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Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe to Feed Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are awesome to watch, and easy to feed.  Hummingbirds eat insects, but nectar is their favorite.  Fill a feeder and you will soon have them flying every which way.  Many hummingbirds return to the same feeder year after year, so make a habit of keeping a feeder up from early Spring to late Fall.

There is no point in wasting money on expensive store-bought nectar when you can easily make your own at home, fast and frugal!

Find out what kinds of Hummingbirds are visiting your feeder.  Check out the Hummingbird Identifier.

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar
 

First, start with a clean feeder.  Wash it in hot, soapy water and rinse well.  

NEVER use any chemicals on the feeder as this could harm the birds.

Cleaning the Hummingbird Feeder

To make the nectar, you will need:

  • 1 Cup of granulated white sugar.  Only use white sugar.  Chemicals in artificial sweeteners can harm the birds, and brown sugar, honey, etc. can make the mix go sour and do not provide the best nutrition.

  • 4 Cups of Water (If you have hard water, consider distilled or bottled)

  • This 4:1 ratio most closely resembles the sugar levels in natural nectar.

Ingredients for Hummingbird Nectar

I never add food coloring as this could harm the birds.  It is not necessary to color the water red, they will find the Hummingbird food without it!  Most feeders are red already, so clear nectar is easier to make anyhow.

TIP: Cut the recipe in half if you have a small feeder or don’t use as much.  I use a 16-ounce plastic feeder, but they come in all sizes, shapes, and materials.  16-ounce feeders are plenty big enough to feed a crowd without wasting nectar.  You can also put less in a larger feeder.  Pay attention to how much you use, and adjust accordingly.

Check out Hummingbird Feeders on Amazon

 Heating Hummingbird Nectar

Over heat, dissolve the sugar into the water.  Bring it to a hard boil for a minute or two.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before filling the feeder.  

Unused nectar will keep in the fridge for 2 days.  Make sure that you also clean the container you keep the refrigerated nectar in before you refill it.

Clean the feeder and refill it with clean nectar every 2 days.  Hummingbirds can be harmed by the mold that grows in a dirty feeder, so make sure to clean it well and often.  I use an old toothbrush and a bottle brush to get in all the nooks and crannies.

Keep the feeder full.  Birds may not return to an empty feeder.

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