Easy hummingbird food recipe -- homemade nectar

by tealmermaid

Try this easy recipe for hummingbird food. Your little feathered friends will love it!

It's easy to make a hummingbird food that will keep your little feathered friends coming back year after year. Provide them with food and a safe place to rest, and you'll have a friend for life.

There are at least 300 different types of hummingbirds, making them the second largest species of birds in North America, and more than 15 species live in North America alone. Wherever you live, there are probably hummingbirds nearby that you can feed.

The best hummingbird food recipe

Homemade hummingbird nectar

Serves: 4 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Hummingbird eating fresh nectar
Hummingbird eating fresh nectar

Ingredients for hummingbird food

  • 1 cup granulated cane sugar
  • 4 cups boiling water

Instructions for hummingbird food

Once your water is boiling, stir in the sugar until dissolved thoroughly. The resulting nectar will be clear.

Refrigerate until cool (approximately 30 minutes to an hour). Clean and refill your hummingbird feeder every 2 days if not eaten sooner by hungry hummingbirds. Store unused portions in the refrigerator for 24 hours maximum.

Note: Be sure your feeders are clean before storing at the end of the season!

How to clean a hummingbird feeder

Hummingbirds are particularly susceptible to molds in their food, so their feeders need to be cleaned every couple of days. A solution of warm or hot water and vinegar is both easy to use and will not harm the birds. For a normal size feeder, this is a ratio of 1/4 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of water. Soak the feeder for about an hour to ensure that all the sugar solution is dissolved, then rinse thoroughly.

The best hummingbird feeder

Aspects HummZinger HighView 12 oz Hanging Hummingbird Feeder

These hummingbird feeders are easy to clean and are dishwasher-safe. The birds particularly like the red colour of the feeder, and the feeder itself creates less mess than the tube feeders.

View on Amazon

Hummingbird tips

How to attract hummingbirds

  • Provide some shelter: Once they get to know you, hummingbirds won't mind coming up onto your deck to get something to eat.Until they feel comfortable it's best to place your feeders near some type of shelter. A shrub or a large grouping of flowers, or even near a wood pile would be suitable so they can see they can hide themselves if necessary.
  • Keep it fresh: Clean the feeder thoroughly with every feed in warm water. Scrub it out good to prevent any lingering rancid nectar. To keep the birds coming back, make sure you change out the nectar every other day. Once they start dining at your house 4 or 5 times a day there will be no leftovers.
  • Have some colour in the area: It's not necessary to buy a red hummingbird feeder, but it does help. They are attracted to bright colours, so make it easy for them.
  • Keep out the pests: After it's filled, use Vaseline (petroleum jelly) around the hanger to keep ants from crawling into the feeder.
  • Make sure you can see the feeder: It's fun to watch hummingbirds, so position the feeder where you can see it and the birds can see you.


Some of the commercially produced hummingbird nectars contain harmful ingredients -- especially the red dye. That red dye is not necessary to attract these little hummers to your yard if you choose a suitable feeder and/or plant colourful flowers near your hummingbird feeder.

Please don't feed these beautiful little birds anything with red dye!

How much do hummingbirds eat?

They eat 3 to 5 times a day -- and you can almost set your clock by it! The season may start slow with a few leftovers to discard, but once the baby hummingbirds arrive and really start developing an appetite, you will sometimes have to fill the feeder every day.

Hummingbird craft ideas

Free printable hummingbird coloring pages

Hummingbird designs are great to colour on a rainy afternoon. Their bright feathers will brighten up any dreary afternoon, and colouring whiles away the time nicely.

I have located some of the best hummingbird colouring pages for you. The hummingbird line arts here are all pre-screened and kid-safe. Kids and adults alike will enjoy colouring these hummingbird designs!

Do you feed your local hummingbirds?

Updated: 04/13/2017, tealmermaid
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blackspanielgallery on 10/15/2016

It makes more sense to color the feeded than introduce dyes into the food.

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