One of the most common questions we field this time of year, is how and why do some hummingbird feeders leak?
A leaky hummingbird feeder can create quite the mess on the surface below (if mounted above a deck or other structure around your home) and can also invite a number of unwanted visitors like ants, bugs and a variety of animals.
Most of the time we find most leaking problems occur with gravity fed feeders, ones in which the bottle is above the feeding port. The saucer style hummingbird feeders do not pose quite as much as a problem, as we have seen anyways.
So here it is, 5 reasons your feeder might be leaking, and what to do about it!
Too Much Sun
When the space above the nectar gets too warm it causes the air to expand, thus pushing the nectar out of the ports. Have a close look, and if you think this might be a problem, simply try moving the feeder to a more shaded area.
Animals & Other Birds
It is quite often that hummingbird nectar attracts a number of other visitors, both furry and feathered to your feeder. These larger animals and birds can easily knock your feeder around and make a mess of the nectar. Remove any perches that might allow for other birds to access the feeder and ensure it is not accessible to other animals.
Barometric Changes In Weather
Much like the effects the sun can have on your feeder, the barometric pressure can also change the relative difference in the air pressure inside the nectar bottle, and force the nectar out through the ports.
A very common cause to leaky feeders, sugar left around the seams and seals will create openings that will allow air inside. Be sure to regularly clean your feeder with soap and water to avoid this problem, and keep your hummingbirds healthy.
Defects in Feeder
This is another big cause and one we see quite often as well. There are a number of things that can fall under this category, as it is obviously quite broad. The first is improper installation; check to ensure the bottle is fully screwed into the base, and make sure all threads are properly cleaned. Next, you will want to check for damage to the feeder like holes or cracks. These feeders are outdoors through some of the hottest months of the year, and damage from the sun and other elements can cause cracking or holes in either the base or the bottle.
As we said, we field these types of questions more often than not in the store, and as always, if you have tried everything and can’t figure it out, stop on in and see us in the store and we’d be happy to help find the problem, or choose a new hummingbird feeder if need be!