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Learn how to make a Hummingbird Food recipe for feeding your hummingbirds for the Summer.
How to Create a Hummingbird Food Recipe — I look forward to summer every year, so I can watch the hummingbirds eat their nectar. I have heard several people state they have not seen any this year yet. I just set mine out over Memorial Weekend and yesterday I saw my first hummingbird come up to eat.
When I first started, I would buy the red food which you could buy in stores. I started reading and I found out that wasn’t really the best for them. The red food really wasn’t their favorite food anyways. All they need is the basic hummingbird food recipe. This recipe offers the birds a healthy, nutritious, easily digestible source of energy.
Classic Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
The Hummingbird nectar recipe is a simple sugar water solution, but it must be made with the right proportions to attract hummingbirds and be able to give them easily digestible food.
The Recipe for How to Create A Hummingbird Food Recipe:
- Combine Sugar and Water — Combine one part plain white granulated table sugar and four parts water.
- Heat the Mixture — You can heat the mixture in two different ways. I have done both – in the microwave or you can also heat the solution slowly for one to two minutes to help the sugar dissolve and slow fermentation.
- Let Cool — Allow the solution to cool completely before filling feeders.
Follow some of the guidelines below for the safest, best nectar from a homemade recipe.
● While the boiling will help slow the fermentation of the nectar initially, the nectar in hummingbird feeders is contaminated as soon as it is sipped by a bird. Therefore, it is not necessary to boil the nectar once the sugar has been dissolved. If you use extra fine sugar or stir the nectar vigorously, no boiling or heating may be needed.
● The ratio of sugar and water can be slightly adjusted, but a solution that is too sweet will be difficult for the birds to digest and one that does not contain enough sugar will not be suitable to attract hummingbirds. The 4:1 water to sugar ratio most closely approximates the sucrose levels in the natural nectar of hummingbirds’ favorite flowers.
● Hummingbird nectar must be completely cool before filling feeders. Hot nectar can warp or crack both glass and plastic hummingbird feeders which will cause leaks. Warm nectar will also ferment more quickly once it becomes contaminated.
● Commercial hummingbird nectar products often advertise different flavors, vitamins, and other additives that are supposed to attract birds. These additives are not necessary for hummingbirds’ health and a simple sugar solution will attract just as many birds as more expensive commercial products.
● Unused hummingbird nectar can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week before it begins to spoil. When making your own nectar, adjust the recipe quantity to only make enough for one week to eliminate waste, save money, and ensure birds have the freshest possible nectar to enjoy.
● It is best to clean the hummingbird feeders at least once a week and refill them with fresh nectar. In warm weather or when multiple birds are using the feeders and they are emptied more frequently, clean feeders more often, ideally every time they are refilled.
Though it only takes a few minutes to make the homemade recipe, if you don’t have time to make your own hummingbird nectar, you can purchase powdered or liquid nectar concentrates to use as well. These concentrates often come in premeasured portions to fill a single feeder, depending on its capacity, and can be convenient for RV travelers, using at a campsite, or giving as a gift with a hummingbird feeder.
Do you love to watch hummingbirds in the summer? When do you put out your hummingbird feeders?