Hummingbird Feeding Starter Kit

Feeding hummingbirds can be a joy, but what do you need to get started offering nutritious options for these flying jewels? Whether you want to bring hummingbirds to your yard or hope to introduce these charming birds to a friend or neighbor, a well-equipped hummingbird feeding starter kit can ensure you have everything hummingbirds need.

Can You Attract Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are nearly everywhere, from deserts to mountains, coastal beaches to interior plains. These birds can be attracted to great feeding sources in rural, suburban, and urban areas – if you provide what they need to thrive. While it may take some time to attract hummingbirds’ attention, a thorough starter kit will offer all the essentials and accessories to lure hummers and keep their attention on your yard. No matter where you are or what species are most prevalent in your region – from the ruby-throated hummingbirds of the east to the black-chinned, Anna’s, broad-tailed, rufous, or other hummingbird species in the west – all hummers have very similar needs and will be attracted to the same things.

What Your Hummingbird Feeding Starter Kit Needs

  • Feeder
    No feeding starter kit is complete without a good hummingbird feeder. There are different types of nectar feeders, but choosing one with multiple ports will provide access for several birds at once. The feeder should also have red on it – either red-tinted glass, a red base, or other accents to catch birds’ attention. Also consider capacity – while a larger feeder will hold more nectar, if you’re just getting started, it may be too big and nectar could spoil before it is drunk.
  • Nectar
    You will need to fill the feeder with suitable nectar. Pre-made nectar is convenient whether it is ready-to-use or a liquid or powder concentrate that will need to be diluted with water so it is the proper sugar proportion. Adding nectar to the kit is a great option if you will be giving the hummingbird feeding starter kit to a friend, neighbor, or family member, as it will ensure they are immediately ready to feed hummers.
  • Insect Guards
    Hummingbirds won’t be the only ones interested in a new nectar feeder, and bees, wasps, and ants are all likely to try a sip. While most hummingbird feeders have built-in bee-guards – a mesh-like grid keeping bugs from accessing feeding ports – an extra ant moat that can be placed above or below the feeder will be helpful to keep the sweet food from being contaminated by insect attention.
  • Hanging Hook
    A larger hook to hang a new nectar feeder is a thoughtful part of any hummingbird starter kit. A hook will provide greater flexibility for where a feeder can be hung, whether it is from a gutter or eave, a tree branch, an arbor, or other structure where birds will see it easily.
  • Perch
    Hummingbirds love to be territorial about “their” feeders and a perch can be a convenient spot for them to rest between sips, as well as providing a great spot for photography or simply getting a better look at the birds. Some feeders have perches built in, or you can add a swing-style hummingbird perch to your starter kit.
  • Nectar Flowers
    While a feeder will be a plentiful food supply for hungry hummers, nectar-rich flowers are a natural, familiar food source the birds may quickly recognize. Plus, flowers don’t need cleaning or refilling! Choose top hummingbird blooms like cardinal flower, bee balm, petunias, zinnias, or salvia to attract the most birds.
  • Red Accents
    Anything red will catch hummingbirds’ attention, and adding extra accents to a feeding station will make it all the more noticeable for these fast fliers. Some beads or artificial flowers can easily be attached to the feeder, perch, or feeding pole, or a nearby red gazing ball, garden gnome with a jaunty hat, or colorful garden flag can be great choices.
  • Cleaning Brush
    It is important that hummingbirds be offered only the freshest, cleanest nectar, and a bottle brush or small port brush for thoroughly cleaning a feeder is a must-have. This will help ensure there are no clogs or mold that could impact the feeder and possibly endanger hungry hummingbirds.

The more well-equipped your hummingbird feeding starter kit is, the better you will be able to offer these amazing birds the very best feeding station. While it may take time to attract their attention, once they discover what a great feeding spot your yard has become, you will enjoy their visits for years.

Melissa Mayntz

About Melissa Mayntz

Melissa Mayntz is a birder and a writer, naturally writing about birds. Her work has appeared with The Spruce, Farmers' Almanac, National Wildlife Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest and other publications. She is the author of Migration: Exploring the Remarkable Journeys of Birds (Quadrille Publishing, 2020), and is transforming her suburban backyard into prime bird habitat. Be Your Own Birder.