Attracting birds Birds Gardening

A Dual Purpose Hummingbird Feeder

First, let me warn my readers from outside of the Americas that there are no hummingbirds where they live. And little use comes of installing a feeder to attract a bird that doesn’t exist. But for bird lovers who do live in North or South America, here’s a new product you might want to consider.

The Humm-Yumm Protein Plus Nectar Hummingbird Feeder offers the possibility for hummingbirds not only to slurp nectar, like any other hummingbird feeder, but to gather the proteins they need as well. 

You see, when hummingbirds visit real flowers, they not only feed on the nectar, but also catch spiders and small insects present in the flower. And they need protein for their health, doubly so when the mother hummingbird has a brood to feed. With traditional hummingbird feeders, only nectar is offered: the birds need to look for protein elsewhere, but not anymore! 


The idea with the Humm-Yumm feeder is that the top part contains the usual nectar and sipping holes, but you add a sliced banana to the bottom part. As it rots, it attracts fruit flies, a hummingbird staple. The tiny flies feed and reproduce on the fruit, then, after a week or so, start to buzz about the feeder where the hummers can get them. Protein and nectar in one feeder!

Install your Humm-Yumm feeder early in the season, as hummingbirds are creatures of habit and won’t always react to a new feeder added to their territory later in the year. And in dry climates, you may need to add some water to the sliced banana so it will rot rather than dry to a crisp. 

One Caveat

Now, contrary to the video and photo seen above, you will not likely have 4 or 5 hummers visiting your feeder all at once. That only occurs under very special circumstances, such as when they are migrating and hordes of them are in town at once. You’ll likely have only one hummingbird at time or, if two show up at once, they’ll madly chase after each other. Hummingbirds are very territorial!

Do note that you’ll want the “Humm-Yumm” feeder, the dual-purpose one, not the “Humm-Bug” feeder, with only bananas. Since the latter lacks nectar, hummingbirds don’t visit it as regularly, unless, of course, it is placed near a regular hummingbird feeder, one with nectar.

If you can’t find this product locally (it is new after all), try ordering it online from the manufacturer ( or from any one of a number of other sources.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “A Dual Purpose Hummingbird Feeder

  1. Oh, some feeders here get herds of hummingbirds! One of our clients goes through about a gallon of nectar daily, and cooks it up in a few gallons at a time. I don’t know where they all come from, or where they go. They do not start early or stay late though, as if they are on a tight schedule.

Leave a Reply

Sign up for the Laidback Gardener blog and receive articles in your inbox every morning!

%d bloggers like this: