Ozarklake Hummingbird Feeders
Photos/videos of my feeders in action.
REPURPOSED GLASS VACUUM-STYLE HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
The glass feeders operate on the most basic of physics principles. When the feeder is filled, the stopper and tube inserted and then inverted, a vacuum is created inside the container which exactly balances the weight of the liquid inside. The nectar will be available to the bird at the feeding tube but should not run or drip from the tube unless the feeder is disturbed.
These feeders are generally small and will need to be refilled often, but this is a good thing as there is a health problem for the birds as the nectar becomes stale, moldy, or ferments if left out in the sun for too long. Cleaning and the use of fresh nectar is important to the health of the hummer and care should be taken to follow the suggestions for cleaning the feeder and changing the nectar. When I am lucky enough to have two or more glass containers that are alike, I will make a multiple-station feeder. Some small glass containers are used with suction cups to make feeders that attach to a window or a patio door.
Properly filled and stoppered, these feeders should not drip. However, if your feeder is placed in hot direct sunlight, the liquid may expand and drip from the feeding tube. We recommend placing your feeder in a shady spot. If dripping is a problem, there is probably a small air leak where the feeding tube goes into the stopper. A little silicone caulk will seal this up tight.
Pour the nectar mix into the bottle, filling the bottle completely. This is important to ensure the feeder operates properly and does not drip. Wet the stopper and twist the stopper and feeding tube unit into the bottle. Some bubbles in the feeder tube may need to be shaken or tapped out to bring the nectar down into the feeding tube.
room temperature before filling feeder.
These vacuum-style feeders are made from a wide variety of repurposed glass. I have used inverted decorator and fancy liquor bottles, vases, beer and soda bottles, decanter tops, vinegar and salad dressing bottles, champagne flutes - if I can get a stopper to work properly in it, I can make a feeder! There is a lot of very pretty glass out there and turning it into functional garden art is my preference over having it ground into asphalt mix or something. I have been amazed at the number of people we have encountered who have kept Grandma's special glass bottle. If you would like to see that special glass converted into functional garden art, contact me via email and I will custom design something just for you.
TUBE-STYLE HUMMINGBIRD FEEDERS
When we visited my mother-in-law in the California desert, we learned that tube-style feeders are used because they hold small amounts of nectar. The desert sun causes the nectar to ferment very quickly, so the small containers, although refilled more often, ensure that the nectar is fresh. Midwestern summer heat can be just as vicious as desert heat. In addition, the tubes are more easily manipulated by people with limited function in their hands or wrists who might have trouble seating a stopper and feeding tube in a vacuum-style feeder. Hummersí tongues are twice as long as their beaks, so they have no trouble reaching to the bottom of the small nectar tube.
Each Ozarklake tube-feeder is a unique piece of copper art. The tubes twist in and out of the copper coils for easy cleaning and filling. Our feeders include an extra set of tubes which can be filled and stored in the fridge. Then when you have an empty tube outside, all you need to do is swap it with a full one. To fill the tubes, carefully remove the tube, turning it slightly and NOT pulling directly out of the coil. You may need to run some warm water over the top or soak the top in warm water to loosen it if dissolved sugar has caused it to stick. Rinse the tube and cap, fill with nectar and carefully replace in the feeder or keep it in the fridge for 2-3 weeks until needed outside. Adjust the tubes slightly above horizontal when the feeder is hanging so the hummingbirds can reach the bottom of the tube.
I make tube-feeders that can be hung like any other feeder. Each piece is a unique piece of copper art. I make feeders that hold from 2 to 6 nectar tubes. I also make two-station tube feeders with suction cups to affix to a window or patio door, and I have a two-station tube feeder on a copper rod that can be placed in a hanging basket, windowbox, or large patio plant. Each one includes an extra set of nectar tubes.
Small, large, and/or multiple "dishes" hold grape jelly and an orange half is placed on the spike(s). When I have them available, I incorporate an old-fashioned glass juicer with copper art. I also use sherbert dishes, martini glasses - whatever I can find that will hold grape jelly (which orioles love). Some of my oriole feeders are made entirely of copper with no glass. I always include at least one copper spike to hold an orange-half as well. House finches, cardinals, blue jays, chickadees, mockingbirds, robins, thrashers, and woodpeckers will also feed on fruit.
Orioles will eat oranges, berries, grapes, chopped pears and apples They also like grape or apple jelly. Because a lot of our customers have inquired about oriole feeders, I researched and developed a style of feeder that makes providing an orange-half and jelly for orioles (and other fruit-eating birds) easy and fun.
Copper Garden Art