why hummingbirds might not be coming to your bird feeder. If the hummingbirds are nesting, they won’t stray far from home.

Plus, there’s also the chance of having enough nectar from flowers closer to their nest. 

However, you also might’ve put the bird feeder out during the wrong time of year. Hummingbird feeders should go out two weeks before they arrive. You’ll need to check their migration data for your area. 

Instead of waiting, there are ways that you can attract hummingbirds to your nectar feeders faster. 

How Can I Attract Hummingbirds to My Feeder?

There are plenty of methods that you can use to attract hummingbirds to your feeder. Using them ensures you see the tiny birds in your yard! Here’s what you should do: 

Use A Lot of Red 

First, always make sure you’re using a red feeder with nectar. Red is a bright color that’s easy for hummingbirds to spot. The color also reminds them of flowers, so they’re more likely to come to check it out. 

You can plant red flowers near the feeder or hang red ribbons nearby. If you don’t use any red, it’s likely the hummingbirds won’t spot the feeder.

The birds don’t have a good sense of smell and need to rely on their eyesight to find food. 

Offer a Source of Water 

Suppose you also have a reliable water source nearby.

In that case, the hummingbirds are more likely to view your property as a reliable place to have a meal. You can set out a fountain or birdbath for them to use. 

When hummingbirds find a reliable, safe habitat that offers plenty of food and water, they will return every year. Offering them water near the food helps encourage them to return to your feeder often.

Plus, birds seeking water will also notice the nearby nectar source. 

Use More Nectar Feeders

Adding more hummingbird feeders to your property will help attract more birds.

Male hummingbirds can be aggressive and won’t share their feeders with other hummingbirds. If you want to attract many of them to your yard, you’ll need multiple feeders. 

Make sure that the hummingbird feeders are at least 10 feet apart. That way, the aggressive birds won’t be as territorial.  

If you have seed bird feeders in the yard, you also need to keep your hummingbird feeders away from them.

Larger birds will scare away the hummingbirds. So, if the two different feeders are too close together, the hummingbirds won’t appear. 

Keep Away Pests

Next, you’ll want to ensure your feeders are free of ants, bees, and wasps.

You can use a bee-resistant feeder and an ant moat to keep these insects away. Hummingbirds are more likely to ignore a feeder that’s swarmed with bugs! 

Hummingbird Feeder Pests

Clean and Refill the Feeder Often

Keeping the feeder clean allows hummingbirds to enjoy it better. You’ll also need to refill it with nectar often because hummingbirds drink a lot.

These tiny birds have speedy metabolisms, so they’ll visit a feeder multiple times per day. 

You won’t need to buy more nectar every time you refill it. It’s not difficult to make your own nectar at home, and the hummingbirds will love it just the same!

Plus, you can leave out the red dyes harmful to the birds. 

Here’s a quick and straightforward nectar recipe that you can use: 

  1. Boil four cups of water 
  1. Stir in a cup of white sugar into the boiling water 
  1. Stir until the sugar dissolves 
  1. Boil for two more minutes, then turn the heat off 
  1. Give the sugar mixture plenty of time to cool; it should have no heat left 
  1. Pour the cooled nectar into the hummingbird feeders 

Homemade nectar works just as well at attracting hummingbirds as store-bought nectar. You can save a lot of money by creating your own. 

Put the Feeder in the Right Spot

It’s also good to put the hummingbird feeder in the right spot and where to hang them. That means keeping it somewhere the birds feel comfortable but can also easily spot it. 

You’ll want to follow these tips to determine where the best place in your yard for a feeder is: 

  • Nearby a flowerbed 
  • Within 10 feet of safety to fly to (bushes, gardens, or trees) 
  • High enough off the ground to avoid cats 
  • 15 feet away from a window to prevent collisions 
  • 10 feet away from other bird feeders  

Overall, you’ll want to choose where to place the feeder carefully. If hummingbirds aren’t using it after a few weeks, you may want to move it somewhere they’ll like better. 

How Long Does It Take To Attract Hummingbirds?

If you meet all of the conditions that hummingbirds like, it should take a few weeks for them to find your feeder. If you’ve set them out at the right time, it won’t take quite as long. 

However, you will need to have a lot of patience. Hummingbirds might have other food sources and will move to yours when they’re ready.

That’s why it’s essential to keep your hummingbird feeder clean and prepared for them. 

Most of the time, you’ll notice hummingbirds within a month or two of setting out their feeders. As long as you keep the bird feeders clean and pest-free, you shouldn’t have any problems!  

Best Hummingbird Feeders That Attract Hummingbirds

There are many hummingbird feeders out there, but only the best will actually attract these tiny birds to your yard. Hanging disk feeders are the most comfortable for the birds to use. Although, there are plenty of gravity feeders and hummingbird feeders that also work well. 

Overall, you’ll want to consider your yard. Everyone has different space available to attract hummingbirds, so you should pick a nectar feeder that’s best suited for you.

Click here to see the top 8 Hummingbird Feeders that actually work. Which is best for you?