Do hummingbirds have a preference of feeder locations?
Any feeder is better than no feeder, but when you choose locations, choose wisely. First of all, I would NEVER limit myself to just one feeder. The more feeders, the better the coverage of your yard, and when hummingbirds know they can travel to just one yard and have 10 choices to feed from, they will choose that location over all the others.
Where should I hang the feeders?
Don't limit yourself to just one shaded spot, or just one sunny location. They all have their purpose. Shaded locations will allow for a longer nectar life before changing, while open sunny locations are a fantastic way to attract hummingbirds passing through. All hummingbirds will eventually search out each one of your feeders and keep them open for options in case their favourite feeder is empty, covered in ants or bees, or occupied.
I have studied countless hummingbirds and they do have preferences, but this doesn't mean you should only place feeders under the trees like the one imaged. They typically like these best because it allows them to feed with a protective cover from the sun and other hummingbirds, and the adult females especially like the hidden feeders because they like to slip into the yard to get a feed and leave without being noticed. When you have a dominant male hanging around, he'll choose his favourite to sit by and relax, but during mating season he will frequent every feeder to make sure he hasn't missed a female arriving, or another male invading his territory. If you have a dominant male during mating season, he'll perch where he wants. He'll have NO fear and often times sit atop the highest tree. He's the only one that will do this unless he has a challenging male for his territory.
So the best option is to have a complete coverage of your yard. You need attractor feeders to draw their attention, and you need some hidden feeders under trees or alongside buildings.
It's nearly impossible to use one single feeder to draw attention to every passing hummingbird unless it's situated in the middle of a field. So make your property visible from all sides to attract the hummingbirds. In the end they'll choose their favourite, but if David has 1 feeder option and Martha has 12, even a hummingbird will choose the greater options. This just simply allows them more food options without having to spend much energy travelling between each location.
My only suggestion is to spread feeders apart. One dominant male during mating season will take over all feeders if they're too close together. Keep them a distance apart or separated by bushes, or buildings to allow for more birds to feed simultaneously. Too much fighting often times sends the weaker or fearful birds to another location.
Author of Jewel of the North. Please post your comments and questions.