Date: 9/7/20 4:13 pm
From: Susan Horvath <shorvath...>
Subject: Re: [birders] best hummer feeders - follow-up to April discussion
There have been several variations to the best-hummingbird-feeder
query this summer and several incidental photos of styles other than
the glass tube style that I have always used. Someone recently
described their Wild Birds Unlimited flat feeder in glowing terms. So
here's my story:

The WBU folks guaranteed that their flat feeders, especially the
Pagoda High Perch, are completely bee/yellowjacket proof. So, I bought
one and put it out.

I usually have 3 Perky Pets: 2 on the morning-sun side of the house
and 1 on the afternoon-sun side. All hang from the house soffits and
have solid gray umbrella baffles directly over them for added sun &
weather protection. So, the beginning of May, I put *only* the new WBU
flat feeder on the sunny side. No Perky Pets anywhere. Note that
several of my neighbors also have multiple hummingbird feeders.
Eventually I get a male who figures it out... and he defends it from
others... but he doesn't come very often.

One of the selling points of the flat feeder is that the hummers can
see every direction, i.e. better ability to spot danger or
competition. No glass tube that they can't really see through. Sure
enough, during a major June thunderstorm (photo below), he showed up
to wait out the storm. He wasn't feeding. Just waiting... feeling safe
& dry with our house above and behind him and a full view of the rest
of the world around him.

But the sugar-water level just wasn't going down, so I finally put the
(older non-leaking) Perky Pets up on the other side of the house.
Guess what: lots of business!! At this point, I've still never seen a
female at the flat feeder, even though the male is hardly ever there.
The females are busy incubating then hunting and feeding insects to
their young, so maybe it's ok... but still...

August comes, and eventually I notice that the flat feeder is emptying
faster... and I'm seeing females! Finally! But the Perky Pets still
empty much faster, even though the males are heading south.

On the plus side, no sign of bees & yellowjackets. Part of the WBU
selling point for this particular feeder is that it money-back
guarantees that yellowjackets can't defeat it. And I believe them. The
portholes to the sugar water in the base have 2 prongs on the under
side. Optional "nectar guard tips" come with the feeder. They are tiny
tiny clear soft plastic cups that fit over the prongs. The bottom of
the cups have x-shaped cuts so that the hummer beaks easily push
through but that bees/etc have no way of defeating. The only problem
is that I'm a senior with a little less dexterity and vision than I
had when I was young. Hanging onto these cups and attaching them isn't
all that easy. Even harder is washing them w/o losing them... which is
probably why the box includes extras. And WBU, being who they are, I'm
sure will have free ones to hand out when I eventually lose all the
ones that I have now.

On the minus side, this feeder isn't anywhere near as popular with the
birds as the tube feeders. But maybe I just need patience... When I
added peanut splits to my wintertime menu, it took 2 whole years
before I had *any* serious takers. Now, not only woodpeckers and blue
jays, but cardinals and the little guys (chickadees, titmice,
nuthatches) gobble them up. They also eat a lot fewer sunflower seeds.
Maybe I was just first in the neighborhood to offer peanuts. And maybe
I'm first in the neighborhood to have a flat hummingbird feeder. Only
time will tell. The problem is that, as a senior, time is my enemy.

And, here, I hope, is my little guy... my first customer at the new
feeder... waiting out that big noisy thunderstorm.



On Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 9:21 PM Susan Horvath <shorvath...> wrote:
>
> I've been using *only* Perky Pet feeders with bee guards for many
> years... because in late summer we also have yellowjackets. Hummers
> seem to know that they will "lose" any confrontations with the
> yellowjackets, so quit coming. 3-4 years ago, Perky Pet changed the
> design of the bee guards. The nice thing is that they can now be
> opened up and thoroughly cleaned with a toothbrush. Bad thing, though,
> that something happened when the feeder was redesigned with the moat
> on top. The bottom appears mostly the same, but sugar water started
> pooling under the bee-guards. First year with that design was sorta
> ok. Don't know what changed, but last year, the yellowjackets had a
> field day. Obviously, the hummers did not. I got fed up enough with
> the dripping on the concrete below, that I finally called Perky Pet
> to complain. Turned out that they were getting lots of complaints and
> were supposedly making some design changes. Website shows that they've
> changed the perches below the flowers. That might mean that the
> perches will be less likely to break when the whole feeder gets
> knocked down (as has happened to me several times over the years), but
> the bee-guards and the flowers look the same in the pictures as
> before. Only time will tell if they've made some subtle change to stop
> the pooling at the bottom of the flowers. Last year I started actively
> searching for a different feeder. I haven't seen *any* that have a
> prayer of a chance against my yellowjackets.
>
> On Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 7:32 PM Patricia Burden <tallerpat526...> wrote:
> >
> > I would like to put my two cents in here. We purchased the Small High
> > Perch Hummingbird feeder from Wild Birds Unlimited and I love it. (I
> > have no financial interest in any WBU enterprise; I just like this
> > feeder a LOT). They also make a regular and large size. There are no
> > yellow flowers on these feeders. The yellow flowers have been said to
> > attract bees. I also have another small feeder (Perky Pet, maybe?)
> > that has yellow flowers and last year I did notice bees on that one;
> > few to no bees on the WBU feeder. I like the small one because it only
> > holds a cup of nectar so I am forced to clean it and refill it more
> > often. It is very easy to clean - there are no parts you can't get to.
> > Since at least in my yard I normally have a male standing guard over
> > my feeder, I can put another one out of his sightline and not feel
> > like I am wasting a lot of nectar. One hangs where I can sit beneath
> > it on my deck and with the clear bottom, I can watch the hummingbird's
> > tongue move in and out of the nectar. And with the high perch, it is
> > very easy to get a clear look at any bird that perches on it. I would
> > highly recommend it!
> > Pat Burden
> > Melvin & Yale, MI
> >
> > On Tue, Apr 28, 2020 at 4:42 PM Lisa Lava-Kellar <lisalk...> wrote:
> > >
> > > What do you suggest? One of my feeders needs to be replaced, and I'm open to your suggestions.
> > > Thanks to each of you!
> > > Lisa
> > >
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