Hummingbird Sugar Water

Hummingbird sugar water added to a feeder is a sure fire way to help attract hummingbirds to your yard where you can enjoy watching them up close.

The hummingbird food used to fill hummingbird feeders is only a supplement to the birds’ natural diet. They also eat insects to get protein. Do not use honey, Jello, brown sugar, fruit, or red food coloring in your feeder! Honey can kill hummingbirds because it quickly ferments if put in a feeder. The effects of red dye have not been not scientifically tested, and it is not necessary to have red hummingbird nectar water to attract hummingbirds to your feeder. There are reports however that red die can cause tumors in hummingbirds, so don’t use it.

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe:

The formula for hummingbird food is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Use ordinary granulated white table sugar. This mixture will approximate the sugar content (about 20 % ) of the flowers that hummingbirds normally like to feed on.

Bring the water to a boil and add the sugar. Constantly stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Boil for about 2 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool.

Add nectar to your feeder and store any leftover nectar in the refrigerator. It will keep up to 2 weeks.

Changing your hummingbird sugar water:

The nectar in your feeder will have to be changed every so often to make sure it stays fresh and doesn’t affect the health of your hummingbirds. They won’t come to a feeder with nectar that isn’t fresh. How often you will have to change it depends on the temperature. Below is a chart that will give you some general guide lines to follow:

High temperatures…………Change nectar after

71-75……………………………6 days

76-80……………………………5 days

81-84……………………………4 days

85-88……………………………3 days

89-92……………………………2 days

93+………………………………change daily

These are guidelines to give you an idea when to change your homemade hummingbird food , but if you notice the nectar turning cloudy or see black spots growing in it you will have to change the hummingbird sugar water right away.

Maintaining your hummingbird feeder:

Hummingbird feeder maintenance will require a little bit of time and effort to keep your feeder clean and the nectar fresh. Every time you change the nectar rinse the feeder with hot tap water. Don’t use soap because hummingbirds don’t like the taste.

At least once a month, you should clean the feeder with a solution of bleach water (1/4 cup bleach to one gallon of water). Soak the feeder in the bleach water for one hour, then clean with a bottle brush. Rinse the feeder several times with running water to remove all traces of the bleach water, then refill.

If you forget about your feeder and find that mold has appeared in your hummingbird sugar water, you will have to soak the feeder in a solution of 10% bleach to 90% water. Soak it for an hour to kill the mold and sterilize your feeder. To help clean out the mold you may need to buy a set of brushes that will reach inside the feeder and into the feeder holes.
Keep an eye on your feeder and anytime you see any traces of black mold, you will have to soak it in the bleach water solution.

One way that will make your feeder maintenance a lot easier is to use a feeder that’s easy to clean.

Best hummingbird feeder

Now that your hummingbird sugar water recipe is done, you will need to get a feeder that is easy to take apart and clean, and one that will also protect your hummingbird sugar water from bees ants and wasps.

My favorite choice of hummingbird feeders to use with the homemade hummingbird food recipe is

HummZinger Ultra hummingbird feeder

Aspects 12oz Hummzinger Ultra With Nectar Guard

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

ant moat

Price: $6.99 Buy Now

Product Description

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.

Enjoy hour hummingbirds and I hope you enjoyed this article on hummingbird sugar water.

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