The future of hummingbird feeders?

Who doesn't like seeing hummingbirds in the garden? I know I do, and besides planting lots of hummer-attracting plants (Agastaches and Salvias for a start), I've been hanging hummingbird feeders for as long as I can remember.

Back in May I had the opportunity to review a new type of feeder, and today's post is my experience with it so far. As you can see from the box, this thing must be HUGE!


The box felt almost empty though, but that's because...

The feeder is a plastic tube, quite long and narrow.

It's the Perky-Pet Hummerbar, and it's designed to allow lots of birds to feed at once. The marketing materials claim that because there are an abundance of feeding ports, hummers are less territorial and will share the feeder with others. (This video is one example)

This is the small model believe it or not at 24" (61cm) long, and it has 22 feeding ports.

If it isn't obvious, this feeder is intended to be used horizontally!

Let's see what's included here besides a plastic tube with rubber stoppers in the ends:

We have some hanging cords with spring-loaded toggles for easy hanging and leveling, the hanging cords themselves, a tiny funnel, and instructions.  Let's take a look at the instructions:

If you actually read them, all they tell you to do is remove the funnel from the tube then replace the end stopper. It doesn't say anything about putting in the hanging clips, and I could have used some help with that:

It seemed to me that the clips should have snapped into the holes, but it was such a tight fit I didn't force it. The clips work fine even though they're not snapped in, although they will fall out if I remove the cords.

So the instructions were not very helpful.

The big sticker on the tube wasn't helpful either:

This really should be the type of label that cleanly pulls off. Nothing worse than soaking and scraping and soggy bits of paper in the sink.

Hanging the feeder was a bit of a challenge. I had the lines created by the siding for a reference, but you're not going to get the empty feeder level -- it's too light to pull the cords completely taut.

So you're supposed to fill the tube halfway, but even that was tricky. The provided funnel helps but is really too small. Plus I hung the hummerbar at about eye level so pouring the "nectar" into it involved some spillage -- the deck needed a spray down afterward.

After getting some liquid into the feeder it will flow to one end -- that's the end you need to raise. I found that adjustments needed to be very small: raise one end a tiny amount, wait for the liquid to settle down, then repeat a few times.

For comparison, this is the cheap plastic feeder that I've been using for several years:

Easy to hang, I can fill it indoors over the sink, not too difficult to clean, requires a single hook. Only accommodates one or two birds at a time though, and usually only one.

The Hummerbar was not so easy to hang, needs to be filled outdoors after being hung, requires two hooks (so can't be used on a shepherd's hook out in the garden), and cleaning...

Well, cleaning is in theory not difficult if you have a bottle brush of some sort. What complicates things is the length of the feeder. When you run water in one end you better be aware of where the other end is, or you'll have a wet floor or kitchen counter (not that I'd know about that - cough, cough!)

The large version is 4' (1.2m) long -- that must require cleaning outdoors or in the bathtub!

So, the big question: does it attract more hummingbirds, and do they feed in harmony? (Instead of spending most of their time chasing each other away...)

The answer so far is: I don't know.

I've only seen a hummer at my "regular" feeder once so far this summer, and haven't actually seen any at the Hummerbar. (That doesn't mean they're not out there, I just haven't seen them.) Things usually pick up around here hummingbird-wise in July and August, so I'll post an update later this summer.

My verdict: if your garden is frequented by many hummingbirds and if you find that they're having a hard time sharing, you may want to give a Hummerbar a try. Be aware that its unique design comes with some challenges though.

I received this product for free, but did not receive any other compensation for reviewing it.


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Mark and Gaz  – (July 8, 2015 at 8:32 AM)  
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Mark and Gaz  – (July 8, 2015 at 8:33 AM)  

Wish we had hummingbirds here, such delightful birds!

Anonymous –   – (July 8, 2015 at 9:43 AM)  

Seems like a giant pain in the as- it's going to be hard to clean(and that is far to important for healthy birds to not keep that into consideration) also,what happens if it's windy and gets off balance

outlawgardener  – (July 8, 2015 at 9:45 AM)  

It'll be interesting to see if this attracts more hummingbirds to your garden!

Teri  – (July 8, 2015 at 9:53 AM)  

How about hanging it from a horizontal stick that itself has a hanger to another object (pole, etc). Then you could just lift the whole thing (stick and feeder) to clean and refill.

Salty Pumpkin Studio  – (July 8, 2015 at 3:58 PM)  

Enjoyable and straight forward post. Thank you. If I had enough humming birds around here, then I'd give it a try. I've seen videos of feeders with lots of them sharing.

Lisa  – (July 8, 2015 at 7:39 PM)  

Definitely a creative design idea, but ease of use is an important factor. I'll be curious to see how the birds like it!

Upsetwife  – (February 2, 2016 at 7:33 AM)  

did you ever get more then one bird

Alan  – (February 2, 2016 at 8:42 AM)  

Upsetwife: I never saw more than one bird at this feeder at a time. Of course, I don't think I saw birds going to this feeder at all -- they're lazier around here I guess and prefer the feeder with the perch. :)

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