Rachel Vannette

Most Microbes in Hummingbird Feeders Do Not Pose Health Hazard

March 06, 2019
Feeders or Flowers? Researchers Compare Microbes

Many people set up hummingbird feeders in their yards to nurture and watch these high-energy pollinators. But could the sugar water they provide be impacting these tiny feathered friends?

A study led by the University of California, Davis, is one of the first to address the potential for sugar water from hummingbird feeders to act as a vector for avian — or even zoonotic — pathogens. It found that the majority of microbes growing in feeders do not likely pose a significant health hazard to birds or humans.