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Hummingbird Nectar

Hummingbird nectar can be a commercial mix or you can simply make your own.

Make your own hummingbird nectar
Hummingbird feed (man-made nectar) is a simple mix of white sugar and water. Here are the basic steps.

  • Mix one part sugar with four parts water.
  • Heat the mixture to the boiling point and stir to ensure the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat as soon as a strong boil is reached.
  • Cool and serve.
  • The sugar water can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.

The 4:1 ratio of water to sugar is the maximum suggested. Higher concentrations do not do a better job in attracting the birds and may be harmful.

Do not add red food coloring to the solution. The feeder you use will have red “flowers” or other bright colors to attract the hummingbirds.

Do not substitute honey for the sugar. Honey solutions spoil more quickly and are more likely to support the development of fungus infections in the birds.

hummingbird feeding
Depending on the temperature, unused solution should be changed every 3-5 days. Watch for mold or discoloration of the feeding fluid.

Birding Quick Hits

Take down hummingbird feeders about 2 weeks after the last observation. Leaving your feeder up too long will not prevent healthy birds from migrating.  More hummingbirds are over-wintering in the U.S.  If you live in Gulf Coast states condor leaving your feeder up all year.