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How to Keep Hummingbird Feeders From Freezing 

Here are a few ideas to prevent hummingbird feeders & nectar from freezing:

  • If you have flood-light style outdoor (porch) lights, consider moving the feeders to hang in close proximity, and leave the lights turned on... especially for an hour or two at first light and just before sunset (when the hummers need the food the most)
  • Hang a worklight (with a 20 watt incandescent bulb) directly below the feeder to keep it heated
  • Wrap older (non LED) christmas lights around the feeder to keep it warm
  • Suspend an aluminum pie plate with a few (5 watt, non LED) older style christmas lights below the feeder

Keep in mind... if you choose any of the direct heating methods above, the food may spoil more quickly (ferment) requiring the feeder to be cleaned and the food replaced more often

Lower cost alternatives:

  • (Re) locate feeders to a south-facing spot to take advantage of winter sunshine
  • Insulate feeder with bubble wrap, thick socks, neoprene wraps, etc. and check them often
  • Bring feeders in an hour after sunset on very cold days (if overnight temperatures are expected to be -1oC/30oF or lower) and put them back out at least a half hour before sunrise
  • For difficult to reach feeders, put them on a pulley system, so that a frozen feeder can be replaced quickly, and the feeder can be brought in easily at night 
  • Move the feeders to a position under eaves or a covered porch
  • Keep a second feeder available (at room temperature) and rotate it with the outdoor feeder as needed

    Note: with some feeders (like the Perky Pet 8oz pinch waist feeder) the nectar will freeze at the feeding port level well before freezing is evident in the glass ... you might see hummingbirds flying a bit frantically from one port to the next when this happens as they can't access the food

  Long Lasting and Convenient Solution:

  • Try our cosy, low-cost, and attractive Feeder Heater Jacket to keep your feeders warm!  In our Pacific Northwest climate, with our average freezing conditions, a warmed Feeder Heater Jacket is usually all that is needed to keep feeders from freezing until they are brought in at night.  In severe cold weather, the liner may require a warm-up during the day to prevent the feeder from freezing.  The inner warming liner contains all natural ingredients (rice and flax seed) and needs only 2 minutes at high in the microwave to provide long lasting warmth (or just store in a warm spot overnight if there isn't access to a microwave... and consider having a second jacket, so a warm one is always available).  

The Feeder Heater Jacket  -- hummingbird approved!

©2011 Monday, July 28, 2014