Gardening for Butterflies, Birds and Bees forum: Fixes for a leaky hummingbird feeder

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Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Apr 21, 2018 1:55 PM CST
Hi, I purchased a pricey blown glass feeder and the stopper doesn't work. Any suggestions? It leaks until it is empty!

Also I bought larger stoppers on Amazon to try to use and they are to large. I had hoped to make one out of a wine bottle but the neck is to small. Anyone on here make their own bottle feeders?
Thanks!
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Apr 21, 2018 3:28 PM CST
I still have one that I made with a fancy bottle. I gave up on it years ago because it does leak, which draws ants. Also, as it had a perch other birds also used it. I found you have to buy the bottle to fit the stopper instead or the other way round. I also tried a larger stopper and bottle. that didn't work either, so I'm back to the commercial feeders.
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
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fwmosher
Apr 21, 2018 4:12 PM CST
Bluegrassmom: I am not familiar with the type of feeder you have, but having been tortured to death with hummingbird feeders over the years, I looked up "stoppers" on Amazon and have the following three suggestions:

Ruling out of course, that Racoons are not getting at it at night, and woodpeckers are not getting at it in the daytime, here are three suggestions:

1. If you have a local Wine Kit Store, they have tons of stoppers of different sizes with a hole in the middle for the spout. You could take the feeder in, and ask them if they have a stopper to fit the neck of same;

2. If you have a $dollarrama store, (or equivalent) they sell similar stoppers for in the top of olive oil bottles, balsamic vinegar bottles, etc;

3. Ruling out the possible "creature" factor, and very strong windy conditions, if you are able to find a stopper which tightly seals the feeder neck, and yet the unit still leaks out through the spout, the design is faulty! Don't torture yourself. If you can't return it, give it to someone you don't really like. LOL.
Cheers! Note: I just looked, I have four feeders left over for parts, stupid on my part.
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
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bluegrassmom
Apr 22, 2018 4:57 PM CST
Thank you, I will just keep it out empty, for the pretty glass. I had planned on making some with wine or colored water bottles that I had found at Trader Joe's.

They are selling them on Etsy so hopefully theirs doesn't leak. Angry https://www.etsy.com/listing/5...


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Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Apr 22, 2018 5:22 PM CST
I'm no physicist, but I think that those style of feeders are destined to leak no matter what you do. It seems to be just a matter of physics since water (liquid state) and air expand as temperature rises. When the outside temperature rises or sunshine hits the bottle and heats up the contents, then the water and air expand and pressure increases inside the bottle. The contents are forced out of the bottle under pressure through any outlet available.

I gave up on that style of feeder because they drew in swarms of yellow jackets. Thumbs down
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Charter ATP Member Bookworm Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California
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ctcarol
Apr 22, 2018 7:30 PM CST
You explained it well. I think of my big one as a barometer...The level goes up or down depending on the air pressure.
Name: Linda Williams
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Apr 27, 2018 11:58 AM CST
I have one feeder with a stopper at the bottom and I don't usually use it because it leaks too much nectar!
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
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Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Apr 28, 2018 12:41 PM CST
I looked at the ones on line as per the reference, they are one thing: Very prettily decorated beer bottles, not hummingbird feeders, in spite of their claims. BUT, I could certainly use one inside, for dish wash soap, or olive, balsamic oil, dispensers, even perhaps Sherry or Port at the Bar? Very pretty, but your hummingbirds are on their way back, to nothing, and they do everything but knock at the Patio Door if there is not a feeder out here when they return?? LOL.
Name: Teresa Felty Barrow
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
Region: United States of America Garden Photography Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Cat Lover Heucheras
Image
bluegrassmom
Apr 29, 2018 2:00 AM CST
I have left my leaky feeder outside empty. At least it looks pretty lol. I have 2 ruby throat hummer now. So excited, I am sure more is on the Hurray! way.
Bee Kind, make the world a better place.
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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UrbanWild
Jun 17, 2018 4:47 PM CST
fwmosher said: Note: I just looked, I have four feeders left over for parts, stupid on my part.


Maybe not. All feeders seem to have some issues over time. Even with better design, plastics in the sun get brittle and crumble over time. I am scaling back to a few types and keeping the bones of feeders past for parts. Makes sense to me! Thumbs up

Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
Jun 18, 2018 9:11 AM CST
I have discovered after many trials and tribulations, just recently, that if you notice your hanging feeder dry every morning, here is a way to check it: Ruling out that racoons are after it, and you would know, because it would be partially ransacked, place your filled feeder on a solid surface, such as a patio deck, table, etc.Note: The hummers will find it, wherever it is. If it is still full the next day, you will know that because of the poor design (most), that when the wind blows even a little, it rocks the feeder and sets up a literal "osmotic draining system"!

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