A shadier site is preferable for hummingbird feeders, but that doesn’t mean the nectar will stay fresh for longer.
Hummingbird feeders have an interior environment that makes it hard to keep the sugar water clean and fresh. Because of the heat, the nectar will break apart, and the sun can cause the water to boil, both of which will drive away the hummingbirds. Even while the process can be slowed by the shade, you should still plan to replace the feeder more frequently.
Hummingbird feeders should be positioned in a shady part of the backyard immediately.
Direct sunlight is fine for hummingbird feeders, but there are two situations in which the nectar may spoil far more quickly. There are two potential issues with nectar: the water can break apart, and the nectar can boil over.
While hummingbirds may temporarily be incapacitated by drinking cold water, they are much less likely to bother with warm or hot nectar.
Place or hang the feeder in a shady area of your property if possible; hummingbirds want a clearing, peace & quiet, and isolation to thrive.
At dusk, a hummingbird was spotted quietly feasting on nectar from this glass feeder, showing that the shade presented no problem.
It’s unlikely that the nectar will be affected by the shade at this time of year, so keep it sunny for the time being if that’s the case.
Summer or at least early spring nectar inside the feeder would be difficult to sustain, but this problem can be addressed by replacing the sugar water more frequently.
You could change the nectar as often as twice a day, but in the cooler months, you generally won’t need to.
Feeders do need shade
If it’s not too cold or a chilly region, hummingbird feeders fare better when placed in the shade for as much of the day as possible.
Hummingbirds love to sip nectar from a flower in the open air, but the harsh rays of the sun may swiftly turn sweet nectar into sour sugar water. To get the most out of both worlds, you’ll need to locate a level playing field.
In the summer and other times of the year when the weather is especially warm, hummingbird feeders should be placed where they will be partially or fully shaded.
When shade is needed first thing in the morning, it’s impossible to hang or place a hummingbird feeder where it will be exposed to the sun all day.
It’s best to keep your hummingbird feeder out of direct sunlight in the morning and afternoon, when the sun is at its hottest, but you can leave it out in the late afternoon and evening when the sun’s rays are less intense.
Let’s be honest, no matter where you live—in the sunny United States or anywhere else during the summer—you won’t be able to escape the sun’s full intensity. However, you may shield the feeder from the sun during the peak hours of its intensity.
Prioritize shaded area
There is no contest: the shade is the best spot to hang or put your hummingbird feeder.
You would know that being in the shade does not automatically result in a more comfortable environment, since it can still feel very hot and humid even when the sun is out.
Humid circumstances hasten the spoiling process of nectar, therefore this still applies to a hummingbird feeder or hanging a standard bird feeder in the shade.
By watching the path of the sun across the sky from east to west, you can determine which parts of your yard are in the shade during different times of the day.
If you want to attract hummingbirds, you’ll need to put your feeder where they can use the cooling effect.
Give preference to a shady spot if doing so would still allow the hummingbirds to feed safely, but move the feeder if doing so will put it under cover and out of the way.
You may not have access to people’s backyards, where hummingbird feeders can be hung from an overhang or porch.
The hummingbird feeder can be placed temporarily behind a flowering tree, hedgerow, outbuilding, or in the shade of the home.
Sunshine within reason
Your hummingbird feeder should be placed where it will receive the most sunlight if possible; however, you should be aware that you will need to refill the nectar more regularly if you do so.
I don’t think you should quit up if all you have is a sunny yard with no trees or shade structures; you can always move closer to the house or a tree for some shade, or plant a sapling to grow into a shade tree in the future.
Hummingbirds won’t utilize nectar from a feeder if it turns white and foggy from exposure to sunlight.
In order to avoid this, you should keep the nectar cool (if you’re keeping it outside in the sun) and replace it more frequently so that it stays fresh for longer.
Indeed, the nectar might be spoiled even in the shade; only full exposure to sunlight can hasten the process.
Although hummingbird feeders should be kept in the shade as much as possible, you may initially see greater hummingbird activity if your feeder is exposed to sun.
Hummingbird feeders benefit from being placed in full sunlight rather than in the shade, where they may wind up too close to an obstruction for the birds to reach them.
Spoil quickly in sun
For the greatest quality nectar, hummingbird feeders should be placed in the shade to prevent the nectar from spoiling.
Given that, I doubt you’d be able to keep up the standard in weather that ranges from freezing to sweltering. To combat this, it is prudent to provide only the amount of nectar that can be consumed in a relatively short amount of time.
The sugar in your nectar will degrade or “fragment” as it sits in your hummingbird feeder.
The presence of the cloudy white stuff in the feeder after this occurs indicates that it is no longer suitable for hummingbirds. Because hummingbirds won’t want to eat it anymore, you’ll know it’s no good.
This is the problem with direct sunlight; in all but the warmest days, shade can slow or even prevent this from happening.
Keeping the nectar in the shade won’t prevent it from deteriorating over time, but it will help keep it cool, which will help reduce or stop the fragmentation process.
Regular people will be unable to avoid this, so I advise simply preparing a small amount of nectar at a time, perhaps half a feeder’s worth, and replacing it once or twice a day when it’s particularly hot.
Sustain room temperature
The secret to attracting hummingbirds, whether you hang your feeder in the shade or briefly expose it to sunlight, is to keep the nectar at room temperature.
In actuality, for many states and throughout the year, this is next to impossible because of the weather.
Hummingbird nectar can be preserved for longer in the shade, but it will still go bad in a few hours if exposed to high humidity.
Keeping hummingbird nectar at normal temperature is nearly impossible; nectar must be replaced on a regular basis to keep it from becoming excessively hot or cold.
Cold nectar is not something hummingbirds would eat in the wild, and so it is unlikely that you will see any hummingbirds feeding from a feeder that contains cold nectar.
Whereas, hummingbirds won’t waste any time feeding on warm or even hot nectar.
Keeping hummingbird sugar water at around room temperature in the yard is your goal.
If you want the nectar to stay at the ideal temperature for an entire day, it’s best to keep it in the shade and expose it to the sun only in the evening.
It’s true that hummingbird feeders need to be placed in the shade to keep the internal temperature at a comfortable level for the tiny winged creatures.
You’re not going to find the nectar at room temperature, but that’s not realistic either.
It is true that if nectar in feeders is too hot or too cold, the insects won’t touch it.
There’s probably not much you can do about where you put your hummingbird feeder during the warmer months of spring and summer, but it will help keep the internal temperature stable.
It’s also important to slow down the process of the nectar combination going bad. Keep nectar in the feeder for at least several hours, and preferably for several days, especially during heat waves.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking the nectar won’t go bad; it will. However, if it’s exposed to direct sunlight, it will spoil much more quickly, requiring you to refill the feeders more frequently.
Place the feeder in the shade for the majority of the day, preferring a tree or the vicinity of the house to achieve this.
If direct sunlight is a requirement, place the feeder where it will be touched later in the day, or better yet, in the evening, when temperatures are often lower.
Nectar kept in a hummingbird feeder’s plastic or glass bottle will soon go bad when exposed to sunlight. Even in the shade, condensation can form on the inside of the bottle.