Hummingbird Feeders

I don't know of any better way to attract Hummingbirds than to put up a big multiport hummingbird feeder.   

This is my current favorite MultiPort Hummingbird Feeder.  The Perky-Pet  Magnolia top-fill feeder.  The best features of the feeder are that it is easy to clean,  has a medium size bottle so the nector is used up before going bad,  has easily removable perches and doesn't drip!   A feeder like this one will attract a lot of birds,  but isn't very good for photography.   Of course there are a lot of good feeders out there and if you have a feeder that is attracting birds,  then great.

I would prefer to take all my Hummingbird pictures with the birds feeding on flowers, but the reality is that feeders attract a lot more birds than I get with flowers.   Flowers have a limited amount of nector and the birds know that.  Even if you keep filling a flower with sugar water the feeding activity will slow down after the first few minutes.  Also the sugar water damages the flower pretty quickly.  I find that using a syringe to apply sugar water works best.  Changing flowers frequently does work but a feeder will attract a lot more birds.

The strategy that I usually use is to put up a feeder to get the birds into the setup,  then put up flowers until the feeding activity drops off,  then back to the feeder. 

I learned Hummingbird photography using a tube feeder like this Perky-Pet tube feeder.     I have modified mine to use a plastic tube and partially covered up the red stopper.  

Unfortunately these feeders are no longer available.  But you can buy bottle stoppers with feeding tubes on ebay to make your own tube feeder.   

The practice was to get birds attracted to the tube feeder,  then place flowers around the feeding tube so that it looked like the birds was feeding on the flower,  not the feeder.  The trick was hiding the feeding tube and placing the tip so that it looked realistic.   This was no mean feat,  but when done right gave excellent results.

I frequently shoot birds on this feeder and digitally remove the feeder from the images.  The Costas Hummingbirds at my house  prefer this feeder over others.

Most of my feeder shots are taken with this single port feeder.  I don't know who makes this one,  as I have bought it under several names.  It is currently sold at  Lowes as a flower box feeder kit,  with two feeders and small hangers.

This feeder has several advantages for photography.   The birds LOVE it,  there is no perch, so you get all flight shots,  it is easy to clean,  durable and cheap!   I bought the first, of many, of this feeder at Walmart for $0.97!   But they only carried it for one year.

With the single port,  birds hover facing the port,  so if properly oriented,  nearly all your shots are at a good angle for photography.

I try not to shoot pictures when the birds are actually feeding,  as their bills are inside the feeder,  and I am not into reconstructing missing bird parts in Photoshop.  The feeder is about 1.25" diameter,  so there is a fair amount of feeder to edit out of your photos,  but the new Photoshop Content Aware Fill is a godsend!