Hummingbirds eat a lot—nearly half their body weight in nectar and bugs each day! But constant eating is what fuels them to keep their wings flapping up to 90 beats per second. You can help keep them sustained and bring more to your garden by stocking up on nectar-rich plants and making your own nectar using this hummingbird food recipe.
Hummingbird food is very easy to make, and actually a lot like simple syrup, the cocktail sweetener. All you really need is four parts water, one part sugar and a hummingbird feeder to put it in. For example, here’s what you should use to fill an 8-ounce feeder.
- 1/4 cup refined white sugar
- 1 cup water
- Boil water. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. (This will also help kill off any present bacteria.)
- Let the hummingbird food cool.
- Pour into feeder and keep an eye out for new hummingbird friends!
Something you should keep in mind is to only use refined white sugar in your hummingbird food, as this closely mimics natural nectar. Also, sweeteners like honey, artificial or raw sugars can harm the birds by creating breeding grounds for bacteria or providing too high levels of iron.
You should also never use any food coloring in your hummingbird food recipe. In the past, people have added red dye to their hummingbird food in order to entice more birds, but try to find a red feeder instead as dyes can be harmful.
As mentioned previously, you can also try adding some nectar rich plants to attract more hummingbirds. Try adding a little bit of beebalm, trumpet honeysuckle, cardinal flowers, hummingbird sage and any other native-grown red tubular flowers to your garden.
Credit: Home Depot
Shop: Hapito Glass Blown Hummingbird Feeder, $24.99
Shop: First Nature 16 oz. Hummingbird Feeder (2 Pack), $14.99