We are very pleased to announce we now have in stock the authentic reproduction of the first feeder designed by man to feed hummingbirds, the Webster feeder. Originally designed in 1928 for his disabled wife to enjoy watching hummingbirds, Mr. Webster had the feeder made to his specifications by the chemistry and physics glass blowing lab at M.I.T.
The Webster’s maintained glorious estates near Cambridge and a summer retreat on a New Hampshire lake and had a large staff of gardeners and landscape architects to maintain several acres of flower gardens at each location. They let the general public stroll the grounds at no charge after church each Sunday for a few hours. As they had some of the largest flower gardens in all of New England, they also attracted large numbers of Ruby-throated hummingbirds each season. Their properties became known as the best locations in that region to observe hummingbirds.
Naturally, when the visitors saw the first hummingbird feeder, and how successful it was even surrounded by acres of nectar producing flowers, they wanted one for themselves. Mr. Webster had several hundred of these feeders created and sold them for $10.00 each (a lot of money back then!). When Mrs. Webster died in 1948, he created 500 more feeders and donated them to the Audubon Society in January of that year. National Geographic magazine featured pictures of the first hummingbird feeder being used in the February issue. The public clamored for the hummingbird feeders and the Audubon Society sold out of them within the month. They disappeared off the market until The Wild Bird Store has reintroduced them more than half a century later.
We have a very talented local glass blower, John Mims, making these authentic reproductions for us and the birds really enjoy using them. They cost $49.99 and you’ll not only enjoy watching the hummers use them repeatedly, but, you’ll also own a piece of American birding history!