Do Hummingbird Feeders Attract Bears? (Explained)

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Bears are fond of sweet-tasting food items.

If you reside in a region where bears are abundant, you probably worry that hummingbird feeders will draw bears.

But is it really possible?

What precautions can you take to keep them out of your yard and the hummingbird feeders?

Keep reading to find out!

Do Hummingbird Feeders Attract Bears?

Bears are drawn to hummingbird feeders for two main reasons: first, bears are fans of sweet taste, and second, hummingbird feeders are stocked with a high-calorie treat – the sweet sugary liquid. So, the Bears have a more challenging time passing up such an easy treat.

Bears have a huge attraction towards sweet-tasting food sources, thanks to their sweet tooth.

The Bears, especially brown bears, have a great sweet tooth, and when the season is perfect, they feast on berries and other fruits.

They also go absolutely crazy for honey if they ever happen to come across some of it in the wild.

Now, hummingbird feeders contain sugary liquid. And remember, bears have the most powerful sense of smell of any living creature.

A bear’s sense of smell is as essential to it as our own sight is to us. A bear’s sense of smell is reported to be 100 times more powerful than that of a dog. And compared to humans, bears have 2100 times better smell.

So it’s hard to hang a hummingbird feeder in your yard or patio and not expect a bear, especially if you live in a bear-prone area.

But don’t worry, now we are going to look at some of the ways to keep bears away from hummingbird feeders.

How To Keep Bears Away From Hummingbird Feeders?


#1. Mount The Hummingbird Feeder On A Sturdy Feeder

To access hummingbird feeders, bears may climb poles. They may also push or knock feeders over in an attempt to enjoy the sweet treat from the feeder.

The easiest way to deter bears is to place the feeder on a robust metal pole that is about ten to twelve feet high.

But the pole must be firmly planted in the ground to avoid being uprooted. Metal poles are preferable to prevent climbing, and they should be firmly fixed so they cannot topple over.

The pole should be set in a hole that has been dug as deep as possible and then filled with concrete. The steadier the pole, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

Long wooden posts should be wrapped with slippery metal to discourage bears from attempting to climb them.

Choose a long pole to provide maximum reach. Keep in mind that it must be buried as deeply as possible while still being high enough for a bear to stand on its hind legs and be unable to reach it.

Remember, bears are capable of jumping. They have outstanding forward-jumping ability. But they have trouble with vertical leaps and are not very good at them.

Generally speaking, a bear will have a hard time reaching anything that is higher than seven and a half feet.

So mounting a high enough and sturdy pole is one of the smart ways to keep hummingbird feeders away from bears.

#2. Hang The Hummingbird Feeder From A Tree At A Distance From The Bear’s Reach

If the hummingbird feeder is adequately high from the ground and at least a few feet away from the tree that bears can easily climb, you can hang the feeder on cables or wires stretched between two trees.

As a general rule, if you want to keep bears from getting to it, you need to raise it at least ten feet from the ground. Bears may readily climb tree trunks and branches to get food, so keep it far out of their reach.

Also, note that Bears may easily knock over a feeder that isn’t well fastened to the rope, so take proper precautions to prevent that from happening.

#3. Setup Motion Activated Sound Alarms Or Lights

To keep bears away from the hummingbird feeders, install a motion-activated alarm that makes an extremely loud and unpleasant noise if a bear is detected on your property.

Attach a sensor on your feeder pole or a neighboring tree a few feet from the ground. Extremely loud sonic sirens would likely frighten off a bear.

You can at least hear it and create some noise from inside your home to scare the bear away.

Put in motion detector lights pointed toward the bird feeders. The bears’ movements will set off the lights, which will affect their vision.

As a result, most bears will retreat to the safety of the darkness, far from the feeders. 

Since Bears will be scared by abrupt sounds and lights, you can use this strategy to keep them away.

#4. Bring In Hummingbird Feeders At Night

Keeping your bird feeders indoors at night can discourage bears from making a meal of them. This technique, however, has a few flaws.

Firstly, it requires a lot of manual effort. Your feeders must be brought inside every night before dark and then returned to their outside perches every morning.

And if you miss even one day, bears may demolish your feeders, nullifying your efforts.

The second issue is that you can’t count on this tactic always working. It’s possible that the bears will return as long as they can smell the delicious nectar in the feeders.

This plan should be effective, though, if your bear issue is confined to the night hours.

When bears discover that their usual food supply has been depleted, they may simply move on to other areas in quest of new food.

#5. Reduce Smells That Attract Bears Easily

Bears have highly developed senses of smell; therefore, it is important to get rid of any food or other scents that can attract them.

Avoid luring them into your property by leaving food out as the first line of defense. Clear up trash from under bird feeders on a consistent basis.

Check if you have a  leaking hummingbird feeder and repair it immediately. Take down your bird feeders in the early spring and store them until around the middle of November. At night, bring in the hummingbird feeders.

Also, avoid adding meat and other strong-smelling foods to the compost pile. To minimize smells, flip the pile often and sprinkle lime on top.

As soon as the fruit matures on your fruit trees and berry bushes, pick them. Keep a close eye out for dropped fruit and vegetables, and reconsider putting in any new fruit or berry plants. If you can, always feed your pet indoors, and always keep pet food inside as well.

Bringing in pet bowls at night is a good idea if you feed pet animals outside. Last but not least, have trash cans ready for collection.

Garbage should be kept in a bear-proof trash can or a locked storage location.

Reduce odor by using double bags and storing them inside the container. Use bleach on a regular basis to clean trash cans.

Read Recommended: How Far Apart Should Hummingbird Feeders Be?

How To Tell If Bears Come To Your Yards To Taste The Hummingbird Feeders?

  • The first step is to find out whether bears have been lurking about your property. Maybe the bears have been seen by you.
  • It’s also possible that you’ve simply observed bear droppings, bear-damaged bird feeders, bear-destroyed garbage all around, or bear-scratched trees.
  • Droppings from a black bear are comparable to that of a person, just much bigger.
  • The feces is generally a big mound of tubular feces that may be up to a foot long. Depending on the animal’s diet, the droppings may include plant matter such as seeds, berries, or whole plants.
  • Installing a motion-activated camera is an excellent approach to confirming the presence of bears.
  • Putting up a wildlife camera is a lot less complicated than you may imagine. You can fix them to the wall or use a zip tie to mount them to a pole.

The installation of a wildlife camera in your garden does not need serious electrical or technical expertise. In short, if you suspect bears are frequenting your yard but want to be certain, installing cameras is a great method to do it.

Read Related: Do Hummingbird Feeders Attract Rats?

What Smells Will Deter Bears Away From Hummingbird Feeders?


A bear’s sense of smell is magnificent and capable of detecting even the most subtle odors. The same heightened sensitivity that allows them to enjoy their preferred aromas will also make them aware of those they find unpleasant. 

  • Neem Oil: The whole neem tree, from the bark to the seeds, emits a strong odor. People prepare essential oils made from neem seeds. And the nice thing is bears are repelled by the neem’s scent. So, if you wish to avoid encounters with bears, spray a little of this aroma in your surroundings.
  • Lysol: A cloth soaked in disinfectant (like Lysol) and placed on top of your present trash can is a good idea. The odor acts as a deterrent to bears.
  • Cider Vinegar: If you want to deter most bears, use cider vinegar, which has a strong odor. Clothes soaked in cider vinegar and placed in garbage cans or strung on windows can discourage bears from being around.
  • Pine Oil: Bears do not enjoy the smell of pine oil or other cleaning products with a pine fragrance. For further bear protection, try using pure pine oil or a cleanser containing pine oil, like Pine-Sol.

Where Are Bears Located In The US?

If you often see bears visiting your hummingbird feeders, it’s essential to confirm whether you are really in a bear-populated region. Look at the following chart to learn about the common areas in the US where bears are found.

Black BearsBrown Bears
Appalachian MountainsWashington
Rocky MountainsAlaska
Parts Of Southern USMontana
Upper MidwestWyoming

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