• Tag Archives hummingbird food
  • Hummingbird Recipe

    Hummingbird Recipe To Fill Your Hummingbird Feeder

    Here you will learn how to make hummingbird nectar, when to change the nectar in your feeder, how to properly clean your feeder, how to keep bees, ants and wasps away from your feeder and at the bottom of this article you will find my video that will also teach you how to hand-feed your hummingbirds.

    The hummingbird feeder recipe is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar.

    Easy directions for making  hummingbird  food:

    1. In a sauce pan mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water and stir to dissolve the sugar as the food  mixture comes to a boil.
    2. Boil 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
    3. Once the nectar mixture is cooled you can fill the feeder

    The ingredients are ordinary tap water and white granulated table sugar. No other ingredients are added. Don’t use brown sugar, honey, corn syrup, molasses or artificial sweeteners. The flower nectar that hummingbirds feed on contains sucrose (ordinary table sugar) and that is all that is needed. Other ingredients can prove to be harmful or even fatal to the hummingbirds, so don’t use anything but white table sugar. Do NOT add red food coloring! Food coloring is considered to be harmful to hummingbirds so don’t add it.

    A red feeder is all you need to attract the hummingbirds. If your feeder is not red you can tie strips of red ribbon to your feeder or add a red hummingbird feeder ant moat between the hanger and the feeder. A red ant moat will help attract hummingbirds and will also keep ants out of your feeder.

    The nectar mixture is boiled so that the chlorine in the water will be released and any mold or bacteria that might be in the sugar will be killed. This will help your nectar last longer in the feeder and in storage. You can store leftover nectar in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Boiling your homemade hummingbird food for 2 minutes is long enough. Boiling any longer will boil away more water and change the composition of the nectar. The 1 to 4 ratio of sugar to water is the same ratio found in flower nectar. If you boil longer it will change the ratio and make the nectar sweeter This will also make it more attractive to bees and wasps.

    Any ratio of 1 to 4 will work. For example, you can use 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water or 1/2 cup sugar to 2 cups water or 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water … etc. These are all examples of a 1 to 4 sugar to water ratio. If you make a larger batch of hummingbird nectar, you can keep it in the refrigerator and not have to make it as often.

     

    Video: making hummingbird food

    Where to hang a hummingbird feeder

    Once your hummingbird food is made and your feeder is filled you will have to find a place to hang the feeder. It’s best to find a shady spot to place your feeder if possible. The nectar will stay cooler and stay fresh longer if it’s in the shade. If you must hang it in the sun, that’s alright, but you’ll have to change the nectar more often so it doesn’t spoil.

    You should also look for a spot near a window so you will be able to watch the hummingbirds while they are at the feeder. You might want to try a window hummingbird feeder to really bring them up close.

     

    How to keep your nectar fresh

    The outside temperature will determine how long your nectar will stay fresh. The hotter the temperature the more often it will have to be changed. Hummingbirds won’t use a feeder that doesn’t contain fresh nectar. Generally, if the temperature stays below 70 degrees, you can usually get by changing the nectar once a week. As the outside temperature rises above 70 degrees you will have to change it more often to keep he nectar fresh and mold free. You can use the chart below as a general guide line on how often you can expect to have to add fresh nectar to your hummingbird feeder.

    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

    This is only a general guide line and the actual timing may vary according to other factors such as hanging your feeder in the sun or shade, properly boiling your hummingbird nectar and properly cleaning your feeder between fillings.

    A visual inspection of the feeder and the nectar will tell you when it has to be changed. If the nectar starts to look cloudy or it contains black spots of mold, it needs to be changed more often. If you wait too long, yeast will start to ferment the sugar and mold and bacteria will start to grow. The mold and bacteria can be harmful to your hummingbirds.

     

    How to clean a hummingbird feeder

    If you keep the nectar fresh, rinsing out the feeder with hot water each time you change the nectar should be enough. To maintain a clean feeder you should give it a good cleaning about once a month in a mild bleach solution. To make the bleach cleaning solution for your hummingbird feeder, just add 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water and soak your feeder for about an hour. When your feeder is done soaking take it out and thoroughly rinse it several times in running water to remove all traces of bleach so the bleach doesn’t harm the hummingbirds. This soaking in a mild bleach solution will help insure that your feeder stays clean and will be attractive to hummingbirds.

    Any time your nectar becomes cloudy or has black mold growing in it you will also have to sterilize the feeder with the mild bleach solution. You may also have to use some small hummingbird feeder brushes to remove all traces of the mold from inside the feeder. Remember to rinse thoroughly before filling with nectar.

    A good hummingbird feeder that’s easy to take apart and allows easy access to the inside of the feeder, is one that you are more likely to be able to keep clean. This is an important consideration when choosing a hummingbird feeder.

     

    Here is a good video on cleaning a hummingbird feeder.

    It shows the different types of hummingbird feeder brushes that are available to aid in feeder cleaning, especially in cleaning mold out of the feeder.

     

    How to keep ants, bees and wasps off of your hummingbird feeder

    ant moat
                                    ant moat

    OK, you’ve got your hummingbird recipe, your feeder is filled and it’s hung in a good location. All that’s left is to keep the bees, wasps and ants off of your feeder. The sweet hummingbird syrup inside your feeder will not only be attractive to hummingbirds, but it will also be very attractive to hummingbird feeder pests, such as ants, bees and wasps. I have seen bees and wasps so thick around my feeder that the hummingbirds couldn’t feed at all. And ants can actually get inside the feeder through the feeder ports, where they will die and contaminate the nectar.

    Hummingbird pest can usually be controlled by choosing a good hummingbird feeder that prevents access to such pests. Some feeders come with a built-in ant moat that keeps ants from reaching the nectar. The ant moat or ant guard as it is sometimes called, is filled with water and the ants can’t swim, so they can’t get to the hummingbird food. If you have a feeder that doesn’t have a built-in moat you can always add an ant moat between the hanger and the feeder to keep out ants. There are also hummingbird feeders that have bee guards or nectar guard tips right on the feeders, that don’t allow the bees, wasps and other flying insects to reach the nectar.

    Using a basin type feeder, rather than a bottle feeder will help keep ants away from your feeder. The air in a bottle feeder will expand and push nectar out of the feeder ports and onto the ground where the ants will find it and eventually find your feeder. A basin feeder won’t do this because all the nectar is below the feeding ports. For best results, the answer is to choose a good hummingbird feeder with all the features that keep pest away from the nectar. This will insure that you get the most enjoyment possible from feeding your hummingbirds and from using the hummingbird recipe.

    Hummzinger Ultra hummingbird feeder with ant moat and bee guard tips. Learn more
    This feeder has a built-in ant moat and nectar guard tips to keep out bees and wasps. See feeder

     

     

     

    Bees, wasps and other flying insect can also present a problem at your feeder. You have to be able to prevent them from getting to the nectar. If they can’t reach the nectar they will eventually give up and move on. The best hummingbird feeders, besides having an ant moat to keep out ants, will also have some type of bee guards or nectar guard tips to prevent bees from reaching the nectar.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Here is a helpful video that shows you how to bee proof your feeder using plastic mesh from an onion sack.

    Related article

    Cornell university feeder pest control article

     

    How to hand-feed hummingbirds instructional video

    Here is my instructional video that will teach you a quick, easy way to hand-feed your hummingbirds

     

    Here is another technique you can use to hand-feed hummingbirds through a window in your home.

     

    If you would like to watch my other videos on hand-feeding different backyard birds and squirrels, click the link    Hand-feeding backyard birds and squirrels

    Now you know the hummingbird recipe and can make your own hummingbird food. You know where to hang your feeder, when to change the nectar and how to clean your feeder. You also learned how to keep ants and bees out of your nectar and how to hand-feed your hummingbirds. All these things added together will allow you to have the most success at attracting hummingbirds and keep them returning on a regular basis. Enjoy your hummingbirds!

    If you found this article helpful please share it using the social bookmarking buttons on the left side of this page. Help everyone to increase their enjoyment of hummingbirds. Do it for the hummingbirds!


  • Best Hummingbird Food

    Best Hummingbird food to feed your hummingbirds

    Here is an easy to make hummingbird nectar recipe that is the best food for your hummingbird feeder. It is a basic hummingbird feeder solution that is simple and quick to make. The only ingredients that you will need are white table sugar and water. No red food coloring will be used, because food coloring may be harmful to the hummingbirds and it is not necessary. If your hummingbird feeder has red on it, that will be enough to attract the hummingbirds to your feeder.

    The hummingbird food sugar water ratio is 1 to 4.  You will use 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. This ratio of 4 parts water to 1 part common table sugar will give you a nectar that is close to the actual concentration of sugar found in the flower nectar that hummingbirds feed on. Using any more sugar will make the hummingbird food sweeter and thus more attractive to bees and wasps, which are a common feeder problem. Plus, the more sugar the hummingbird nectar contains, the quicker the hummingbird food will ferment and have to be changed.

    For this example we will be using 4 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. To make a smaller amount of nectar you could use 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Any excess hummingbird nectar that you have left over can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Pour the 4 cups of water into a pan and heat it on the stove.  Add the sugar and stir as the solution comes to a boil, until the sugar is dissolved. Boil the hummingbird food for 2 minutes to kill any bacteria in the sugar that might cause your hummingbird nectar to ferment quicker. After 2 minutes of boiling remove the nectar from the heat and cool. Boiling any longer will cause  more of the water to evaporate and will change the 4 to 1 ratio resulting in a greater concentration of sugar to water.

    Once you homemade hummingbird nectar is cool you can fill your feeder.  You only need to as add as much nectar as you think your hummingbirds will use, adding any more will just be wasting it. Store the unused hummingbird food in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Click on the link for more articles on the best hummingbird food.

    Click on the link for an article on how to clean your hummingbird feeder. This article will also tell you how to determine when it’s time to clean your feeder. If you wait to long to clean the feeder you will end up with a moldy feeder.

     

    Below is a video which will show you how to make the best hummingbird food.

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

     

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

     

    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.
    ant moat

     

     

    Trap-It Ant Moat for Hummingbird Feeders, Red

    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.

     

     

     

     

    One of the main things if you want to be successful in attracting and feeding hummingbirds is to be sure to keep fresh nectar in the feeder and to keep the feeder clean. Click on this link, it will tell you how to know when it’s time to change the hummingbird nectar and how to  clean your hummingbird feeder.

    I hope you enjoyed this article on the best hummingbird food.