Do Hummingbird Feeders Attract Bears?

We earn a commission if you make a purchase via our site, at no extra cost to you.

Many people cannot relate the bear to hummingbird feeders though they know that bear has an extra attraction on bird feeders. Why? Because, many people think they are ignoring the sweet nectar. If you are assuming like that, then you are totally wrong. 

Know you may ask me whether hummingbird feeders attract bears. 

The simple answer is yes. Bear have excellent senses of smell which lead to them on your doorstep and in the hummingbird feeder. Recent research shows that in 80% of cases, bears first encounter a feeder, then your properties.

The question arrived why are hummingbird feeders attracted by bears?

Because bears are always searching for a food source, especially at the time of hibernation. You will be amazed that a 7-pound black oil sunflower seed contains 12,000 calories which easily tempts any black bear to grab the energy.

I think it still does not satisfy you. Because, hummingbirds do not like to eat seeds, they only love to take sugar water or nectar. Okay, let me clarify: most of the good-quality hummingbird feeders come with a 32-ounces capacity. Do you know that filling up the feeder with nectar will provide around 775 calories to bears?

Isn’t it justify why you are noticing bears on hummingbird feeders? I hope your answer will be yes.

Now, How anyone can keep bears out from hummingbird feeders as well as from properties.

According to NHFG Bear Project Leader Andrew Timmins, “ If you can secure garbage and remove bird feeders from your properties, you can almost do the process of keeping them away.”

But are you going to stop feeding beautiful little speed stars? Of course not. 

For this, below are some easy ways which keep the bear away from bird feeders, and you can enjoy the beauty of hummers.

6 easy ways: to keep bears away from hummingbird feeders?

Keep feeders down at night

Though bears raid on the feeder the whole day and night, their raiding percentage increases at night. So, it will be better to bring back the feeder in the evening.

If you bring back the hummers feeder at night, bears will ignore your property as they will not going to get any food. Also, it helps deter bats that like to sip nectar at night.

The only drawback of the method is you need to do the task every evening, which means the method is labor-intensive. Also, you need to hang the feeder again in the early morning. Otherwise, you will miss the beauty of hummers as they like to take nectar from feeders in the early morning. 

Clean the feeder frequently

Bears have an exceptional sense of smell. So, if there is a mess on the ground or sugar water dip from the feeder, it will definitely attract bears to your yard. You need to always maintain the cleanness rule while feeding birds in your yard.

Most of the unwanted guests visit on a bird feeder due to the ground mess. So, keep the ground clean. It will help to minimize the presence of bears in your properties.

Generally, the sugar water dip from the feeder due to leakage issues rather than hummingbirds. So, if you notice that sugar water is dropped into the ground, you need to check whether the feeder is leaking.

You can use a tray beneath the feeder to minimize the drop from the feeder. 

Change the feeder position

Another simple way to keep the bears away from hummingbird feeders is hanging the feeder where they cannot reach. You should try to place the feeder 10 feet above the ground. Also, maintain 6 feet clearance between any climbing or jumping structure.

The feeder’s height is adjustable according to the average height in your local areas.

Bear height according to species:

Black bears5-7 feet
Brown or Grizzly bearsUp to 9 feet
Polar bears10 feet

You might now ask, how will I refill the feeder at such a high position?

You have two options:

  • Use a long feeder pole which creates an obstacle to reaching the bear near feeders. Also, easy to refill. You can follow the article to learn more about a bear-proof pole.
  • Hang the feeder on at the high tree branch. You can follow the pulley method to easily hang and refill the feeder in high tree branches.

Use fence

Though bears are good climbers, you can minimize the presence of bears by introducing fences around your properties. Try to make the fence 6 feet high, and a metal-made fence will be a good option which makes it sturdy and helps withstand bear attack.

Motion-activated lights or sounds

Another good way to deter bears from hummingbird feeders is using an alarm or light near the feeder. You should select motion-activated lights or sounds which extremely loud or scary for bears. Though it makes noises that will not appeal to you, for the safety of your house, they are an ideal option.

Also, the method is effective even when bears out from hibernation. For this, you can use the Solar Sound & Light Alarm Motion Sensor. The good part of the sensor is that it is solar-powered. So, you do not need to worry about running out of batteries. 

Solar Sound & Light Alarm Motion Sensor

You can customize the alarm setting according to your preference. The good part is that it comes with two options light and sound. So, if you prefer a quieter thing, you can use the light only. 

Plant flowers

Some native flower plants easily attract birds. If you are fade of bears attacking and searching for a new method to attract hummingbirds in your yard, then you can plant native flowers. Generally, red flowers are more appealing to hummingbirds.

You can also hang flower baskets on your deck or patio, attracting hummingbirds but keeping the bears away.


Another way to attract hummingbirds by avoiding beers is a birdbath. If you put a hummingbird bird bath in your yard, it easily grabs their attention in your yard. Also, you will go to watch their bathing and how beautifully they sip water from the birdbath.

Keep feeders down at a certain time

If you are trying all the methods but still facing the bear issue, then you should follow the method. But, it is sometimes you do not want to hear as a birdwatcher.

If you live in an area where bears attack occurs in feeders, you will notice that bears attack feeders at a certain time of the year. And the rest of the time is known as hibernation. Generally, bears are out from the hibernation period from mid-March to mid-November.

According to DEC, you should avoid hanging hummingbird feeders along with other feeders by April 1 and resume on November 30 if you live in a heavy bear traffic area.

Final words

I hope now you will get your queries regarding bears and hummingbird feeders. Also, you must know some easy ways to keep bears away from hummingbird feeders.

A freelance designer, writer, and content marketer who also loves to spend her leisure watching wild birds and improving her garden and balconies making safe heaven for birds.

Leave a Comment