All posts by thebestnest

Turn Your Hummingbird Feeder into a Watering Hole

It’s late October here in NE Atlanta, GA. Which means, sadly, 99% of the hummingbirds have migrated.

Our hummingbird season basically runs from April 1st to the 2nd week of October. It’s a nice long season however, in our particular location we typically only get really busy with the hummingbirds late in the summer.

I tell people that’s because when they are going north, we are not on their superhighway. I like to joke that the hummingbirds take I-95 to Canada, but on the way home, during the late summer, they take I-85. That puts them right over our houses here in Johns Creek, GA.

Since it is late October, it is okay to take your hummingbird feeder down. Once it is down and drained make sure you clean it right away. I use a bottle brush with a 5% solution of bleach with warm soapy water. I’ll let it soak for at least an hour then attack it with the bottle brush. That should kill all the mold and bacteria. 

This year I did something a little different with my “Best-1” hummingbird feeder. Since the season is over, I just made a minor change to the unit, and I am now using it as a watering hole for the chickadees and goldfinches. Think of it as a very small birdbath.

A goldfinch getting ready to take a drink out of my ant moat attached to this hummingbird feeder

At my house, for some odd reason, goldfinches and chickadees prefer to use my ant moats as their summer watering holes. This drives me crazy because they drink all the water out of the moats and leave them dry for the ants to cross. Because of this, shown in the picture above I’m actually using two ant moats, one built into the unit and one above the unit.

Since I know they like that watering hole location, I just needed more water to make it last a few days. Here’s how I did it: I left the base open to be used only for water by just removing the Best-1 feeder ports.

The water doesn’t overflow out of the base since the air pressure keeps everything in place. It just automatically fills up once the birds have their drink. 

If this sound a little confusing, here is a short video I made on how to do it. Any hummingbird feeder with the characteristics like the Best-1 model should work just fine.

Creating a watering hole with your hummingbird feeder


If you have walked into your neighborhood wild bird store lately you have probably run across the tremendous number of different types of birdfeeders that are available.

Big ones, short one, fat ones, and skinny ones. Squirrel Proof, not squirrel proof… on and on

We’ll I finally found a site that gives the advantages of several different ones. You can find it here

tube type bird feeder

Where have all the birds gone?

  berries on a dogwood tree
I love to do this post every year. Here in NE Georgia the birds stop eating bird seed and suet right around Labor Day. The wild birds don’t completely stop eating but it is a noticeable difference in consumption.
The answer is simple. 1st the great fall migration is happening. Wild birds are leaving (towhees, catbirds, hummingbirds, etc) and new ones haven’t quite arrived (millions of sparrows, juncos, warblers, etc).
The 2nd reason is hiding in plain sight! The trees and bushes are fruiting. The picture shown here is a dogwood, those red berries will be bluebird crack in just a few days. My serviceberry in the backyard is about to pop with 1000s of berries. Frost grapes will be coming soon. Acorns, and tree nuts in general are dropping.
Yep, it’s a darn good time to be a bird in NE Georgia.
So, no… there is nothing wrong with your suet or seed right at this moment. Your feeder now has a lot of competition. Don’t worry, the wild birds will come back!

Keeping Bees Off Your Hummingbird Feeder

How do you keep bees away from your hummingbird feeder?
  1.  Buy a feeder that doesn’t leak!
  2. Buy a feeder that has extremely small feeding ports (ex: The “Best-1” 8oz feeder)
  3. Buy a feeder with built in “bee guards” (Perry’s Enterprises in TN installs bee guards in their feeders)
  4. Add a bee guard (Aspects hummingbird feeders are great no-leak feeders but their feeding ports are large. To keep the bees out you add an Aspects “nectar guard” to the bottom of their feeding ports.)
  5. If you are allergic there are “Bee Proof” hummingbird feeders. If you are allergic but still want to feed then contact “Copper Hummingbird Feeders” out of AZ. Here’s a link
Enjoy the hummingbirds while they are here!

Just what is that stainless steel ball for?

We get a lot of questions on the need for the stainless steel ball that is included with your Sugar Shaker Nectar Maker (R).  Basically that ball is used to break up the sugar particles so they can mix with the cold water.

So here are the simple steps when using the Sugar Shaker Nectar Maker (R):

  1.  After you add the sugar to the sugar line and the cold water to the water line place the stainless steel ball into the shaker.
  2. Screw the top on the shaker and shake for 30 seconds.
  3. Fill your hummingbird feeders.
  4. Place any remaining nectar solution in the Sugar Shaker Nectar Maker into the refrigerator with the stainless steel ball still in the solution.
  5. When all nectar is finally consumed. Place the shaker, the lid (with the reminder tag attached), and the stainless steel ball into the dishwater.

Here’s a quick video we did on this exact subject: