Tag Archives: Hummingbird

DIY Hummingbird Feeder Moat

A few weeks ago, I posted about our new hummingbird feeder.  We have had lots of fun watching a few stop by to have a drink at the new watering hole.  It appears we have one that has sorta made the area home as he tends to chase off any other hummingbirds that try to stop by.

Unfortunately, the sugary treat that is intended for the birds, also attracts some less desirable visitors…ANTS.  Within 24 hours of setting up the feeder, the ants were marching up the shepherd’s hook a la Tom and Jerry.

So, I have seen a few solutions to this problem.  You can buy a commercial solution either built-in to the feeder or buy one to put between the feeder and the hanger.  But I was able to go to Lowe’s and get a couple of parts for about $3 and built my own.  (Disclosure: One part cannot be purchased by itself.  See below.)

Turnbuckle, nut, washer, and spray can cap.I purchased a 1/4″ x 7-1/2″ turnbuckle hook, a 1/4″ nut, and a 1/4″ washer.  I already had an old spray can cap.

The first thing to do is to drill a 7/32″ hole in the center of the spray can cap.  By drilling the hole just slightly photo2smaller than the threads on the turnbuckle hook, the assembly makes its own water tight seal.

Be aware that the threads going into the turnbuckle are reverse of each other.  The one you want to remove from the turnbuckle is the one that turns left.

photo3Thread the nut onto the hook you just removed.  Note:  If the nut won’t thread onto the hook, you have removed the wrong hook…try the other one.  Turn the nut until it is near the start of the hook.

photo4Slide the washer on next and then start to thread the cap after the washer.  As you get the cap close to the washer, hold the nut still and gently tighten the cap down to the washer.  Don’t force it as you could break the seal that makes it watertight.

photo5Finally, thread the turnbuckle back onto the hook inside the cap.  Tighten the turnbuckle down to sandwich the washer and the cap against the nut at the bottom.  Again, not too tight.  If necessary, you can add some silicone caulk or use hot glue to seal the bottom of the threads.

 

 

photo6The final step is to check your moat by filling with a bit of water to see that there are no leaks.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo7_reducedAnd finally, just hang the moat above your feeder and no more ants!

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The Elusive “In-flight” Hummingbird

It has been a while since I have posted for the sake of photography.  I decided to greet the sun this morning at the Piedmont Environmental Center on Penny Road in High Point, NC.  They have a nice wrap-around porch that neighbors the bird feeding area.  They have a couple of hummingbird feeders there as well.

My goal was to catch the hummingbird in mid-flight.  While I was waiting, I had some other visitors to come by to eat, so I tried to capture them as well.  I have attempted to name the birds, but I am by no means an expert ornithologist.  If you find a bird named incorrectly, please let me know…I used this as a learning experience to better identify the birds (as well as get some more photography practice, but, you know!).

The hummingbird seems to be quite elusive.  I heard the sound of its wings several times, and even saw him light on the feeder a couple of times.  Unfortunately, he would always land on the opposite side of the feeder from me, and moving my camera immediately scared him off.  As I was getting impatient and preparing to leave, I decided to wait on the opposite side for him to return, and sure enough, I got him right before I left!  I wish there had been a bit more light to get some more of his colors, but overall I am happy with the results.

I hope you enjoy the birds pictures, and hopefully, I will be able to bring pictures more consistently now.