This is such a simple recipe that can be made in less than 10 minutes, start to finish. As you can see from the photos, hummingbirds of all ages LOVE this homemade nectar recipe.
You'll note in the directions below that we boil the water first when making this hummingbird food recipe. From a health standpoint this is not necessary as the microorganisms that cause fermentation are transported to feeders by the birds themselves, rather than in the water as is commonly
The reason for boiling the water first is simply for the ease of dissolving the sugar. Sometimes, if we're in a hurry, we simply run a pot of plain water through the coffee pot and use the hot water to dissolve the sugar.
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 1 minute, 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.
||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
- 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