This is such an easy recipe. I don't add any food color to this as I've heard it's not good for the little birds. Do not use honey or other types of sugar, the birds cannot digest them. Also if you have trouble with ants you can now get a little item that has ant repellent in it that doesn't harm the birds. I have one on my hummer feeder.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Take the water off the heat and add the sugar.
- Stir to dissolve completely.
- Let the nectar cool.
- Place in a clean hummingbird feeder and hang outside for the birds.
- Change the food at least every three to five days with a new batch to keep it fresh. Remember don't use food coloring.
- Check the bird feeder regularly and every time you change the food to see if any gray mold has formed inside the feeder base, or, any ants have crawled inside to get at the sugar water.
- If you see any take the feeder down and throw the bird food away. It's not good for the birds to drink this. Chances are they won't drink it anyway.
- Clean the hummingbird feeder by rinsing with warm water. Then, put a few drops of bleach into the water inside the feeder and clean with a bottle brush.
- Once clean, rinse thoroughly with fresh water and let dry.
- Fill up with new food and place outside.
- The birds will love you for it!
The recipe of One cup sugar to 4 cups water is correct. It is NOT neccesary to boil the water.<br/>First fill your refrigerator container with the dry sugar and then add the HOTTEST tap water you can get. Add the water to the sugar. Close the lid on the container and shake shake shake for about 30 seconds till all the sugar dissolves. Keep refrigerated.<br/>IMPORTANT: the original recipe says to clean the feeders with BLEACH. NO NO. NEVER NEVER. Bleach can leave a residue that will kill a hummer. No soap either. Use good old vinegar-which is natural and easily washes away. I use about 50% vinegar (either white or apple cider vinegar) and 50% HOT water.Rinse the feeder well before refilling.<br/>In HOT climates -don't fill the feeders full as the nectar ferments and should be changed every other day. It makes no sense to throw half of the nectar away. Just use less.<br/>I have 10 feeders within a 20 x 20 foot area and have counted as many at 50 hummers at once. Where I live in the California Desert (Palm Springs) we regularly have 7 different species coming and going with the seasons.Our year around residents are Anna's and Rufous.
I'm so glad you posted this here. I never remember the ratio. And I'm also glad you left out the red dye. All the experts say that the red on the feeder is what attracts the hummers not the red in the liquid. In fact, some experts say the dye can be harmful. thanks!
The hummingbirds come to my feeder much more frequently with this recipe than they did when I used a store bought mix. I was afraid "my birds' wouldn't find the clear food. Not to worry - they love it, and I do too! Thanks for sharing this simple recipe. The hummingbirds thank you too!