how to keep birds off hummingbird feeder

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Provide Other Feeders to Use Instead

If you feed hummingbirds, you probably don’t mind if other birds move into your yard; all you really want is to maintain your little hummingbird companions nearby. Because of this, one of the greatest ways to keep hummingbirds around is to provide feeders for your neighbors who steal nectar.

Find out which bird species are stealing the nectar from the hummingbirds and give them a special feeder of their own. For instance, orioles enjoy eating fruit as well, and nectar and fruit are frequently provided in bird feeders made specifically for them. Another frequent offender is woodpeckers. Since woodpeckers typically prefer to eat suet, having suet feeders available will help discourage them from using hummingbird feeders for food.

Sometimes birds are able to perch on top of the feeder or cling to the wire supporting it, even though the feeder itself lacks a perch. You can install a conventional baffle or construct a homemade one using an old CD.

Although hummingbird feeders are frequently raided by orioles, they’re not the only ones Hummingbird feeders are frequently invaded by Woodpeckers, House Finches, and other birds who want to taste the delicious nectar. Furthermore, the entire purpose is defeated when these larger birds scare off the hummingbirds after they consume the nectar.

We’ve been writing for the past few weeks about how to keep flying insects and bothersome ants away from your hummingbird feeders. Another danger that other birds pose to hummingbird feeders was mentioned by one of our readers.

With the exception of hummers, small, perchless feeders effectively keep out all birds because most require perches to perch while feeding. When using a basic feeder such as the Opus Glass Hummingbird Feeder, the birds must be in flight in order for them to consume the nectar. The small feeder wouldn’t be able to support a large bird like the woodpecker. Also, you can reduce the height of the perches on your current feeders.

Increasing the number of feeders is one of the best solutions. If the sight of orioles at your hummingbird feeders bothers you, you can purchase feeders designed specifically for them. Hummingbird feeders and oriole feeders are nearly identical, but oriole feeders can hold fruits and jelly in addition to nectar. You can also install suet feeders so that woodpeckers have access to food. Depending on the species congregating near your hummingbird feeders, you can repeat the process with other feeders. Always make sure they are full to prevent the birds from having to go to your other feeders in search of food.

How to Keep Birds Away From the Hummingbird Feeder

It can be difficult to keep other birds away from your hummingbird feeder. Many bird species like to use hummingbird feeders because nectar is high in energy. Many species of birds Fruit-loving orioles, cunning woodpeckers, and sly house finches are frequently spotted sipping nectar from hummingbird feeders.

However, there are a few ways to deter birds from visiting the hummingbird feeder: either supply the other birds with food, use hummingbird feeders that are inaccessible to other birds, or use both strategies at once.


Why are birds drinking from my hummingbird feeder?

The birds might be hogging the hummingbird feeders now because it’s cold and they’re looking to pack on more weight as insulation. As it warms up, they’ll feed more on seeds and insects.

How do you protect hummingbirds from other birds?

Design a Garden to Keep Hummingbirds Safe Trellis-trained vertical vines and hanging baskets containing nectar flowers keep feeding hummingbirds away from ground predators. Thorny shrubs near the garden provide a safe space.

Why are regular birds at my hummingbird feeder?

But hummingbirds aren’t the only animals that like it sweet: Bears, insects, and other birds often co-opt nectar feeders for their own gain. Some intruders, like chickadees and orioles, are a bonus for birders.