How to Make Hummingbird Food

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large hummingbird feeder If you have set up a hummingbird feeder there are two choices regarding how to keep it stocked with hummingbird food.
  1. You can buy prepared food in either liquid or powdered form
  2. You can make it yourself
Hummingbird food is nothing more than sugar water. Many of the prepared varieties have an added red dye to help attract the cute little critters, but we have been making our own hummingbird food for many years and have not seen no difference between the effectiveness of our homemade sugar water and the prepared variety. The choice is yours, but hummingbirds really do not care if the nectar is red or clear. Most hummingbird feeders are already brightly colored in order to attract the little guys, so the nectar itself does not need to be colored

The recipe for how to make hummingbird food is very simple and only takes a few minutes to prepare. It is made from 75% water and 25% sugar. Here is the formula.

We use a two-cup glass measuring cup. Make sure it is glass because you will be heating the water in a microwave. Many plastic cups will leach toxins into the water when heating water in a microwave and hummingbirds are very sensitive to even mild poisons. If all that you have is a plastic measuring cup, then measure the ingredients and mix them in a glass microwave-safe bowl.

Combine 1/2 cup of standard white sugar with 1-1/2 cups (1.5 cups) of water. Stir the mixture. Place the cup or bowl in a microwave oven and heat the mixture on high for one minute. Remove the cup or bowl and gently stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved in the water. If the mixture is hot, let it cool before filling your hummingbird feeders.

It is a good idea to put your hummingbird feeders out early in the spring as soon as the threat of freezing weather has passed. Do not leave the feeders out in freezing weather. The feeders will likely break. As soon as hummingbirds return to your area in the spring, they will be looking for sources of food. When they find your feeders, they should start to return every day.

Also, be sure to clean the hummingbird feeders every few days or at least once per week. Rinse the bottle or jar with hot water and use a hummingbird feeder cleaning brush or a baby bottle brush to clean out any discoloration found inside. Sugar water tends to easily pick up fungal growths and bacteria, so protect your hummers by providing them with fresh food.

Hummingbird food is easy to make and a good source of food will keep both you and your tiny feathered friends happy for the entire hummingbird season.