What Do Hummingbirds Eat ?

Here you will learn all about what hummingbirds eat and you will learn a hummingbird nectar recipe. There will also be a special video at the end of this article that will teach you how to hand-feed your hummingbirds.

How often and how much do hummingbirds eat?

Hummingbirds eat up to their body weight each day when they are fattening up getting ready for the fall migration.

What do hummingbirds eat ?…. you might be surprised


Here’s a good video showing hummingbirds catching food and eating on the fly.


Hummingbirds eat seeds?….no

Hummingbirds eat only flower nectar?….no

Hummingbirds don’t eat seeds at all and hummingbirds eat only flower nectar is false.

Hummingbirds mostly eat flower nectar but not only flower nectar. Most of their diet is nectar from flowers. Hummingbirds may visit 1,000 flower per day in their search for nectar.

two more questions concerning what do hummingbirds eat:

Do hummingbirds eat ants?….yes

Do hummingbirds eat bugs?….yes

They also eat small spiders, and some species feed on tree sap from holes in trees that other birds have made such as yellow bellied sap suckers. Sapsucker holes are a double treat, providing both insects and sap!Yes, hummingbird do eat bugs and hummingbirds do eat ants and they also eat small insects such as mosquitoes, aphids, gnats, midges, caterpillars, flying ants, weevils, small beetles, white flies and insect eggs.

Hummingbirds require lots of energy. They have the fastest wing beats of any bird, around 70 beats per second and up to 200 beats per second during a high speed dive.  A hummingbird’s  heart beats up to 1,260 beats per minute.

So to summarize about what do hummingbirds eat, they feed mostly on flower nectar, but they also eat small insects and spiders to get protein and a few feed on tree sap.

What do baby hummingbirds eat?

The female will feed them with a mixture of nectar and tiny insects and spiders, that she will collect in her crop and regurgitate the mixture into the mouths of the young. The insects and spiders will provide the protein that the baby hummingbirds need to grow.

How often do hummingbirds eat?

Because of their high energy requirements spent flying, they must feed continuously during their waking hours. Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any animal on earth. Their high energy requirements cause them to eat more than they weigh each and every day.

Because of their extremely high metabolism, hummingbirds will have to feed often, every 10 to 15 minutes.

more on what do hummingbirds eat :

Hummingbirds get nectar from flower blossoms and sometimes eat the insects that they find in the blossoms and have been known to pick insects out of spider webs. About a third of their diet consists of small insects and spiders – which they sometimes catch in mid-air. The small bugs and spiders provide the protein content they need.

Their tongues have grooves on the sides that collect nectar and allow them to lap up the nectar. The hummingbirds store the food they eat in an elastic sack found in the neck called a crop. The crop acts like a stomach and allows small amounts of food to be released into the intestines. Once in the intestines, the sugar is absorbed into the blood stream and used for energy.

Now that your question what do hummingbirds eat and how often do hummingbirds eat, has been answered, you might want to put out a feeder and feed your own hummingbirds. Below is the best hummingbird feeder you can get:

 hummingbird feeder

My favorite Hummingbird nectar feeder is
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 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.

Hummingbird nectar mixture

Homemade nectar instructions:

1 part regular white sugar to 4 parts water.
Example: 1 cup sugar, 4 cups water

1. Boil the water.
2. Add sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
3. Let the hummingbird food cool.
4. Fill feeder and store leftover nectar in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

A good set of small hummingbird feeder brushes is invaluable and will save lots of time, when it comes to keeping your feeder clean.
Product Description
Features: You should wash your feeder every time you refill it. Mold and dirt can build up quickly and can be harmful. Brushes are great for stubborn spots and hard to reach areas. Includes 3 brushes to clean every part of your hummingbird feeder. Brushes clean the stems or opening of the feeder flowers and the sides and bottom of the nectar bottles.


Video making hummingbird food


I hope this article has answered your questions on what do hummingbirds eat and how often do hummingbirds eat.

When to stop feeding hummingbirds

Click on the link when to stop feeding hummingbirds to learn when to take down your hummingbird feeder and when to stop feeding hummingbirds .


Here is the instructional video on how to hand-feed 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

I hope you enjoyed this article on what do hummingbirds eat, how often do hummingbirds eat and how much do hummingbirds eat.

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