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  Hummingbird sipper tubes---any recommendations?
Hummingbird sipper tubes---any recommendations? Sign In/Join 
I usually post over on the craft boards, but I don't really know where this topic should go, so I thought you nice folks might be able to give me some advice. I have an idea about creating a hummingbird feeder that I think I would really enjoy having out in the yard. I only recently started noticing hummingbirds out there, and I'm totally fascinated by them. We have several commercial type feeders, but as a crafter, I'd really like to make something unique.

I gathered the materials I thought I would need to make the feeder. I thought I would make a prototype today and see if they were at all interested. Everything was going very well until I hung the feeder and it seemed like the "sipper tube" was set on AUTOMATIC DRIP. Drip, drip, dripdripdrip, ..... I know that a vacuum needs to form for the nectar to "stay" in the bottle until a hummer takes a sip, but the rate of the drip indicated to me that there was a fault in the sipper device. I had a terrible time finding a sipper tube a couple of years back and found this one all alone on a shelf at a garden store. I see that there are several places that I can order them online, but before I do, can anyone make a recommendation on a brand/type/company to search for? Are there quality sipper tubes available? They all appear to be the same. I am lost here and hope that someone can point me in the right direction. Thank you so much for your help and informative message board!

This message has been edited. Last edited by: pfr4,
Posts: 301 | Registered: Aug 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Take a good look at the hummer feeders that are already out there and try to determine where they might get the parts they use. Be sure you are not trying to reinvent the wheel and the cost of what you are doing does not exceed what is already available.

The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
Posts: 8188 | Location: Twin Lake, MI USA | Registered: Aug 19, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of ga.karen
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I think some folks have used the tubes that are found in hamster water containers. But it's been a long time.
Or even go to your local hardware store and get some small copper tubing...if they carry it that small...I know a few of the older hardwares do...and ask them about it too...they might have some parts.

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Posts: 5112 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I tried to use oxygen hose DH has lots of it. But it wasn't stiff enough!
I've seen on Amazon you can buy like a dozen of the glass ones. That might be easier.
Good luck and please post a pic when you finish them.

Posts: 1814 | Location: NE.Ok zone 6b | Registered: Oct 09, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Feeders with the feeder tubes tend to drip more than other kinds. And there are so many designs for other kinds that you may find it easier to make and innovate. Just something to think about.

I hope you post your end result.
Posts: 7282 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, please keep us posted. This sounds like a fun project.
Posts: 5022 | Location: zone 7, West Texas | Registered: Feb 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi everyone! Thanks for your suggestions. More details about where I am with this project--- I actually went thru my supplies and found that I have two more sipper tubes that I came across and put away for "someday......" So my need isn't actually the glass tubing, really, so no need to re-invent the wheel..... Here's the issue. I have the sipper tube unit which consists of the rubber stopper, the bent glass tubing, and the red "cap" where the hummer drinks. The faulty device seems to be the red cap. I took one apart and discovered thst it is constructed like a small animal feeder with a tiny metal ball bearing inside thst is supposed to cover the tiny outlet until a bird tries to take a drink. For a piece of plastic and tiny ball that probably costs a fraction of a penny to manufacture, THIS part seems to be the part that is defective and allowing the nectar to constantly drip. I have no problem ordering a dozen from Amazon, but I'll surely be disappointed if a good percentage of them have the same issue. I suspect that tbe red cap component is manufactured in the same Chinese factory regardless of the retiler, so I suppose it'll just be a cr*pshoot. I'll try an order and see how they work. Otherwise, I have created a prototype of my idea and I'm anxious to hang it and see if the birds like it. Granted, there are lots of hummingbird feeders already on the market. I plan to make mine unique with my choice of recycled materials and embellishments. Thanks again for everyone's help. I enjoy the creative and design process of any new idea, and it's great to have forum like this to bounce around ideas in!
Posts: 301 | Registered: Aug 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You might also try looking for parts at Perky Pet or google hummingbird feeders and there are a couple of other ones that have parts too.

"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
Posts: 5112 | Location: SW Ga. 8b | Registered: Apr 21, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the information about Perky Pet. That is a fun site to look at!

I also googled the issue and found a message board where the problem was discussed. Among the suggestions were to be sure to fill the feeder to the top to aid in creating a vacuum, using room temperature feeding solution, and hanging the feeder in the shade if possible. There was also a youtube video mentioned about the preferred way to hang the feeder to reduce leakage. I haven't had a chance to view it yet.

I have since found that I had tucked away a couple of other sipper tubes. I tried those, one is a constant leaker, but the other one is holding the vacuum very well. I think if I plan to make and sell these at craft shows, I will "test" every sipper tube first, and provide an instruction sheet on how to best avoid drips.

Thank you to everyone for your helpful suggestions. I'll post when I get a finished product!
Posts: 301 | Registered: Aug 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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