Hummingbird food sold in the stores is not really quality feed for our sweet little friends. First, hummingbirds don’t need to eat red food dye! Not to mention that most of the store-bought hummingbird feed is old and not the best option for these beautiful birds. We can do better and save ourselves some money to boot!
DIY Hummingbird Food Recipe
My grandmother loved hummingbirds. There was always a hummingbird feeder on her patio filled with bright red liquid. I was fascinated with these tiny little creatures, and I still am. I am happy to share what I’ve learned about hummingbirds and hummingbird food with you.
Hummingbirds – Interesting Facts
- Hummingbirds can weigh anywhere from .07 – .7 ounces.
- There are over 300 species of hummingbirds worldwide and 16 in the United States.
- They don’t just eat nectar, they also eat small insects.
- They consume 100 – 200% of their body weight in nectar each day
Are you putting out hummingbird food but not hummers are feeding? Here are a few tips to attracting hummingbirds to your home and garden.
- Offer fresh, quality nectar
- In addition to feed offering a shallow area for bathing, preferably with moving water or a mist.
- Provide nesting material near your hummingbird food. See: Organic Cotton Nesting Hanger
- Be consistent with your hummingbird food, nesting materials and bathing water. Hummingbirds will return to areas they know these things are available.
Feeding Hummingbird Tips
- Always use quality cane sugar in your hummingbird food recipes.
- Never use artificial sweetners or honey!
- Use clean water – filtered water is your best bet.
- If you have too many bees on your feeder you need to up your water to sugar ratio and consider a different feeder (more on this below)
- Keep your hummingbird feeder clean by washing it thoroughly with a light detergent before you refill with fresh nectar. Never top-off your feeders.
- If your feeder is dishwasher safe it is good to run it through a cycle once a month.
- Put fresh hummingbird food / necar in your feeders every 5 days. If your temps are higher than 90 degrees F you’ll want to change it every 3 days.
- If you live in a cold climate you probably won’t need to offer hummingbird food during the late fall and winter because hummingbirds will migrate.
The Best Hummingbird Feeders & Tips
- Choose a feeder where the feeder ports are above the liquid. This will make it less attractive to bees and roaches because they cannot reach the liquid.
- Try to keep your feeder in a spot that is shady. This will help the hummers and keep your nectar from getting too hot.
- Keep your feeders at least 4 feet off the ground and make sure predators will not be able to access it or the birds.
- Getting the biggest hummingbird feeder isn’t necessary. If you’re finding most of the hummingbird food is left at cleaning times you may need to put in less food.
- If the hummingbird food begins to look cloudy or you see mold of any kind, you need to empty the feeder and make new nectar immediately.
DIY Hummingbird Food Recipe
Remember if the feeder is attracting too many bees you can change this hummingbird food recipe to 5 cups of water, instead of the 4 cups called for in the original.
The Perfect Homemade Hummingbird Food Nectar Recipe
- 4 cups filtered water spring water is also great
- 1 cup pure cane sugar no substitutes for pure cane sugar should be used
Learn More About Hummingbirds
Here are a few books I’d recommend for learning more about hummingbirds and hummingbird food. There is so much joy in learning about these sweet little birds for yourself. If you’re a homeschool family you may want to consider doing a hummingbird unit study for a great science study! Or try your hand at a DIY Hummingbird feeder.