How to Keep Finches From a Hummingbird Feeder

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Many homeowners use sweet, nectar-filled feeders to attract hummingbirds to their yards. Typically, the feeders are filled with some kind of sugar and water mixture to attract hummingbirds, and some people receive free daily entertainment from them. These feeders may also beckon to other yard and garden dwellers, such as squirrels, bees and other birds, including finches. When finches take over your feeder, the hummingbirds may be less prone to return to it. There are many ways to keep finches away from your hummingbird feeder to ensure the buzzing-winged, colorful creatures feel welcome in your yard.

Things You'll Need

  • Hummingbird feeder
  • Finch feeder
  • Peach or orange
  • Kitchen knife
  • Jelly or jam (not sugar free)

Deter the Finches

  • Assess the situation by noting how many finches typically visit and what time of day they eat from your hummingbird feeder. Write down the hummingbird’s usual time of visit as well.

  • Look at your current feeder to see what type you have. The basic versions come in two different types: basin and same saucer designs. The basin design does not drip and may be ideal in discouraging finches. The same saucer design may have diluted nectar and may slosh around to invite finches and other pests. Get rid of the saucer version if that’s what you have.

  • Remove the perches from the hummingbird feeder. Perches basically offer finches places to sit and eat the hummingbird nectar. Eliminating the comfortable feeding area may do the trick.

  • Use a caged hummingbird feeder. This will physically block birds bigger than hummingbirds from reaching the nectar.

When Finches Won’t Leave

  • Lure the finches away by giving them their own feeder. Position the finch feeder at the opposite end of the yard from the hummingbird feeder. Use the information you gathered (how many finches and the time of day they feed) to work to your benefit.

  • Add hummingbird feeder nectar to the finch feeder at least 30 minutes before they usually begin to arrive.

  • Use the kitchen knife to cut a peach or orange in half. Place the fruit halves near the finch feeder. Open the jar of jelly or jam and leave it near the finch feeder as well.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only put out enough food for the hummingbirds, and use the smallest feeder possible.
  • Remove the feeder after the hummingbirds have eaten each day.

References

  • Photo Credit Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images
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