Easy To Clean, Perhaps Not So Easy To Drink From
Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2016
I have written about how my hubby and I feed the hummingbirds. I have written about their tongues. I have written about the sugar we use. I have shared them being in our yard. In one of those posts I’ve had to have mentioned how difficult it is to clean the feeders. With the hummingbirds putting their tongues in the feeders there is a lot of stuff that grows in there. It pretty much looks like black slime. It is pretty gross. The way the feeders are constructed it is difficult to get in there and clean it out. We have several different brushes and we poke ’em through the little holes and clean the sludge out as best as we can. But it is time consuming – and gross. I have always wondered why someone hasn’t made a feeder that comes apart easily so that it is easier to clean. Easier to make sure all the gunk is gone. Well, I found one. I was so excited. I think I had food made up on the day they were scheduled to arrive so once they got here I could just fill them and put them outside. Well, sadly, I am disappointed in them.
I had found them on Perky Pet. But we had two that were still useable so I was going to wait until we needed one before I bought it. Well, it just happened within days of me finding it, I was washing the ones we had and I broke one. It fell in the sink and broke. Then I found the feeder sold through Amazon and it was Prime so it would get here faster and free. The new ones look the same as our old ones. With slight differences.
When I got it I filled it and put it outside. The birds didn’t touch it. They used the other feeder. I even put the new one in the spot where the old one was – 1) I didn’t trust that it wouldn’t leak (so I put it over the dirt) 2) I thought that would encourage them to use it.
When I saw a bird at the new feed what I saw was the little hummingbird sitting on it and then having to REACH his neck up really tall in order to get his beak into the “bee guard” flower. The flowers on the new feeders have a little tube that are supposed to keep bees out. But our birds are so tiny they really have to reach to get at the right angle.
I thought I could use the OLD flowers in the new feeder, but of course not. They are not interchangeable. Since I thought the little tube was the problem, I cut them off all of the flowers. But still, the birds were not using it as much as the old feeder.
I am not sure what the issue is. I THINK that the nectar doesn’t flow freely from the bottle into the reservoirs. So what I do is go outside every once in awhile and jiggle the feeder. When I jiggle it, bubbles blurp in the bottle and then I can actually see the sugar water at the holes of the flowers. So I know they can get at it.
The past two nights the old feeder has been empty so we have seen increased activity by the new feeder, but they still don’t seem to be using it as much. Or they try and they can’t get at the water . . . I am not sure. I am not filling the feeders as much, but there seems to be the same amount of birds and activity in the yard. To me if the birds are there in full force the feeders should be empting faster.
We will see. It is REALLY nice to have the feeders come apart. When they are apart I can ensure that I get it clean. There are no nooks and crannies for the slime to hide in. I really like that part. I just want to make sure that the birds can drink out of them.
I am about to fill all three again . . . . we will see how it goes. Perhaps it was just a matter of the birds getting used to using the new one. They might have to use the new feeders differently because they are configured little differently inside.