I love hummingbirds. My mom has so many at her house and it is fun to watch them. But she doesn’t have so many just because she is lucky. They are there because she feeds them!
She has several feeders on her deck and it can get pricey to keep buying food (also called nectar) at the garden store, so she explained to me how to make hummingbird food. It’s really easy….and really cheap!
Some people like to add red dye to their hummingbird nectar, but it is NOT NECESSARY! Most hummingbird feeders already have red flowers or other red section and that is more than enough to draw the hummingbirds.
The myth that the red color is needed has led some people to use unsafe dyes, which could harm the hummingbirds, so your best bet is to skip the dye completely.
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How to make hummingbird food:
To make your own hummingbird nectar there are only two ingredients – white table sugar and water. They are mixed in a ration of 1 part sugar to 3 parts water. So, if you’re using 1 cup of sugar, you’ll use 3 cups of water.
Put the water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, add the sugar. Let it continue to boil for 1-2 minutes.
Remove pan from stove and let cool. That’s it! You’re ready to fill your feeders!
How to Make Hummingbird Food
It's easy to make your own hummingbird food using only sugar and water.
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3 Cups Water
- Put the water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the sugar.
- Let it continue to boil for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from stove and let cool.
Thanks! How do you store it?
I would recommend only making as much as you need to fill your feeders. Otherwise you can store it in the fridge.
Ari T. says
I don’t imagine I have any hummingbirds where I live, at least I haven’t seen them. But if they were native, I would so want to try this out!! The recipe seems simple enough and I’m sure the birds appreciate it!
I have planted a lot of hummingbird friendly plants around my yard over the years. When I’m sitting on the porch, I see many of them whizzing about throughout the day. I have a feeder in the backyard, so making my own nectar will be quite a savings. I’ll have to give it a try come Spring.
Just an FYI, if you research hummingbird nectar recipe, all the bird “authorities” say the ratio is 1 to 4. Not sure if a much sweeter nectar hurts them but I have them by the droves using the 1 to 4 ratio. Takes less sugar anyway.
Thanks for the input Susan. My mom has always done the 1-3 ratio and she always has tons of hummingbirds too, so I guess either they’re not picky or it depends on the particular birds!
Can i use brown sugar???