When to Change My Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbird at Feeder

Table of Contents

You might be wondering, how often should I change hummingbird sugar water? The answer is: as often as you need to brush your teeth or shower. There’s nothing like changing the feeders too much.

The feeder’s content is typically sugar water consisting of one part of sugar to four parts of water. The birds tend to empty the feeder, but you need to change its content before it spoils. 

How often do you do that? Keep reading to find out.

When to Change My Hummingbird Feeder


In a nutshell, how often you change the nectar on the feeder depends on the location (direct sunlight or location) and temperature (very hot or mildly warm).


Under higher temperatures or direct sunlight, you should change the feeder daily. On the other hand, change the feeder after two to three days in the shade or mildly warm weather.

What to Consider When Changing a Hummingbird Feeder


Temperature change affects several procedures, and changing a hummingbird feeder is one of the procedures affected by weather changes. When temperatures are low, you do not need to change your feeder as regularly as when temperatures are high.


What’s the temperature range? Temperatures above 90 degrees F are relatively high. You will need to change your hummingbird feeder after a day. And that’s because high temperatures cause the nectar to ferment, making it toxic.


Low temperatures require less effort. You can change your hummingbird feeder after two to three days of use, but cleanliness is the goal. Low temperatures are around 60 degrees. 


Hummingbirds are quite interesting creatures. They can stay the whole year in some parts of the world and be seen at specific seasons in other parts. 


Do you want to know what seasons and parts I am talking about? Stay with me.


In South Carolina, which is in the west, hummers are seen the whole year. So, if you live in this area, you need to change the feeder content often.


Hummers will always move into your area in warm seasons. Additionally, they can be anywhere they want at any second. 


A general rule is applied from when to hang hummingbird feeders. For people living in areas with extremely cold winters, hang your feeders anytime from the beginning of April. If you live in a region where winter is mild, it is advisable to hang your feeders in mid-March. 


Just a slight reminder: the North has intense winter while the South has mild winter. 

How to Change a Hummingbird Feeder

Now that you know when you are expected to change your feeder, it is important to know what to do when you are now changing it. First of all, don’t remove your hummers’ feeder before they have fully migrated out. 


Relating this to real life, if someone takes your plate away before you finish your food without inquiring whether you are full, what impression does it give you? Birds are not any different from us human beings.

Place Your Feeder out Early

One to two weeks before the expected arrival of your feathery friend is a good time to place your feeder out. Keep in mind that hummingbirds are naturally attracted to bright colors. Placing your feeders out early will attract the hummers to your homestead. 

Clean the Feeder

Your effort to place it out early is bearing fruits. The feeder should remain clean to protect the hummers. Sugar may encourage bacterial growth. The intention is to feed the hummers. 


If the food you put for the hummingbirds is consumed and the feeder is empty, you don’t have to wait for three days to end. You can wash it since it is empty. 


You will need warm water, and a special brush meant for cleaning the feeders but can be substituted by a toothbrush. The feeders are washable with dishwashing machines as long as it is detached.


Add diluted vinegar to the water and thoroughly clean the feeders. Ensure the feeder is empty for you to clean it. The brush is essential for cleaning edges and corners. Mold thrives where sugar thrives. Cleaning the feeders prevents mold. 


When using a dishwasher, avoid using dish soaps. The soaps leave a residue that harms the hummers. 


Pro Tip:


Maybe you didn’t follow the above cleaning procedure, and now your feeder has black mold. You don’t need to get tense because we have a solution for you. Following these few steps will enable you to get your feeder as clean as new.


You will need water and hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. 

  1. To two water parts, add one part of hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. 
  2. Detach the feeder.
  3. Soak the feeder parts in the solution formed in step 1. 
  4. Scrub the feeder till it is sparkling.
  5. Dry the feeder thoroughly. 

Remove the Feeder 

As mentioned earlier, removing the feeder from where you placed it will not change anything about the migration of the birds. The birds are intelligent enough to know when to migrate. Taking your feeder back inside will be of no good use.


You can take back your feeder after two weeks of the birds leaving during the migration. 

Dos and Don’ts of Hummingbird Feeders


Get a feeder that is brightly colored. Hummingbirds are attracted to colors. You need an attractive feeder if you want to get to your feeder. 



Do not use soapy water to wash your feeder. Remember that soap is likely to leave a harmful residue on the birds. 


Do not use dye so that you can attract the birds. The dye, just like soap, is harmful to the birds. 


Wrap Up

Sanitation has to be maintained at a high level. At this point, you should be able to take care of hummingbirds well and provide the best meal for them. Relating your meal to their meal will enable you to change your hummingbird feeder effortlessly. 


Any time your feeder is empty is always a good time to clean it.  Learn the period hummers are likely to be in your area for you to take the feeder out.

Dawn Caffrey

Dawn Caffrey

Hummingbirds just make me happy - in fact, I read somewhere that they represent happiness in Native American totems.
Let me tell you what I found about feeders from treating the hummingbirds in my back yard.

About Me

Hummingbirds just make me happy – in fact, I read somewhere that they represent happiness in Native American totems.
Let me tell you what I found about feeders from treating the hummingbirds in my back yard.

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