There are tons of instructions all over the web, on Pinterest in particular, about how to make your own hummingbird feeder. Personally, for something like that, I didn’t think it was worth the effort, and I refuse to use plastic if at all possible in our homestead. At our homestead, named the Sanctuary, I believe in doing as little harm and living with all of the creatures of the Field as much as possible.
In order to achieve that (for us) it is far better to purchase something with glass and metal parts that can be cleaned easily and pose less of a risk to the hummingbirds by feeding them something that can ultimately harm them. Being able to safely and effectively clean all the parts each time you refill a hummingbird feeder is important. If you can’t do that, then it’s probably best to forego the feeder and just plant a garden with flowers that the hummingbirds love. That way you can enjoy them without potentially harming them.
This oriole / hummingbird feeder is made by Perky Pet and I got it from Amazon. I absolutely love the sturdy metal and glass construction of this particular feeder! It features a gorgeous peach-colored glass bottle with a wide mouth for easy filling of bird nectar and holds up to 16 oz of nectar. The base is burnished bronze color featuring four flower feeding stations with a perch that goes all the way around the unit. It hangs easily on a hook on our deck. Over the spring and summer months, this feeder has ended up being the favorite of both orioles and hummingbirds. In July and August, the hummingbirds were emptying this feeder every 24 hours! They love it!
Just a few notes that might be helpful: When you fill this unit do it over a sink. Wait to turn it over for feeding until you get to where it’s going to be. This feeder does tend to leak out when you first do this . I filled up ours nearly full and lost about 2 oz. of nectar. If it gets on you, it’s going to be sticky. Also, it may attract ants, wasps, and other pests, so if you have spilled the nectar on your deck or porch, you will want to hose it off. or use some warm water and a scrub brush and get it off.
You may want to consider putting a little bit of organic extra virgin coconut oil around the screw on the area of the glass. Once it got stuck to its base in early summer and it was a bit of a challenge to get it back off again. Since I did just a tiny bit of the coconut oil around that area and it hasn’t stuck since.
As for the nectar you fill it with, of course, Perky-Pet would like you to buy their premixed nectar for birds. That’s alright if you want to do that. However, I have found our birds really aren’t too crazy about it and it tends to be a little pricey if you are filling the feeders as often as we do.
There is a far less expensive option that is easy to do – and you will have the added benefit that you won’t be risking the health fo birds with the dyes that are often added to commercially available nectars. Here is the nectar recipe that we use for ours for Oriole season.
Nectar Recipe for Orioles
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of sugar
Bring to a boil for two minutes, allow to cool to room temperature. If you want, you can add 1/4 tsp orange blossom water to the mix. Orioles and hummingbirds are really partial to it.
Later in the season when the hummingbirds arrive you can use this same feeder for them by simply adjusting the mix of the nectar.
Nectar Recipe for Hummingbirds
4 cups of water
1 cup of sugar
Bring to a boil for two minutes, let cool to room temperature, then add the 1/4 tsp of orange blossom water.
You can refrigerate the extra in the refrigerator for about a week. In summer months, you are going to be refilling this every couple of days. We have reached a point in the season where I will make a gallon of nectar every week to fill our feeders. The nice part is that it’s fast, easy, inexpensive, and there are no chemical dyes and additives in it that can do harm to the birds.
(BTW, the bumble and honey bees have been going for it, too!)