Hummingbirds are particular about the condition of the feeder they use. They will quickly abandon a neglected feeder for a cleaner alternative. Depending on the outside temperature, nectar can spoil in as little as 2-5 days, causing fermentation and mold growth. Remember to keep your feeders shaded in extremely warm temperatures. And only offer nectar in quantities that can be consumed within a few days. It’s recommended that you wash your feeders every time you take them down for a refill. To clean, use a mix of hot, soapy water. Scrub stubborn spots with a feeder mop or something similar. Rinse thoroughly before refilling.
Yes, sweet little hummingbirds can be bullies. These birds, especially males, often display aggressive territorial behavior over nectar sources. They are known to chase away competitors for the same feeder. A “bully” may be squelching feeding opportunities for other hummingbirds in your yard. You can help diffuse this behavior by offering several feeders – in different locations around your yard. An aggressive male can’t possibly defend them all. Placement is crucial. Be sure to locate feeders high enough to deter predators, but in plain sight near flowers or windows for a good view. Hummingbirds also like to have a branch nearby from which they can observe cautiously before approaching the feeder.