Bird Rehabber Explains How People Are Unknowingly Killing Hummingbirds and It's So Sad

CC Chelsea Sampson/Shutterstock

As the weather gets warmer, you might be considering putting a hummingbird feeder in your yard. But that may not be the best idea. One woman online is warning people that they may be putting the hummingbird population at risk, despite having good intentions. And now she's sharing how people at home can make sure to keep these birds safe.

It's a PSA we all need to hear before going out and buying a hummingbird feeder.

The woman, who goes by Adventure Sam online, explained it's the time of year when people typically bring out their bird feeders — "the only problem is the feeders are killing them," she said. "Even more than not having pollen in the field."

Related: Family Party To Attract Hummingbirds Is So Delightfully Unhinged

She explained that the reason for this is "dirty feeders." Yep, those bird feeders that you place in the yard might be doing more harm than good.

"Don't feed them unless you can COMMIT," she warned.

The PSA was news to many shocked people on the internet. "Why are feeders and so many other things sold without educating people? There should be a guide with each one explaining this. I had no idea," wrote one person. "I think I’ll stick to planting flowers. I’ve never fed hummingbirds, but I’d be worried about not cleaning well enough, so I’ll stick to flowers," another commenter agreed. "I don’t have the patience to maintain hummingbird feeders and for that reason I buy hummingbird friendly plants," a third person admitted.

Tips for Picking the Right Hummingbird Feeder

There is hope, however, for those of us who want to watch the hummingbirds, but don't want to cause them any harm. Sam advises that people choose feeders with wide mouths that make it easy for humans to clean thoroughly. And when it comes to picking out a material, in this case plastic might be best.

"These cannot be made of glass," she explained. "Glass very quickly turns the sugar water into alcohol and it kills the hummingbirds," she warned.

She also demonstrated the proper way to clean your plastic bird feeder — which is just as important as what it's made of. By choosing a wide-mouth feeder, you can get your cleaning brush all the way into the feeder and make sure you scrub all the way around. Clean every part of your bird feeder, even the smaller grooves that may not seem to get dirty. You want to prevent mold from growing on your feeder. If hummingbirds ingest even a little of it, it can prevent them from swallowing ever again.

It's also important to clean your bird feeder frequently on hot days. If you do use a glass feeder, clean it every day. If you have a plastic feeder, clean it every day to every two days.

It's like Sam said, using a bird feeder is a commitment. It's up to us to make sure that these birds stay healthy and safe.

Looking for more PetHelpful updates? Follow us on YouTube for more entertaining videos. Or, share your own adorable pet by submitting a video, and sign up for our newsletter for the latest pet updates and tips.