Hummingbirds may be small and cute, but they’re powerful fliers who can fly up to 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers) in one jump! Even though they can see ultraviolet light, they don’t use it to find their way around like other flying creatures do. They also have long bills that can pick up food from flowers that are as small as human hairs. So, if you thought that hummingbirds only ate nectar, you were wrong. Some species will even drink water from your garden hose or house spout!
But what’s most impressive about hummers is how well they adapt to living in cities. Despite the dangers of cars, airplanes, power lines, fences, and all kinds of other things, the little birds are able to live in our cities just fine. This is how it works. There is a reason why these wings are so fast and strong. Not to mention that they have a great sense of direction and memory, which help them find their way home even if they don’t know where they are.
So why would anyone want to scare such an intelligent and resilient bird away? Well, there are several reasons why people put up signs warning birds not to land on their windowsills. Some folks believe that birds attracted by sugary nectars at feeders also carry disease organisms like West Nile virus and avian pox.
Others say that birds that come to feeders don’t have enough energy because we give them too much sugar and not enough protein and fats. Finally, many people don’t like having noisy songbirds on their lawns because they don’t work hard to get ahead.
Here, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about why hummingbirds don’t like to land on feeder window sills:
Related: How to Attract Hummingbirds
What Scares Hummingbirds Away From Feeding Pots?
First, you should think about where the hummingbird feeders will go and what will happen when the birds start to use them.
If you live in a place that has a lot of different types of plants, you might need bigger feeders than if you live in a place that doesn’t.
For example, red glass bottles are common in southern states, while clear plastic tubes are more common in the north.
Red glass bottles have more surface area to collect nectar, so they need a longer drinking tube. Clear plastic tubes, on the other hand, make it easier for smaller birds to reach the sweet liquid inside without getting stuck.
For more information, you can look at the different types of hummingbird feeders and how they react to them. Among the few birds that won’t try to steal nectar from artificial feeders are black-throated blue warblers, ruby throats, black-bellied plovers and mourning doves. They don’t have the visual clues that tell them something tasty is nearby.
Then again, some hummingbirds might learn new tricks over time. They have been known to try to steal sweets from feeders outside restaurants.
A lot of people say that hummingbirds like big feeders, but others say that small feeders should be near the ground and taller ones should be high up. During the hot summer months, people who are hungry can get the best light possible when they eat from high feeders. This makes it more difficult for them to catch bugs.
Hummingbirds Hate noise, lights and smells
Now that we’ve covered where hummingbirds hang out, let’s talk about what makes them leave when they come across a signage telling them otherwise. Basically, there are three main factors that keep hummingbirds away from feeders : noise, lights and smells.
We mentioned earlier that hummingbirds’ excellent vision helps them navigate through unfamiliar territory, but the same isn’t true for sound waves. Because of their short hearing ranges, hummingbirds rely heavily on sight to locate sources of vibration.
Therefore, anything capable of creating loud noises, including car engines, motorcycles and fireworks, frightens hummingbirds away. So what kind of sounds is acceptable for feeders? Since hummingbirds need access to clean fresh air to stay healthy, outdoor feeders shouldn’t emit exhaust fumes nor should they operate generators or blowers.
Likewise, electricity used to run devices like televisions and radios should never be turned on near feeders because hummingbirds could become confused about whether the source comes from above or below them. Finally, strong odors produced by chemicals, cigarette smoke and household cleaners create unpleasant experiences for visiting hummingbirds and drive them away immediately. Luckily, chemical additives designed specifically to deter birds work best against both squirrels and pigeons, not hummingbirds.
Although hummingbirds are smart enough to avoid feeders marked “no entry,” sometimes they still end up going into buildings or under bridges. Why is this? It turns out that once these winged predators enter structures filled with toxic substances and noise, their flight instincts kick in automatically and cause them to panic. As soon as they feel overwhelmed by new sensations, hummingbirds instinctively head upwards until they hit open space. By doing so, the birds minimize exposure to harmful elements and preserve vital organs like their brains, kidneys and livers.
To help prevent hummingbirds from accidentally entering places they shouldn’t, some organizations now place decals with pictures depicting what to look for along doorways. For instance, one organization recommends looking for fluorescent lighting fixtures, wires, pipes and electrical outlets because hummingbirds mistake these objects for trees and bushes, respectively.
To further aid curious hummingbirds, some societies advise installing plexiglass panels over feeders to protect them from harm. Although some skeptics argue that plexiglass barriers hurt the chances of attracting birds to feeders, others claim that the extra layer of protection keeps vandals from breaking into homes and stealing items.
If you’d rather protect hummingbirds without blocking their view, remember that plastic feeders made especially for backyard setups are available to customers interested in keeping their feeders safe but allowing the birds unimpeded passage.
With proper planning, installation and maintenance, hummingbird feeders can bring nature enthusiasts and homeowners alike enjoyment and satisfaction year round. Now that you know what attracts hummingbirds away from feeders, you can design your yard accordingly.