2 cups water, boiling
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
Add sugar to boiling water, bring back up to a boil (for just under 2 minutes) Remove from heat, cool. Store in the refrigerator.
To Make 1 Gallon of Hummingbird Nectar
4 Cups of Granulated Cane Sugar
16 Cups of Water (1 gallon)
Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar, stirring occasionally. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool completely before filling feeders. Do Not boil longer than 2 minutes as you will create a thickened syrup that will attract bees/wasps/yellowjackets - making it more difficult for the hummingbirds to be able to eat in peace without having to fight for their food.
Homemade Hummingbird nectar should be changed every 3 days, depending on the temperature. If it becomes "cloudy" or stringy, remove it immediately and wash the feeder in hot soapy water (using dish detergent).
||Change nectar after:|
WARNING: Do not vary the ingredient amounts, it can be deadly to birds. Do not substitute artificial sweeteners or honey as both are lethal to birds. Also, do not add food coloring to the water, it is unnecessary and unhealthy.
Other Interesting Facts you might enjoy about these sweet little birds:
- Hummingbirds collect lichens & Spider Web fibers to build their nests. They will not use string, yarn or other nesting materials if you put them out, so save those items for the songbirds
- Hummingbirds have little to no sense of smell and are drawn by bright colors rather than fragrances.
- Be sure to put feeders up in early spring and leave them well into late fall. It is a MYTH that hummingbirds will not migrate if the food is still available. Migration takes place due to their own internal clock and by leaving the feeders up in place, you will be helping any stragglers and ensuring their successful migration.
- Male Hummingbirds will often fly in a U-Shaped Pattern, this display is called the Pendulum Display. It is done to attract the ladies and to impress them enough to get them to mate. You'll frequently see this behavior in Late Spring/Early summer while the females are on the feeders.
- "Bully" hummers on your feeder? Hummingbirds are territorial. If you're seeing a number of so called "bullies" chasing off other hummers, simply put up More feeders. This "bullying" is natural selection hard at work and you shouldn't interfere with it.
- Perhaps you're wondering why you should boil the water at all when making homemade hummer food.. well, boiling the water removes any impurities, over chlorination (or other chemicals) and naturally occurring bacteria that may be unhealthy for the hummingbird. Again, as a reminder, do not boil the hummingbird food solution longer than 2 minutes as this creates a syrup that will only attract bees/wasps/yellowjackets and other undesirables.