Learn how to make hummingbird nectar with plain white sugar and water. It’s easy to make hummingbird food when you know the ratio of sugar and water to mix. Hummingbirds will flock to your feeder to sip on this sweet sugar water. Read on to learn how easy it is to make hummingbird nectar.
How to Make Hummingbird Nectar
We have a group of little hummingbirds that live in our front yard. My husband hung a hummingbird feeder from the Japanese maple tree in our front yard and those cute little birdies flock to it all day long. I love to hear the buzz of the little hummingbirds as I am out and about in the garden. It seems as soon as I realize the humming noises I am hearing are coming from a hummingbird, I look up and they are already flying away.
Can you Make your Own Hummingbird Nectar?
Yes you can! And it’s easy too. Hummingbirds drink nectar, a sweet liquid found inside certain flowers. Nectar is a mixture of glucose, fructose and sucrose. It’s a poor source of nutrients so hummingbirds get their nutrition from eating flying insects and spiders.
Hummingbirds consume more than their own weight in nectar every day and visit hundreds of flowers. They are continuously hours away from starving to death and are able to store just enough energy from nectar to survive the night.
Is Red Nectar Bad for Hummingbirds?
We used to put the dyed red hummingbird food in our feeder but noticed the birds weren’t really drinking it. We started making our own hummingbird food and it’s surprisingly easy. All you need is white sugar and water. It turns out that red dye isn’t necessary at all and in fact probably isn’t very good for our feathered friends to be drinking on a long term basis.
Is it Okay to Feed Hummingbirds Sugar Water?
Regular white granulated sugar is the best sweetener to use in hummingbird feeders.
Ingredients for Hummingbird Nectar
- white granulated sugar
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Brown sugar, honey, agave or any other kind of sweetener is not recommended for use in hummingbird feeders because they are more likely to grow bacteria.
These sweeteners also spoil more rapidly and can make the birds sick. You may not even realize that you are making the birds sick because they won’t die until several days after they have ingested the spoiled food. Make sure you clean out your feeder on a regular basis. Make sure the feeder you purchase is easy to clean and give it a good wash every couple of days.
Do I Need to Boil Sugar Water for Hummingbirds?
Yes you do. Boiling is how you make the sugar water into simple syrup for the birds.
Use a ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Boil the mixture and then let it cool before putting it into feeder Boiling it will make sure there isn’t any fungi or bacteria present in the nectar.
Why do Hummingbirds Stop Coming to Feeders?
Other animals may visit your humming bird feeder like bees, wasps and ants as they are attracted to the sugar water. This can deter hummingbirds from coming to the feeder to take a sip. The pests may crawl into the feeder where they can become trapped and drown. You can help prevent ants from crawling into your feeder by using Vaseline on the wire it hangs from so they can’t get to the nectar. As for bees and wasps…sorry, can’t help you there.
Now I can sit on my front porch and watch these beautiful little birds take drinks from the feeder. Aren’t they beautiful?
- 4 cups of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- Pour the sugar and water into a saucepan and boil on medium heat.
- Once it starts to boil, remove the mixture and let it cool completely.
- Once cooled pour into a hummingbird feeder and let the birds drink.