Hummingbirds are small birds that require high energy to use their wings and fly. This is why the different species frequently feed on nectar to obtain food. Because of this, you may have kept a feeder in your backyard to help hummingbirds enjoy food.
However, you must note that feeders require two to three cleanings every week. The item may also require maintenance more frequently during the summers. This is because nectar tends to spoil faster when the weather conditions are hot.
If you want to know how to clean a hummingbird feeder, you have come to the right place. Here is a comprehensive guide that will help you maintain your feeder.
Here are the steps you must follow in cleaning your hummingbird feeder:
The first thing you must do is detach the different parts of the feeder. For instance, separate the base from the transparent tube. You will have to do this for an inverted feeder type. Meanwhile, you will have to remove the bowl-like dish in a saucer feeder.
Sometimes the nectar may also have crystallized in the feeder and can prevent you from unscrewing the base. In such a case, you should place the item in hot water for ten to fifteen minutes. After that, you must take out the removable parts of the feeder and keep them separately.
Sometimes nectar may remain inside the feeder if you place a high quantity. So you must remove the solution before starting the cleaning process. A key thing to note is that the nectar may freeze inside the feeder during winters.
Typically, you should add some water to the frozen nectar inside the feeder and let the item be for a few minutes. The solution will start to turn into its liquid form soon. After that, you can pour it out and empty the feeder.
Now you must scrub the container thoroughly to remove the residues and smell of the old nectar. The top thing that will help you do this is some liquid dish soap and a bottle brush. You should use the brush to remove nectar that may have stuck on the sides of the glass, plastic, or metal feeder.
Meanwhile, you should also wash the feeder from the outside. Again, you can use dish soap for cleaning the exterior. Besides that, a microfiber cloth or sponge will help you remove dust and other micro-particles from the outside of the feeder.
A key thing you must note is that some of the old nectar may remain in the feeding port at times. This is why you must drain this part before starting to clean it. Otherwise, the new nectar will be contaminated by the old residue affecting the shelf-life of the food.
You should also check the base and port for issues such as molds. The port may have also clogged because of frozen nectar. Typically, you should keep the part under hot water to tackle these issues. You should also check the liquid flow and ensure nothing is blocking the port.
After tackling mold and clog issues, you must scrub the feeding ports thoroughly. The top tool that will help you with this is a small bristle brush. However, a toothbrush will also work fine if you don’t have the former tool for cleaning.
Typically, you should scrub one side of the port thoroughly and wash it. After that, you should clean the other side too. You must repeat this step for all the feeding ports of the feeder. Be sure to use some liquid soap for removing microbodies, mold residues, and other particles.
Now you must rinse every part of the feeder you scrubbed with dish soap. Typically, you should keep the water running for ten seconds to ensure all the soap has been removed. You must also thoroughly rinse the inside of the feeder.
Another thing you must ensure is that no odor of soap remains inside the feeding container and its parts. Otherwise, the hummingbird may be discouraged from having the new batch of nectar.
After washing the feeder, you must dry everything naturally by letting the containers sit for a while. You should also remove excess water by using a dry cloth. Air-drying is the best to keep the container clean and ensure that the next batch of nectar will not dilute.
Besides that, drying also ensures that the smell of soap does not remain in the container. So be sure to leave the feeder in the rack for a few hours. This will ensure that no water remains inside the tube and feeding ports.
After filling the feeder with the next batch, you can place it in your backyard so that hummingbirds can visit it. However, you must keep some things in mind to choose the best placement. For instance, you should place the feeder in a shady region instead of a sunny area.
Besides that, it is best to hand the feeder at a high height so that land animals such as cats cannot reach it. Typically, hummingbirds don’t visit the station if a predator is nearby. So you should also ensure that the position does not have insects that harm the birds.
Another thing that will help you is making sure that the feeder is easily visible. Otherwise, the birds may not see it. Typically, you can hand the item from a tree or a shaded post. The latter is a better option as it removes other animals from the vicinity.
This is everything you need to know about how to clean a hummingbird feeder. All you need for the process is liquid dish soap, bottle brush, bristle brush, and water. Typically, you should clean the feeder two times every week.
Besides that, be sure to change the nectar often and provide a fresh supply to the hummingbirds. You should also remove the feeder if the solution has spoiled.