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How To Make Hummingbird Food With Sugar And Water

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Tips For Making Hummingbird Food

How to Make Hummingbird Food using Sugar and Water
  • Use a larger 4 parts water to 1 part sugar mixture to make a bigger batch of nectar.
  • You can store the unused homemade hummingbird nectar in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
  • Do not use honey as this can cause a fatal infection to a hummingbird’s tongue.
  • Artificial sweeteners or sugars have no nutritional value. Please don’t use them.
  • Red dyes are not necessary and some may be unhealthy.
  • Remember to clean your feeder regularly.
  • Change the nectar every 3 to 5 days and more often in hot weather.
  • NOTE: Since this hummingbird food recipe is a sugar water mixture, it can quickly ferment in the heat and sun causing bacteria and mold. You will see the nectar turn cloudy when it starts to ferment.

We have been using this nectar recipe for years and we have had many hungry birds at our feeders.

We hope your feeders will be as busy with hummingbirds enjoying this delectable treat!

Is Store Bought Hummingbird Nectar Safe

Even though most commercial nectar bottles are safe for hummingbirds, I would still suggest you stick with your homemade solution mostly because of of a couple of reasons which are:

  • More expensive.
  • Contain extra unnecessary chemicals.
  • The coloring used in the commercial nectar can decreases reproduction rates and increases the incidence of both internal and skin tumors .

Where Should I Hang The Hummingbird Feeder

I imagine youll want to hang your hummingbird feeder somewhere that you can easily see it. That way, you can thoroughly enjoy watching the visiting hummingbirds feed! Also, it will remind you to clean it. A highly visible and accessible feeder is far less likely to be forgotten and neglected. However, this whole hummingbird feeder pursuit isnt just about human enjoyment and convenience! We need to make sure were choosing a location that is best for the hummers too.

  • If possible, choose a shady location such as under a tree, house overhang or other canopy. Homemade hummingbird food spoils more quickly in the sun and heat, and they also appreciate the sense of protection.
  • Hang hummingbird feeders at least 4 to 5 feet above the ground. This ensures theyre out of easy reach from cats and other predators. If you dont have a suitable tree or structure to hang the feeder from, use a tall sturdy shepherd hooklike this one.
  • Keep feeders away from any known nests, as this may draw attention and predators to the nest.

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How To Make Hummingbird Food Sugar Water Nectar

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard this summer, then youll definitely want to provide them not only with a garden full of attractive flowers but also feeders full of this homemade hummingbird nectar.

Hummingbird nectar isnt something you make and forget. Its important that you change it out every day or every other day to avoid spoilage.

Remember: Dont forget to clean your hummingbird feeders before refilling.

Grateful Gnome Hand Blown Glass Feeder

To Make:

The usual ratio for hummingbird nectar is 1:4: meaning one cup of sugar to four cups of water.

And, depending upon the size and volume of your hummingbird feeder, you will have to adjust the proportions accordingly.

The best sugar for hummingbirds is granulated sugar .

If you make extra sugar water, you can refrigerate it in a clean, sterilized, covered container, like a canning jar, until you need to refill your hummingbird feeder.

When filling your feeder, its always best to thoroughly clean the feeder each time you refill it. Use a 1:10 bleach-to-water ratio and rinse well with cool water. Then add your nectar.

You dont need to add anything else to the nectar, like Red dye #40. This popular red dye color is not good for hummingbirds.

So are you ready to get your hummingbird feeders filled? Give this Homemade Hummingbird Nectar recipe a try. Enjoy!

Mix 1 Part Sugar With 4 Parts Water Until The Sugar Is Dissolved

How to Make Sugar Water for Hummingbirds

How do you make hummingbird sugar water. It makes quite a lot of nectar liquid and it can be kept on the refrigerator for months. Add 1 cup of granulated sugar to the boiling water, and stir until its completely dissolved. The reason for using 1 to 3 in the winter is:

It is better to use a pitcher, mix the sugar and the water. Directions for making safe hummingbird food: There is no need to boil the water, just keep it warm.

Unused mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside. Mix the sugar in increments while you stir the mixture with a spoon.

Mix sugar and boiling water until sugar is dissolved. Let sugar water mixture cool completely, then fill the hummingbird feeder and hang outside. How do you make hummingbird nectar without boiling?

Storing the nectar for a long time is also a problem because of the sugar in the mix that tends to break down into other carbohydrate forms. Hang up your feeder outside and wait for the hummingbirds to come. Extra sugar water can be stored in a.

It is very important to get the ratio right so it mimics the amount of sugar found in the flower nectar hummingbirds have. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water until the sugar is dissolved. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside.

If you have used boiling water. The hummingbird sugar water recipe has only two ingredients, water and sugar. Then, bring the water to a boil.

Also Check: What Fruit Contains The Most Sugar

The Simple Hummingbird Nectar Recipe You Should Be Using

  • 1 part white table sugar
  • 4 parts warm water
  • Using warm water helps dissolve the sugar. I use the tap water that comes out of my sink.
  • Bowl or glass
    • In your bowl or glass, combine the warm water and sugar.
    • Mix with the spoon until the sugar has dissolved.
    • You have hummingbird nectar! Fill your feeders and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

    *For easy measuring, I typically use 1 cup of sugar and 4 cups of warm water .*

    Tips For Hummingbird Feeders In Winter

    There a number of ways to help prevent your homemade hummingbird food from freezing in the winter time.

    • One obvious and easy answer is to simply bring then hummingbird feeder inside overnight. However, hummingbirds need to feed very early in the morning so it is essential that the feeder is returned outdoors in the early morning hours.
    • As I mentioned in the recipe section above, making a sweeter homemade hummingbird food of 1 part sugar to 3 parts water also delays freezing by a few degrees than a 1 to 4 recipe.
    • Try wrapping your hummingbird feeder in small holiday lights . The heat emitted from classic incandescent holiday string lights is often enough to prevent the nectar from freezing. You could even use pink or red lights to create a warm and welcoming glow for the hummers. The warmth from a nearby flood lamp or shop light may also prevent freezing.
    • A hummingbird feeder that is tucked near a house, window, under porch eaves, or in another sheltered location away from wind will be less prone to freezing than one out in the open.
    • You could also try wrapping your hummingbird feeder in insulating material to keep it warm. Just be sure not to block the feeding ports, or allow any material to dangle that may endanger the birds!
    • Some hummingbird enthusiasts maintain two feeders, so they can swap them back and forth to prevent freezing and/or allow time to defrost.

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    Skip The Red Food Coloring In The Sugar Water Recipe

    Though hummingbirds are attracted to red, clear sugar water works just fineskip the red dye. The birds will still find your feeders. Even though every bird expert seems to agree that you dont need red dye, people still add it to their sugar water. You also see companies offering pre-made hummingbird sugar water that is red. If this is you, dont feel badbut its time to break this habit once and for all. You dont need red water to attract hummingbirds. In fact, the food coloring could be bad for the birds . Either way, its not worth the risk.

    Should I Add Salt To Hummingbird Food

    How to Make Your Own Hummingbird Sugar Water Syrup

    You should add any type of salt to your sugar water recipe.

    Some recipes recommend adding a pinch of sodium-free salt if youve used distilled water for your recipe. Its thought this helps balance out electrolyte deficiencies for the hummingbirds.

    I would recommend avoiding the distilled water in the first place. You run the risk of adding too much salt to the water and causing problems for the hummingbirds.

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    How Long Does Nectar Last

    How long your nectar stays fresh depends heavily on the temperature & humidity of the spot the feeder is in. But as a rule of thumb, the hotter the climate, the more frequent you have to clean the feeder & change the nectar.

    In the winter, Nectar should be changed every 5-7 days. During summer, It should be changed every other day just to make sure everything stays safe for the hummingbirds to consume.

    The Best Liquid For Hummingbird Feeder

    The best liquid for your hummingbird feeder is sugar water.

    Dont be tempted to put plain water in your hummingbird feeders. The hummingbirds will keep hydrated from the sugar water mix.

    For your sugar water recipe, I recommend using spring water.

    But unless you like to buy water by the gallon this may not be convenient for you.

    So youre probably wondering Can you use tap water to make hummingbird food?

    You can use tap water but ideally, it should be filtered through a charcoal type filter first, like a Brita.

    Dont use distilled water for your hummingbird recipe. All the nutrients are stripped out of distilled water. That means you hummingbird wont even get the most basic minerals yet need from the water.

    For the same reason try not to use tap water that is filtered by reverse osmosis or water softeners.

    Do not use any kind of soda as a sugar alternative to water. There are full of the wrong sugar and sweetener which are harmful to hummingbirds.

    Read Also: Which Cells Produce Hormones To Regulate Blood Sugar

    Does Hummingbird Food Attract Ants

    Yes. Sugar ants also love nectar, too. Its great to have a full feeder. But make sure none of the nectar spills to the ground, otherwise not just birds will be visiting your backyard. To reduce the chance that ants will invade hummingbird turf, you can set some homemade or store-brought ant moats.

    Another ant deterrent is tying bay- or mint leaves around the feeder pole and feeder wire. But whatever you do, make sure not to spray any insecticide on a bird feeder. And dont apply any foreign substance that can damage hummingbird wings such as Vaseline.

    Do I Need To Boil Sugar Water For Hummingbirds

    How to Make Hummingbird Food (Sugar Water Recipe)

    Is it necessary to boil the sugar water mixture for hummingbird feeders? I just stir until the sugar is dissolved. Ive always wondered if its safe to make my hummingbird food recipe without boiling, asks Amy Kernes of Brea, California.

    Opinions differ on the importance of boiling the hummingbird food mixture. We always do boil the water to neutralize some impurities that might be in the water or sugar. Besides, sugar dissolves more easily in hot water. But as soon as the feeder is outdoors, contaminants will get into the water anyway, brought by hummingbirds, insects or just a breeze. So at best, boiling the mixture keeps it fresh a little longer. If your water is good and your time is limited, washing the feeder thoroughly and often is more important than boiling the sugar water mixture.

    Using really hot water will usually suffice to dissolve the sugar. However, if you plan on making extra hummingbird sugar water to store in the fridge or you have so-so water quality, then its best to boil.

    Read Also: What Brand Of Yogurt Has The Least Amount Of Sugar

    Tips For Feeding Hummingbirds

    Hummingbirds do not live on sugar water and nectar alone. They eat insects and tiny spiders to supply protein and also feed on tree sap . We assumed that supplying fresh spiders for your hummer population might not exactly be your idea of a good time and only included our top tips for hummingbird feeders below. A recent product that seems to be effective in providing fruit flies is the Humm-Bug Protein Feeder.

    16 Tips for Hummingbird Feeders

    Type & Size:

    • Choose a feeder that you are able and willing to clean.
    • Look for a feeder that has the ports above the pool of liquid to avoid drips, because drips will attract ants and bees.
    • Use feeder whose size matches your population.
    • Don’t fill the feeders all the way if they aren’t being fully consumed between fillings.
    • More feeders will support more hummers and help reduce territoriality.


    • Change the mixture every four to five days – more frequently if temperatures are over 90° F.
    • If the liquid appears cloudy or you see mold, wash the feeder thoroughly right away.


    • Put your feeders at least four feet above the ground so they are beyond the reach of cats and other predators
    • Never place a feeder too close to a nest, because doing so may cause predation.
    • If possible, the feeder should be in a shady spot.
    • Placing the feeder where you can see them through the window is a good idea too!


    When To Change The Hummingbird Food In The Feeder

    The way to keep your hummingbird nectar fresh is to change the nectar every so often. As a general rule: If the temperature doesnt get above 70 you will probable be able to go a week without changing the nectar. Once the temperatures begin to rise you can follow the guide below too give you an idea of when the nectar might need to be changed.

    High temperatures Change nectar after

    71-75 6 days

    89-92 2 days

    93+ change daily

    These are only general guidelines just to give you an idea of how often you will have to change you nectar. A visual inspection of the nectar in your feeder along with the chart will tell you when to change it. Its always better to change the nectar a little earlier than you have to than to risk waiting to long and then have to clean mold out of your feeder. Visually check the nectar in your feeder and whenever it starts to look cloudy, that is an indication that it needs to be changed right a way.

    Each time you change the nectar, rinse the feeder out with hot water. The National Audubon Societysays that you should clean your feeder once a week. They suggest to rinse your feeder out with a vinegar solution containing 1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water. Follow the vinegar wash by rinsing your hummingbird feeder three times with clear warm water before refilling with fresh sugar solution.

    If you see black spots of mold growing in the nectar or growing on the feeder, you have waited too long and should have changed it sooner.

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    How To Make Hummingbird Nectar Using Two Ingredients

    Are you looking for a proven hummingbird nectar recipe? Do you have questions about how to make hummingbird food that is both safe and effective?

    If so, you are not alone and join thousands of other hummingbird enthusiasts across North America. My goal is to answer all of your nectar related questions in this post.

    First, you are going to learn an easy hummingbird nectar recipe! Then you will read about the most commonly asked questions regarding the recipe and hummingbird food.

    Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

    • Add your water to the pan.
    • Place on the stove and boil the water for 15 minutes.
    • Take the water off the heat and immediately add the sugar.
    • Stir the mixture well until the sugar dissolves.
    • Allow the sugar water to cool to room temperature.
    • Fill a clean hummingbird feeder with sugar water.
    • Store excess sugar water in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Also Check: What Fruit Contains The Most Sugar

    The Easiest Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe

    4/25/20TThis post may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no additional cost to you, and we only recommend products that we have and use in our own homes. For more information, please read our Disclosure Policy

    Making homemade hummingbird food is cheaper, easier, and healthier than buying pre-made food! Find out how to make hummingbird nectar and how to make the process extra quick and easy.

    How To Make Sugar Water For Hummingbirds

    Want to learn how to make sugar water for hummingbirds?

    Sugar water or nectar in a hummingbird feeder is the best way to attract these beautiful birds to your yard.

    Hummingbirds need to eat a lot of nectar each day to maintain their energy and stay alive.

    It takes a lot of hard work to keep those wings moving so fast.

    But you dont need to go a buy some fancy premade hummingbird nectar.

    Well, I mean you can if you want to because we all need a little bit of convenience some time right?

    If you do want to buy pre-made hummingbird nectar . It has a few more nutrients that keep your hummingbirds healthy.

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