Hummingbird Feeder Bar




Introduction: Hummingbird Feeder Bar

The other day I came across a video on the internet of a hummingbird feeding bar.
I immediately thought that was a clever idea.
Upon searching for hummingbird bar, I came across these nifty ones from Perky-Pet:
Their feeders cost $19.99 and $29.99.
Cool looking, but too expensive. I decided to make my own and I am very happy with the results.
This Instructables explains how I made my 2 x 24" feeding bars (but you may choose to make 1 x 48" bar instead) for ONLY $12.60.

Step 1: Materials Needed and Cost

- 4 ft. Fluorescent Tube Protector ($3.47)

- Epoxy putty ($5.77)

- 4 x 15/16" (#212) Screw Eyes ($1.18 for 8)

- Red Nail Polish ($1.00)

- 2 x Small S hooks ($1.18)

- String (free)

- Cork (free)

Total Cost: $12.60

- Rotary tool with cut-off wheel or Hack Saw

- Wide boxing tape or Saran Wrap

- Drill

- Level

- Hole Saw

- Old soldering iron (optional)

- Sharpie pen

Step 2: Seal the Ends

The tube protector comes with black stoppers on each end.

Tape the holes of those stoppers from the outside, then epoxy the inside. Let it set then wash the inside really well a couple of times.

NOTE: Since each tube protector comes with 2 stoppers, you will not be able to use the 2 x 24" tubes simultaneously unless you procure 2 extra stoppers. I am alternating my tubes.

Step 3: Marking the Hole Spots

This is the most intricate part of the whole project.

Fill the tube with water almost to the top. Cap it and lay it flat on a level surface. Leave enough air inside for the buble to spread all the way across the tube. The water level will be used to determine where the flower holes will be drilled.

Stabilize the tube so it won't roll. Looking from the side, the water level should be 4/5 of the way up the tube. The 2 flower rows should be about 1" apart (measured on top following the contour of the tube). Adjust the volume of water inside if needed.

Find the top center of the tube (the equal distance between the ends of the tube and the rows of flowers) and mark an X with a Sharpie pen. That spot will be where you fill the tube.

Mark the mid point of the water line on both rows of flowers with dots. Starting on the water line dots you just created, measure every 1.5 inches on each direction on both sides.

Once both rows are dotted, roll the tube to align the top center X to the water line. Measure 1" from each end of the tube and mark that spot on the water line. Those marks will be where you hang your feeder from.

Step 4: Make Feeding Holes

Now that you have a tube with 2 rows of leveled dots about 1.5" apart and X markings on the top center and ends of the tube, it is time to start creating the holes.

I created my feeding holes using an old soldering iron (easier) but you can achieve the same result using a drill. The holes should be around size 3/32. Make holes on each dot you created. For 24" tubes, that will be 24 feeding holes.

NOTE: Skip the center dots and end dots of both rows.

Step 5: Make Filling Hole

Using a hole saw roughly the same diameter as the cork, make a hole where the top center X is. The cork should fit snug but does not need to seal. The only purpose of the cork is to keep animals out of your sugar water.

Step 6: Make Hanging Holes

Using a small drill bit, make pilot holes where the top end marks are. Screw in a screw eye on each side. Make sure each side goes in roughly the same depth into the tube.
Using the epoxy putty, cover the point of the screw inside the tube. That will make it safer for cleaning and prevent the screw to rust.

Step 7: Paint the Flowers On

Paint each feeding hole with a red flower using the nail polish.
The easiest way I found to do this is to make an asterisk using the hole as the center.
You may need to do 2 or 3 coats of nail polish until the color is a vibrant red.

NOTE: There are other ways of doing this... red stickers, red wire connectors, etc. The key here is durability, easiness to clean, and the color RED!

Step 8: Hang and Fill

Next step is to hang your feeder. It needs to be as level as possible. Use the level to accomplish that.
I hung mine with screw eyes attached to the ceiling. The screws are about 26 inches apart. That helps to stabilize the back and forth movement of the bar in case of strong winds.
I used fishing line to dangle the bar to about 6.5 feet high. S hooks make it easier to hang and remove the feeder for cleaning (every 3 days or so around here... it varies with the ambient temperature. Warmer climates require more frequent cleaning). Use a bottle brush to clean the inside of the feeder.

Once your feeding bar is hung, add your HOMEMADE "nectar" through the filling hole. A funnel makes that task easier. Cork the filling hole.

NECTAR RECIPE: 1 part white granulated cane sugar dissolved in 4 parts of drinking water. Mix the 2 ingredients then heat it up to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and let it cool completely before adding to the feeder.

IMPORTANT: Do not use the ready to use red nectar sold in stores. Do not add food coloring to your homemade nectar.

Step 9:

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    5 days ago

    Hi JP, This is a wonderful project and I have been wanting to make one. Thank you for your instructional:)


    14 days ago on Step 1

    Nail polish and epoxy putty are highly toxic if injested. I would be weary of using them to make a hummingbird feeder. Hot glue is non toxic and safe for animals. For the flower I would suggest using a plastic folder and the glue them on with hot glue as well.


    Reply 5 days ago

    Hi Mia, in summer hot glue will not survive the heat. If you research the kinds of glue to use, many are Bird safe once dried. Gorilla Glue is in that category.


    5 years ago

    Interesting idea. We have literally hundreds of Ruby Throated Hummingbird and something it looks like somebody hit a wasp nest, with so many at our feeders at the same time. We do use red food coloring so we can easily see when we need to refill them. And some times that is twice a day or more as well. They are neat to watch, but also very territorial as well. Nice project though.

    Matthew Yang
    Matthew Yang

    Reply 3 months ago

    Noooooooooooooooooooooo! Do not use red food coloring!


    11 months ago on Step 9

    I bought one of the expensive ones. There is NO hole with which to fill it - we have puzzled over it and tried to fill it but you have to tilt it to do so, and then the syrup leaks out. Off to find my drill or something to make a hole in the tube! Thanks.


    4 years ago

    I made it, but it shifts side to side and leaks out the holes. What did I do wrong?


    Reply 4 years ago

    To reduce the shifting from side to side, try spacing the "ceiling hooks" further apart. The ropes/threads should be further apart on top than they are near the feeder.
    Regarding leaks, I am not sure what you did wrong. Don't fill the feeder all the way to the top... Make sure the nectar level is below the holes level. Humingbirds have long bills and tongues capable of reaching the bottom of these feeders if the nectar level is low.