Homemade hummingbird nectar is easy and fun to make
Homemade hummingbird nectar also costs you less and is better for your hummingbirds.
There is nothing I would rather do than sit in my backyard, close to my hummingbird feeders and get a close up view of the hummingbirds as they feed on my homemade hummingbird nectar.
I have one feeder I hang on a pole next to my honeysuckle vines and put my lawn chair several feet from the feeder to watch as they feed on the hummingbird nectar.
If I’m lucky enough to have more than 1or 2 birds I will hang another feeder somewhere else in the yard. Hummingbirds are very territorial and will try to chase one another away from the feeder and have it all to themselves. So an extra feeder somewhere else in the yard helps to cut down on the fighting between hummingbirds.
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe:
The main ingredient for my hummingbird food will be sugar. There are two main sources of sugar…..cane sugar and beet sugar. Seventy percent of the worlds supply of sugar comes from cane sugar and that’s the type of sugar that I will be using to make my hummingbird food. Cane sugar is the common granulated white sugar that you put on your breakfast cereal each morning.
Sugar is in the carbohydrate family. Carbohydrates are easy to digest and will provide a quick burst of energy….and this is just what the hummingbirds need to maintain their extremely high level of metabolism.
The next ingredient in the homemade hummingbird nectar recipe is water. The hummingbirds natural supply of water will come from dew and rain water. If you live in the city…..to match this natural supply as close as possible, you will have to get the chlorine and or fluoride out of the water. Removing the chlorine and fluoride is a simple process…..all you have to do is boil the water for a couple of minutes.
The last ingredient, that is found in store-bought hummingbird nectar, is red food coloring. But, adding color to our homemade hummingbird nectar recipe is totally unnecessary. For one thing, the red coloring of your hummingbird feeder itself is enough to attract hummingbirds to your feeder. And the best reason for not adding red food coloring to the nectar recipe is that it might be harmful to the hummingbirds themselves. The red coloring (Red #40) has been banned in some countries due to its cancer causing properties. Wildlife rehabilitators have reported seeing tumors in the bills and livers of hummingbirds that have been fed hummingbird syrup containing red food coloring. So to be on the safe side just don’t use the food color.
The formula for the homemade hummingbird nectar recipe is 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. Measure and add sugar at the rate of 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water. Bring your water to a boil and stir in the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for about 2 minutes and let cool before filling your feeder. To save on nectar only add to your feeder what your birds will use up in a couple of days. In hot weather your nectar will have to be changed every couple of days. If the temperatures get into the nineties you should change it every day. So adding any more than what will be used up, will just be wasting nectar. You can store your unused nectar in the refrigerator for up to 2-weeks. You will need to clean your feeder every few days.
This can be done by soaking it in hot water with a mild bleach solution of about 10% bleach to water. This will prevent bacteria and mold from forming on you feeder as the hot weather causes the sugar to ferment. If mold should happen to form on your feeder you will have to brush it out with feeder cleaning brushes.
Be sure to rinse your feeder thoroughly with water before filling with your homemade hummingbird nectar.
My favorite choice of hummingbird feeders to use with the homemade hummingbird nectar recipe is
It’s inexpensive and has several features that makes it well worth the price.
The HummZinger has patented Nectar guard tips which are flexible membranes attached to the feed ports that prohibit entry from flying insects, but allow Hummingbirds to feed as usual. The HummZinger also has a built in ant moat that will stop crawling insects from getting to the nectar. It also has raised flower ports that divert rain.
This mid-size nectar feeder has a 12 oz. capacity and can be hung or post mounted with hardware provided. It has four feeding ports for hummingbirds and is made of unbreakable polycarbonate. Easy to clean.
For ease of cleaning and protection from bees, wasps and ants, this feeder can’t be beat.
If you already have a hummingbird feeder, and you want to protect it from ants and other crawling insects, the ant moat below will do the job.
Trap-It Ant Moat for Hummingbird Feeders, Red
Price: $6.99 Buy Now
The first and still the best to protect your Hummingbird and Oriole feeder from ants and other crawling insects. Insert between hanger and feeder and fill with water, providing a barrier to crawling pests. Red color to attract hummingbirds.
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