Hummingbird Feeding Solution
photo by Barb G.
- Ready In:
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 2 minutes.
- Cool completely.
- DO NOT add food coloring to water!
- Fill your hummingbird feeder and keep remaining feeding solution in the refrigerator up to one week.
Questions & Replies
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Actually you DO NEED to boil off the water as you do not want any bacteria that may be in the sugar OR the water, such as fluoride. Hummingbirds have very sensitive stomachs and a speck of bacteria can kill them. If you are going to provide home made food for them, do it the right way or don't bother.
This is a simple and easy recipe. I posted this same recipe here, but was "a dollar short, and a day late"! I had looked but did not find it, fortunately mine was taken off, and I was redirected here. The only changes I have, is that my feeder is only 1 cup, so I make it in 1 cup batches as I need it. (1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water.) I don't like storing the nectar, as fresh is always better, so the hummers tell me. I like the idea of adding a drop of the almond extract. Thanks for posting this recipe.
I don't agree with this recipe. Boiling the solution for two minutes reduces the water concentration considerably so that the proportion is no longer 4:1 and the sugar concentration is actually higher. The sugar should be added to hot water only to dissolve. This following quote is from ornithology.com "What is the best ratio of sugar-to-water to use for feeding hummingbirds? Four parts water to one part sugar (a 4:1 ratio) has been shown to be the closest to the sucrose content of natural flower nectar. Concentrations stronger than this are readily consumed by hummers, but there may be the possibility that stronger solutions crystallize on the bill and attract bacteria, leading to a condition called bill rot. I personally recommend 5:1. "
Same recipe as reccomended by the audobon society. Hummers will still eat bugs for protein. https://www.audubon.org/news/how-make-hummingbird-nectar. They note the reasons that it is important to use white sugar. I steeped the hot sugar water in beet skins for about 10 minutes. It turned a pretty ruby color. I will have to wait and see how the hummers like it.