How To Make The Perfect Hummingbird Food

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Hummingbirds are wonderful tiny creatures and great additions to the garden. There are plants you can grow to help attract these flying gems, but including a hummingbird feeder with the perfect food will get them visiting.

Making your own hummingbird food is easy and cheap – sugar and water are all you need.

Caution: Do not use red dye! At best it is unnecessary in a red feeder. At worst it causes damage to the hummers’ tongues. Hummers die if their tongue is damaged.

Food for the hummingbird can be prepared at home or purchased.

Hummingbird Feeders at Amazon

A hummingbird feeds from a red feeder, wings spread, with a blurred green background.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @myhomesteadlife

There are several available commercial hummingbird feeding products you can purchase. Avoid products that have reddish coloring or food coloring, as the red dye can affect the hummingbird’s kidney.

You can make your homemade hummingbird food less expensive and healthier than commercial nectar.

Read on to learn more about making food for hummingbirds and we also encourage you to learn how to make a hummingbird feeder as well.

Making The Perfect Hummingbird Food

A rufous hummingbird perched on a red bird feeder with green background.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @flocking.around

What You’ll Need

  • 1 Cup of Pure Cane Coarse White Sugar
  • 4 cups of boiled water


Boil at least four cups of water on a stovetop. Boiling more than 4 cups will help you adjust to the loss from steam.

Measure precisely 4 cups of boiling water into a bowl, and add one cup of pure cane white coarse sugar.

Mix well until the sugar is dissolved. Place the “brew” into the refrigerator for cooling overnight. Take the mixture out of the refrigerator the next day. You now have hummingbird food.

Now open the hummingbird feeder by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully clean the hummingbird feeders with water and soap to ensure their cleanliness and free from mold and debris.

Pour the prepared food into the feeder tank. Try to avoid spilling the “nectar” in your house, as you’ll have an ant invasion.

If there are some spills, clean them up thoroughly with water and soap. Reassemble the hummingbird feeder.

Place the bird feeder outside in a noise-free location. The best location is outside the window, where you can watch these jewels drink the nectar and enjoy their show.

Have you noticed cloudy hummingbird food?

Remember to change the feeder every three days regularly. If you notice some white floating strands or the nectar getting cloudy, open the bird feeder and clean it thoroughly with water and soap.

This will not only help to protect the health of the hummingbirds but will attract more as well.

hummingbird feeding on the Perfect foodPin

Nectar Recipe Tips to Attract Hummingbirds

  1. Do not add red dye or red food coloring to the hummingbird nectar. The dye has no nutritional value and can damage the little hummingbird’s kidney. If you have a good hummingbird feeder, there’s no need to use red coloring to attract them.
  2. Do not boil the water meant for hummingbird food using the microwave. Water boiled using a microwave starts boiling when the water surface is touched, something known as an explosion. This can burn the hands of the person preparing the food.
  3. Do not put food into the feeder when it’s still hot. This can cause the feeder tank to break. Filling the feeder with hot nectar might also burn the tongue of the unsuspecting hummingbirds.
  4. Avoid using maple syrup, brown sugar, Karo syrup, powdered sugar, Sweet’N’Low, Splenda Equal, or any sugar substitute. Stick to the pure cane white granulated sugar (coarse white sugar) to make the hummingbird nectar. The chemical composition of other types of sugar is different from the makeup of the pure cane white granulated sugar. It can cause illness or death to the poor hummingbirds. The brand doesn’t matter as long as it is pure cane white granulated sugar.
  5. Avoid using Kool-Aid to make food. The chemicals in Kool-Aid are not healthy for hummingbirds and can lead to illness or death of the hummingbird.
  6. If the tap water has a strong taste or odor or contains heavy chemicals, consider using the purified water for purer nectar. Impure water will ferment more quickly and might end up clogging the ports as the sugar crystallizes.

Hummingbirds Feeding From The Hand

The Bottom Line

Making the food for hummingbirds is a fun way of keeping your hummingbirds excited. It’s inexpensive, healthier, and will give you satisfaction.

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