Empty Hummingbird Feeders


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Old 07-09-10, 04:09 AM
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Empty Hummingbird Feeders

We have 4 hummingbird feeders scattered around our yard and for some reason they are being emptied very quickly. I have checked them and they are not leaking and I know that the hummingbirds could not empty them this quickly. Some of them are being emptied overnight! Could a species of bats, visiting at night, consume this much nectar? Although, I've never seen any around.
Any ideas?
Thanks, Mike
 
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Old 07-09-10, 05:34 AM
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Hi Mike,

We no longer have hummingbird feeders as native plants that were planted have grown up making it unnecessary. While having several species of bats native to this area, they are mostly heard at night and occasionally seen during the day.

Recently had to provide care to a yellow bat whose wing got caught on a barb associated w/ a barb wire fence; it mended and was released back into the wild. During the time of having feeders, never experienced them being emptied overnight even though bats were present.

I did a search, and this link Hummingbird Feeders (scroll to bottom) shows a pic of a bat taking nectar from a hummingbird feeder. While I was a bit skeptical beforehand, itís possible that is what is happening at your location. Not knowing how yours are hung, other critters could also be responsible such as squirrels. A coon would certainly be attracted to it but doubtful his weight would be supported unless youíve got yours hung in some unusual way.
 
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Old 07-09-10, 05:36 AM
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Hi Mike - I also have 4 feeders hanging from my deck. They each hold about 10 oz. I fill them at least twice a week.

Some years they empty faster, some years slower, depending on the hummingbird population.

I do know that on very windy days the feeders swing back and forth and some of the content spills.
 
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Old 07-09-10, 06:31 AM
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Certain bats, birds, nocturnal squirrels...all will feed at a hummer station.
 
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Old 07-09-10, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. Three of our feeders are hanging on shepherd's hook style hangers while the fourth one uses a suction cup style hanger that we have mounted on a aluminum railing post. If it is a "critter" that is emptying these overnight, I really doubt if it would be a racoon. I feel like it could be bats or possibly squirrels, although we really don't have any squirrels around in the area.
We may try bringing them in at night and then put them back out in the morning. I get up early enough that it shouldn't be a problem for those hummers looking for a early breakfast.
I'll try and keep you posted to what happens.
 
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Old 07-09-10, 07:56 AM
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Have a video camera?

Might be able to record your thief
 
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Old 07-09-10, 07:56 AM
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Flying squirrels only come out at night. We didn't know we had them in VA for several years of living at our home...just happened to be out on the deck late one night when it was a full moon...and there they were on a tree near a feeder.
 
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Old 07-09-10, 03:55 PM
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Bears love 'em, too, but they aren't courteous enough to leave them in one piece. Cap here, body there, hanger, who knows where. We have to bring ours in nightly.
 
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Old 07-09-10, 07:23 PM
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Cats will get at them too.
 
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Old 07-11-10, 05:25 AM
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Are you certain the feeder is being emptied at night? At first I thought something was steeling the nectar from our feeders. I would fill them in the morning and they were empty by the time I got home from work. One weekend I was not working and saw what happened during the day. We had swarms of humming birds drinking the feeders dry in less than 8 hours. The swarms are thickest just before dark as they get their last meal before calling it quits for the night.



If it's happening at night it could be deer. I used to have some feeders at the edge of the yard mounted on shepherds crooks. The feeders seemed to be emptying faster than they should. I never caught them in the act but I have found more than the usual amount of deer tracks around the base of the feeders. I assume they were tipping the feeder to make it leak and licking the nectar.

I've also had the the feeders with the reservoir bottle above the feeder leak with temperature and air pressure changes. They don't empty over night but will drain over the course of a week. Every morning when the temperature rises the air inside the bottle expands and pushes out the nectar. The same thing happens when a storm front passes through and the air pressure drops.
 
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Old 07-11-10, 06:01 AM
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That looks to be an all female swarm. We have never seen two male hummingbirds at the same feeder without a fight breaking out.
 
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Old 08-02-10, 03:07 PM
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I don't know if you've solved your feeder mystery, but I am now filling my 4 feeders every day. Mine are on my deck and I know that only hummingbirds are getting at them. I suspect that this years hatch have joined the fray. We are now seeing as many as 8-10 hummingbirds buzzing around in the evenings.
 
 

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