What is Drinking My Hummingbird Nectar at Night?

by Charles

Lesser-long-nosed Bat

Lesser-long-nosed Bat

Question: What is Drinking My Hummingbird Nectar at Night?

Answer: Possible 2 Culprets

Hi Charles

There are 2 culprets that I know of that could be consuming your hummingbird nectar at night.

1. Number one are bats. It is quite common for bats of many kinds to drink syrup from hummer feeders. Many bat species have very long tongues which allows them to drink out of the feeders while on the fly. Like Hummingbirds themselves they enjoy a sweet drink to wash down their nightly feed of bug protein.

2. Number two is Flying Squirrels. They have been known to cling to a nectar feeder and sip away. They could actually drain it quite nicely and chew it up in the process as well.

Are There Others Who May Drink Hummingbird Nectar?

There are a couple of other animals which zero in on hummingbird feeders too, Bears and Raccoons. But they will often destroy the feeder in the process, especially the bears.

Video the Culprets

If you are really stumped and don't mind the expense, you could set up a small video cam. They have come down in price and are very popular for setting up in bird houses to watch nestlings grow too.

Share Your Discovery

If you do find out what is stealing your syrup, please share it with us.

Bats Are Beneficial

I would also like to mention that if you do not want to let bats drink from your hummingbird feeder then use a feeder that has bee guards on the feeding ports. I am not sure but it may make it more difficult for the bats to reach the nectar.

And following from that thought, I encourage you to think about whether you want to discourage bats from your yard. They have an incredibly great benefit to have nearby as they eat thousands of insects each night and many of those will be mosquitoes. That's a bonus if you ask me. :D

My Hummingbird Feeder Recommendations

If you would like to read about my recommendations for the best hummingbird feeder most of my pages under Hummingbirds have them. You can see some here on this page about Hummingbird Food.

Happy Birding!


More on Hummingbirds

Attracting Hummingbirds Is not hard if you know what to do. There are ways to make attracting these beautiful little birds to your backyard easier for hours of enjoyment. Learn here.

Cleaning Hummingbird Feeders The little Hummingbird is a feisty and fussy diner! If a good maintenance regimen is followed, bird watching in your backyard will be more rewarding.

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Same problem
by: Steve

Something is popping off the yellow clip on flowers from my hummingbird feeder. They are not chewed, only popped off.

It's out of reach of racoons and it hangs on a long wire so squirrels can't reach it.

I haven't been able to catch the culprit and it's driving me crazy. I'm now thinking bats but I've never seen any.

A mounted camera might work but it seems to happen at night.

I'm going to try glueing the flowers on too.

Hi Steve

It is a mystery figuring it out, but I really caution you from using glue.

It would pose a health risk to the Hummers or any other bird which is using the feeder.

And likely that is the culprit, a Finch or Oriole often will pop-off the florets to expose the larger hole underneath.

Please let us know what you discover!

Happy birding

I found the culprit
by: Phillip

For the last month and a half I've been wondering what is stealing the nectar from my feeders at night. My oriole feeder was drained every night. Hummingbird feeders never touched. My Orioles are gone now so I took the feeder down. Now the hummingbird feeder is getting drained. I've seen a chipmunk on top of the feeders multiple times. Figured this is the culprit. Last night before darkness I couldn't believe my eyes, a big raccoon was surgically draining the feeder. Never seen this before. This raccoon just looked at me and posed for a few shots and went back to draining the feeder. So I sent my Vizsla (dog) out after him. Now my Vizsla has some entertainment and it looks like the raccoon got the memo. Feeders are untouched today. I've been feeding these hummingbirds for years and never seen this before. This was the first year I've fed Orioles and think this is what started the mystery. Don't know if it was the grape jelly or the orange which attracted the raccoon. Wish I could post the photo.

Thank you Phillip for sharing your very interesting story. You can upload your photos by clicking here, which leads you to share your story. You do not have to tell your story again just upload your photos. Would love to see them! Judy :)

Who Took the Flowers off my Hummingbird Feeder?
by: Mickey

I have a Perky Pet glass hummingbird feeder that I've been using for 14 years with no problems. This feeder has a glass bottle with a red plastic base and has those yellow snap on flowers over the ports. This morning I noticed that 2 of the flowers were gone, so I went outside to look and saw that all 6 yellow flowers were gone. These flowers snap on tight and they're hard to pop off. I found all 6 of the flowers broken apart all over the ground below. The rest of the feeder isn't damaged at all. Do you have any idea what could have done this? Thanks.


Hi Mickey - I think very likely that a racoon has popped off your flowers and broken them in the process. As Phillip shared above they are very nimble. Thanks for sharing! Judy

Night feeders
by: Anonymous

I have had 2 hummingbirds each evening after starts getting dark 7:00 to 8:30 come to flowers illinois nice to see don't see daytime

Same here
by: Pete

Hi, I have been having the same problem. I do not mind at all, I would just like to know for sure what is eating my nectar. I make my own nectar, and I can bring in over 20 hummingbirds at one time. The only thing I have been able to see at night are bats, and night hawks, or bullbats as some people call them. Thanks for the info, if anyone has anymore info, please let me know, I am out of southestern Arizona, thanks.

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