It's a brilliant idea... regardless of the hummingbird feeder style you may have. Tube styles, top-fill and traditional designs all have one thing in common: tiny feeder ports that are difficult to clean when changing nectar.
Save your mascara brush! Of course you'll want to give it a run through the dishwasher first to remove any residue and sanitize. It's the absolute perfect size and shape for cleaning deep down into feeding ports on any type of nectar feeder. Goes for oriole and butterfly feeders too.
We send one with every hummingbird feeder purchase, been doing so for a long time, but it wasn't until recently we realized the "official feeder port cleaning brushes" were nothing more than a duplicated mascara brush... and for a lot less money! You can buy 10-packs at beauty supply stores, and you can easily find them online. Effective and simple to use, your hummingbirds will be grateful for sparkly clean ports.
And while on the subject of nectar, are you making your own yet? It's the easiest thing in the world that take just a few minutes, no red dye please. Home made is best for hummingbirds' health and costs pennies... so why wouldn't you? Because every time you see the recipe, the instructions are different! Boil the sugar & water or don't boil? Store 2 weeks, store 10 days in fridge? Let cool for 2 hours, cool for 5 hours. How could something so simple be so confusing?
Here's our take, and we've been doing it for ions! Pure cane sugar, not beet sugar, not brown sugar, nothing but plain table sugar (pure cane is preferred). The ratio is 1:4, that's 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water. There's really no need to boil the water because hummingbirds will spread any bacteria through their beaks.
Do not boil the sugar as it weakens the mixture. The only good reason for boiling water is to dissolve sugar more effectively! With that said, you can avoid cooling time by using just one cup of boiling water to dissolve the sugar (takes 5 seconds). Add 3 cups of cold water and your nectar is now ready to fill feeders instantly!
Why would you want to wait for cooling time? Nobody has time for anything these days! Store remaining nectar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks... yes it will keep for 21 days in a properly sealed container.
And if for some reason you're still hesitant to make your own? Measuring cups? Utensils? Mess? Nectar Aid is a groovy self-measuring pitcher thing that's fool-proof! Just fill each side with equal parts of sugar and water and you're done! Make and store nectar in the pitcher, it even has its own slide out mixer so you don't have to retrieve the spoon from the drawer! No excuses now... so show your hummingbirds some love :)