Why Is My Hummingbird Feeder Empty Every Morning? (Explained)

by Kloee Ngozi
Updated on

While it is enjoyable to fill a hummingbird feeder with nectar and leave it out for the birds to feed at night, they are not the only ones that are attracted to that feeder. 

Keep in mind that other species like bats, bees, ants, bears, etc., enjoy a little sugar water. The unwanted visitors can be annoying.

They can also pose a threat to both humans and birds.

In addition to stealing nectar from a hummingbird feeder, ants carry infections and other pathogens with them. 

Even bats also raid hummingbird feeders at night. 

Bats are nocturnal, making it so much easier for them to empty the feeder at night since most hummingbirds are not active at night. 

Other animals like squirrels and bears can cause much more serious damage to both the feeder and the environment. They can drain the feeder within a few seconds.

Why Is My Hummingbird Feeder Empty Every Morning?

Why Is My Hummingbird Feeder Empty Every Morning

Hummingbird feeders filled at dusk but empty in the morning make people wonder what happened to the content overnight. 

Leakage. There may be an opening in the feeder that causes it to leak out the nectar in the feeder. 

Change in Temperature and Pressure. Every morning when the temperature rises, the air inside the bottle expands and pushes out the nectar.

The same thing happens when a storm front passes through, and the air pressure drops. 

Swarm of Hummingbirds. Just before dark, a swarm of hummingbirds can infest your feeders and drink up the content.

This happens to be their last meal before going to rest for the night. Also, the swarms are always the thickest at that period. 

Bats. These nocturnal birds are huge nectar lovers, especially the Mexican long-tongued and the lesser long-nosed bat.

So the bird can drain up the feeder before dawn. Other animals can empty the feeder from bats like ants, bees, bears, flying squirrels, etc.

Can Hummingbirds Empty A Feeder In One Day?

Yes. Hummingbirds can consume up to eight times their body weight in other food (insects) and hunger levels.

So if a swarm of them infests your feeder in a day, they can empty it within 8 eight hours. 

Related: Here is an article I wrote on can hummingbirds walk?

Do Hummingbird Feeders Attract Bats At Night?

Hummingbirds aren’t active at night; therefore, your feeders won’t be frequented.

However, bats are likely to make nocturnal visits to your feeders if they’re a nectar-loving flying species.

Two main species enjoy feeding on nectar: the endangered lesser long-nosed bat and Mexican long-tongued bat. Both are vital cacti and agave pollinators.

One Mexican long-tongued bat can drink about 0.67 ounces in 106 minutes. The bat consumes 96% of the human body weight.

As though they were water balloons, they grow in size. After that, the bat will dangle upside-down and consume the sugar water swiftly.

In order to get more sugar water, the bat must urinate, then come back to the feeder.

The feeder is used differently by bats than hummingbirds since bats are unable to hover.

They’ll hold their ground, squirt up to six times per second into the feeder with their amazingly long tongues, then flap their wings as they plummet.

Using the hummingbird feeders doesn’t damage bats. Likewise, bats using hummingbird feeders will not harm the hummingbirds.

Agaves, saguaro blooms, organ pipes, and Cardon cacti are all favorite food sources for these bats. Nectar bats generally avoid red flowers.

However, nectar bats have become accustomed to the red hummingbird feeders, which attracts them.

What Animals Are Attracted To Hummingbird Feeders?

There are specially designed feeders that serve hummingbirds, which contain sugar water. 

However, many animals and insects are drawn to the delicious sugar fragrance, including ants, bees, bears, and raccoons.

Some hummingbird feeders incorporate features to keep insects out, while others are more basic and do not have these characteristics.

Despite the barriers keeping pests out, they nevertheless manage to get to the sweet nectar occasionally.

Ants. They are fast to notice a hummingbird feeder. They can scale fences and fence posts, as well as wires and hooks, in order to get to the feeder and drink from it.

Bats. These birds are the most common culprit of empty feeders in the morning. Since they are nocturnal, they do most of their activities at night. However, the nectar loving species of the bat will visit any feeder filled with sugar water and empty it before dawn. 

Bears. Another animal attracted to the sugar content in hummingbird feeders are bears. They enjoy the calories they can get from the sugar water.

Bees/Wasps. The tasty nectar and any yellow coloration on the feeder attract bees and wasps. 

Birds. Apart from bats, there are other birds like orioles that also enjoy feeding on nectars. They, too, are attracted to hummingbird feeders.

Raccoons. The same goes for raccoons. They don’t just drink the sugar water; they also destroy the feeders.

Also check out this article I wrote on can hummingbirds see color

Are Bears Attracted To Hummingbird Feeders?

Bears are very attracted to hummingbird feeders because of the calorie boost they get from them.

A hummingbird feeder that holds 32 ounces has about 775 calories in it.

Bears of all kinds, from grizzlies to black bears, can come to your feeder at any time and also bring their young with them.

Feeders are easy to spot for bears because of their excellent sense of smell.

Do Hummingbirds Prefer Feeders With Perches?

Adding perches to the feeder or placing them nearby will provide the hummingbirds with a place to rest between meals; however, even if perches are provided, not all hummingbirds will use them.

Hummingbirds may even rest on one feeder while feeding at another.

More hungry hummingbirds can be accommodated if you place feeders with and without perches together.

This will provide birds with a choice and also accommodate more birds.

As long as you don’t put out perches on your hummingbird feeders, the birds will be unable to reach the nectar if they’re perched too close.

Is Glass Or Plastic Better For Hummingbird Feeders?

Glass and plastic are the preferred materials for hummingbird feeders since they are non-corrosive. Also, they’re low-maintenance, long-lasting, and reasonably priced.

Hummingbird feeders made of plastic are easy to transport and affordable.

People with strength or mobility issues, classrooms, and children’s gardens or new to bird feeding may benefit greatly from using these feeders. 

Although they are resistant to cracking, it doesn’t mean they can’t fade. The material they are made of can fade or warp over time with prolonged exposure to the elements.

When it comes to long-term durability, glass hummingbird feeders are better since they are more robust and more resilient than their plastic counterparts.

But, unfortunately, plastic pet feeders are more difficult to clean than glass ones.

The aesthetic range of glass feeders is considerably larger; from basic functionality to works of art, glass feeders are available in a variety of styles.

How Often Should Hummingbird Feeders Be Changed?

The feeder should be cleaned and emptied twice a week during hot weather. In the cooler months, once a week is plenty.

If your hummingbirds are frequent feeders, clean the feeder after each use.

Using hot tap water or a mild vinegar solution for cleaning is perfectly OK. To avoid leaving dangerous residue in the feeder, do not use dish soap


An empty hummingbird feeder in the morning results from a bats infestation, leakage, and other animals.

In addition, the sugar content in the feeder is a huge attraction to other nectar loving animals.

Photo of author

About the author

Kloee Ngozi

Kloee is a backyard farmer and avid gardener who enjoys tending to her garden and plants. She is so engrossed with her plants that she has pet names for all of them. She likes to relax with a bottle of wine and read a book.


HayFarmGuy - Get Info About Farm Animals in Your Inbox