Filling a hummingbird feeder full of nectar and putting it out for the hummingbirds can be a lot of fun; however, hummingbirds are not the only creatures that love a little sugar water throughout the day.
Uninvited guests can be both bothersome and sometimes dangerous to not only hummingbirds, but people as well. Ants will come to a hummingbird feeder to steal the nectar, and will leave germs and other contaminates. Bats, which carry rabies and other diseases, will come and steal hummingbird food from the feeders at night. Bees, wasps, and yellow jackets will aggressively chase away the hummingbirds until the hummingbirds just give up and go elsewhere. Squirrels (and other animals) are adorable to watch from a distance, also carry rabies and the plague, and will drain a hummingbird feeder dry drinking all the nectar. Even oriels and other nectar loving birds will come and swipe some hummingbird nectar when they think no one is looking.
These are very real issues when setting up a hummingbird habitat and there are lots of things that can be done to either minimize the intrusions or completely eliminate them all together.
Ants: Ants in a hummingbird feeder is a big problem. The ants will come in to steal the nectar from the feeder while bringing with them disease and contamination.
Bats: Usually when a hummingbird feeder is full when night time comes, and empty by morning, one has to wonder what animal was in the hummingbird feeder at night? The answer is usually bats.
Bees: Hummingbird feeders and bees. What a dilemma. The hummingbirds really do not like to share the feeders with bees. Bees do not like sharing a feeder with hummingbirds.
Wasps, Hornets, Yellow Jackets, and Other Flying Insects: Keeping wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and other flying insects away from hummingbird feeders is very important. These insects are very aggressive and have been reported to go as far as to aggressively chase and sting hummingbirds.
Squirrels and Other Animals: Squirrels, Raccoons, Bears. How do you keep them out of hummingbird feeders? This is an age old question and we have a few answers that may be helpful.
Orioles and Other Birds: There are other birds, like orioles, that love nectar just as much as hummingbirds. Orioles are notorious hummingbird feeder raiders.