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The Best Ever Hummingbird Food Recipe

Hummingbirds Feeding At A Feeder In This Photo

Hummingbirds At A Feeder In This Photo. It Is A Lot Of Fun To Watch Them Feed At Feeders That You Can Hang Near A Window So You Can Watch Them.

Hummingbirds At A Feeder In This Photo. It Is A Lot Of Fun To Watch Them Feed At Feeders That You Can Hang Near A Window So You Can Watch Them.

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Magnificent Hummingbird In This Photo. Notice Its Bill.

Notice the bill of the Hummingbird in this photo. It is the birds tongue that it uses for drinking nectar from flowers.

Notice the bill of the Hummingbird in this photo. It is the birds tongue that it uses for drinking nectar from flowers.

In this photo is a albino hummingbird that did not develop any color in its feathers. They are rare but there are almost always a few around.

In this photo is a albino hummingbird that did not develop any color in its feathers. They are rare but there are almost always a few around.

Plant Butterfly Bush To Attract Hummingbirds

In this photo is a picture of the plant known as butterfly bush. It is a favorite of both hummingbirds and butterflies.

In this photo is a picture of the plant known as butterfly bush. It is a favorite of both hummingbirds and butterflies.

Hummingbirds Are Attracted By Bright Colors

It's a real good ideal to purchase hummingbird feeders that are red in color because the favorite color of hummingbirds is red. Hummingbirds eat nectar to power the bug eating machine that they are. You'll also find that they love to eat soft bodied bugs like spiders. Brightly colored spiders like the Carolina Writing Spider are often snatched from their nests and eaten by the birds.

Put your feeders up high enough that the birds won't have to worry about cats trying to turn the birds into prey. You can hang them right in front of a window and the birds will over time come and feed from the feeder. Stand there quietly and you can watch the birds flying about and feeding from the feeder you have hung up.

Hummingbird Liquid Food For Your Feeder

Be sure to make your own hummingbird food following the recipe here on this page. The long term effect of preservatives and food dye in commercial hummingbird food is not known and it may have a bad effect on the health of the birds long term.

Please know that you should never put food coloring, jello, fruit, or honey into a hummingbird feeder. You should know that when honey is diluted in water that it spoils quickly and grows bacteria that can harm or kill the bird. You never want to use brown sugar as it contains iron which is toxic to the birds. Powdered sugar also should not be used as it contains corn starch and will fermit quickly. You should use plain sugar water made from regular white table sugar and water.

When you hang up hummingbird feeders know that you are assuming a certain degree of responsibility. You need to keep the feeder or feeders filled with sugar water especially during the spring, summer, and fall. You need to check the feeder for drowned insects and if you find them in your feeder wash out the feeder with water and replace the sugar water in it. Remember that if you sprinkle cinnamon around the tree the feeder is hanging in it will keep away ants. Ants can not stand cinnamon.

Tips, Tricks, Or Suggestions About Hummingbirds

If you have any tips, tricks, or suggestions about hummingbirds or questions feel free to post them below in the comment section.

People Started Feeding Hummingbirds In The 1940s. Do You Know Why?

In case you're wondering why people started feeding hummingbirds in the 1940s its because National Geographic Magazine did an article on feeding the birds with sugar water from a hummingbird feeder and the rest is history.

Hummingbirds are far more common than you might think but you don't see the birds unless you catch them feeding. Not only can you purchase and hang up hummingbird feeders but you can also plant flower gardens to attract the birds to your yard.

How To Create A Hummingbird Garden

You need to pick a good location for your hummingbird garden and if at all possible you will want to place it near a window so you can observe the birds feeding on the flowers from inside the house.

Keep in mind that you need a area that is well drained and it needs to be in a area that gets 6 - 8 hours of direct sunlight a day. You should also deside on the size of the garden. You can always start with a small garden and add to it the next year or in the years to come if you wish.

Plants that you can plant in your garden to attract hummingbirds are.

1. Bee Balm.

2. Fushia and Lantana.

3. Hollyhock.

4. Rose Of Sharon.

5. Butterfly Bush.

6. Trumpet Vine.

7. Japanese Honeysuckle, Plant in container to keep it from spreading.I have mine in containers and they are against a wall that the Japanease Honeysuckle spreads over. I have latice put up over the wall to help the honeysuckle grow up the wall.

8. Cardnial Vine.

9. Silk Tree, Plant in container to keep it from spreading.

You can plant a combination of these flower plants in your garden and while the flowers are blooming you should have a large population of hummingbirds in your hummingbird garden. As a side benefit you'll see that you will have a huge population of butterflies also.

You can place several hummingbird feeders up around your garden about six foot apart and attract hummingbirds when the flowers are not in bloom. Its important to place your feeders at least six foot apart to create separate feeding areas for the hummingbirds coming to the feeders. The reason for this is that hummingbirds can be very territorial and will chase other hummingbirds away from what they consider to be their feeder. With a little time and effort you can create a hummingbird paradise.

Several Hummingbirds Feeding Here In This Photo.

Several Hummingbirds Feeding Here In This Photo.

Several Hummingbirds Feeding Here In This Photo.

Your Hummingbird Feeder

You will also see other birds and insects visiting your hummingbird feeder. Wasps, bees, and ants all love sugar water and they will eventually find your feeder. Be sure to empty your feeder and wash it out with water if the feeder has drowned insects in it.

Orioles, woodpeckers, and yes even squirrels will sometimes feed from your feeder. As will some species of bats. All of them love sugar water. You can hang your feeder up in such a way to keep squirrels from visiting it.

If you have ants climbing up the tree to your feeder sprinkle cinnamon all around the base of the tree and it will keep the ants away. Ants do not like cinnamon and will not stay where it is.

Be sure to keep a eye on your feeder and keep it filled up for your hummingbird friends and be sure to keep your feeder very clean. And remember please don't add food dye to the water. Its not necessary and it may harm the hummingbirds.

The Best Ever Hummingbird Food Recipe

Hummingbirds drink nectar from flowers. They know which flowers have the nectar with the highest sugar content and it is these flowers that you'll most see hummingbirds feeding from. Humming birds are like bees in that both of them are able to use the sugar which is contained in the nectar that they drink from flowers.

Most people think that hummingbirds only drink nectar but this isn't true. They also feed on spiders and bugs. This helps to fill their need for protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Nectar is a poor source of all of these things so the birds can often be seen chasing down and catching bugs and spiders. I've set and watched them snatch a spider from its web.

You may not know it but hummingbirds are quite territorial. If you put up an artificial feeder and watch it closely you may notice one hummingbird hanging around the feeder all the time and chasing off other hummingbirds that try to drink from the feeder.

Many people think that these birds spend all day flying around but that isn't true. They use up a lot of energy flying so they spend a good portion of the day setting somewhere and resting. They eat several meals throughout the day. As hard as it may be to believe these birds eat up to twelve times their body weight in nectar a day. The average hummingbird spends 10-15 percent of their time feeding and 75-80 percent sitting and digesting their food.

Hummingbird feeding. Notice Its Long Bill.

Purple Throated Hummingbird Feeding From A Flower.

Purple Throated Hummingbird Feeding From A Flower.

Aerial photograph of hummingbird image as part of Nazca Lines in Peru In This Photo

Aerial photograph of hummingbird image as part of Nazca Lines in Peru

Aerial photograph of hummingbird image as part of Nazca Lines in Peru

Did You Know This?

The ancient Aztecs wore Hummingbird tailsmen that were made from the feathers of hummingbirds and sometimes from the whole bird. The Aztecs admired the hummingbird which they considered to be hard working and filled with energy. They believed that hummingbirds were the messengers of their gods. They considered seeing a hummingbird very good luck and as a blessing from their gods.

Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world.

Do you know that hummingbirds are one of the smartest birds in the world. They remember each flower they visit and they know how long it will take the flower to refill with nectar so it can be fed from again.

Hummingbirds have hearing that is much better than humans. They can also see much better than humans.

As hard as it may be to believe a hummingbirds heart beats up to 1250 times a minute.

While they are at rest a hummingbird will take about 250 breaths per minute.

Hummingbirds have very weak feet and they can barely walk. They prefer to fly or just set still.

They will spend more time perching in their life than anything else.

Hummingbirds weigh between 2 and 20 grams. A penny weighs 2.5 grams. So you can see the hummingbird really is a very small bird.

Hummingbirds do not mate for life and the male takes no part in setting on the eggs or raising the babies. All of this is done by the female bird.

The Best Ever Hummingbird Food Recipe

Hummingbirds love to feed on sugar water provided in artificial feeders. If you can hang your feeder up in front of a window so you'll have a good view when the hummingbirds are feeding. You really should make your own hummingbird feed from white sugar and water. A lot of the already made store bought hummingbird food contains red food dye and preservatives that may be harmful to your hummingbird friends. No one has ever studied the long term effects of red food dye and preservatives on hummingbirds but the general belief is that its not good for them. So the best ideal is to make your own homemade hummingbird food from white sugar and water.

Please don't use other forms of sugar or honey because these contain substances that can be harmful to the hummingbirds. Brown sugar and raw sugars contains iron which is harmful to hummingbirds over a long period of time. The reason honey is not good to use in feeders is that when it is mixed with water it can allow microorgasms to grow and spoil the liquid feed. If a bird feeds on the spoiled liquid food it can make the bird very sick or kill it.

Be sure that if your feeder is visited by bees, wasps, and ants that you wash the feeder out on a regular basis and move it around the yard to keep the ants away. Small bugs and ants will often get into the feeder and drown and when you see this has happened you should wash the feeder and replace the sugar water in it.

How To Make Your Hummingbird Food

In order to make your liquid food for your feeder mix 2 cups of white sugar with 8 cups of water and bring it to a boil. After it boils allow it to cool before you fill up your feeder with the sugar water. You can keep any left over food in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator. There is no need to add red food dye to the food. And adding food dyes to the food could even be harmful to the birds.

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Anna's Hummingbird Feeding At A Artificial Feeder In This Photo.

Anna's Hummingbird Feeding At A Artificial Feeder.

Anna's Hummingbird Feeding At A Artificial Feeder.

How to make Hummingbird Nectar

More Hummingbird Information And Facts

Hummingbirds can live for 10 years or longer. Though most live for 3 - 5 years. Yes its likely that the hummingbirds you see at your feeder this year will be the same birds you will see next year. Hummingbirds return quite often to within a few hundred yards of where they were born year after year.

Hummingbirds are only found in the Americas and they are found as far north as Alaska. They are found as far south as Chile.

Hummingbirds do not migrate on the back of geese. No one knows where this myth got started but it is just that a myth.

Hummingbirds migrate in a response to a hormone change in their bodies that is trigered by the day light hours getting shorter in the fall.

Hummingbirds do not gather together to migrate. They fly south and north by themselves. One interesting fact is that male hummingbirds almost always return north about two weeks before the females. And this occurs in almost all hummingbird species.

No matter what you hear Hummingbirds will not get addicted to artificial feeders and sugar water. They will move on when they need to. No you will not stop them from migrating if you keep feeding them. When they are ready to go they will go.

There are 15 species of hummingbirds in the United States. In all areas of its habitat there are over 300 species of hummingbirds.

The country of Ecuador has more species of hummingbirds than any other country. Mexico has over 50 species of hummingbirds.

The largest species of hummingbirds is the Giant Hummingbird. The smallest is the Bee Hummingbird.

Canada has three species of hummingbirds while Alaska has one species.

Did you know that we know that the favorite color of the hummingbird is red?

Hummingbirds are one of the few birds that do not sing. They make a chirping sound.

Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On The Best Ever Hummingbird Food Recipe. I hope you found the information helpful and please let me know if the food recipe works for you and your hummingbird friends.

In This Photo Is A Honey Bee And A Hummingbird.

In This Photo Is A Honey Bee And A Hummingbird.

In This Photo Is A Honey Bee And A Hummingbird.

Please Post Your Comments Now And Thanks For Reading.

donab on August 28, 2019:

i have tried plastic feeders for the past several years..attracted more ants, wasps, etc. This year I bought a new glass and metal feeder similar to what I used to have. We have so many ants.

Yvi Kosta on August 27, 2019:

Humming birds gather in large flocks in August before they all fly off south seemingly together! A lot of them get into the barn studio and even with the 20ft high sliding doors wide open, they prefer to fly up at the skylights and rafters. No suggested tricks work to get them out. If enough gather, one or two wise up to the exit and the others follow. Larger birds get stuck inside and are very hard to get out. Any suggestions?

Ale B on August 17, 2019:

I have been doing my own nectar with the 2 cups of white sugar and whatever amount of water fills the feeder and it’s been a success! .. I can see at least 12 daily. They may be the same ones but I like to think I feed them all. Lol ..

I was thinking about adding red food coloring, so thank you for the tip!

I found this article looking for how to update my hummingbird feeder. Currently have a all the flowers around it .. non on them on the description, gonna try to look for them :) thanks

KathyJ on July 30, 2019:

I have ants all over my feeder, do the birds eat the ants too or do the ants just contaminate the food?

Aliza on June 16, 2019:

1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water. They love it

Laura on June 09, 2019:

I’ve been trying to attract humming birds to my feeder. I am getting a few, not a lot. How often should i change the sugar water if they do not drink it all in a timely manner?

Nancy on May 26, 2019:

Where’s the recipe? So much filler, can’t find the recipe!

Norma Dechene on May 14, 2019:

We live on the 18th floor of a high rise in the West End of Vancouver. We look west. I bought a feeder because the lady at the bird store said they would come this high. We have plant on the deck but not those recommended. Where I lived before there were always hummingbirds who came and even to the window if I hadn’t put in nectar for them. Great article but if didn’t solve my lack of Humming birds

Anne parker on May 10, 2019:

When my son was a toddler, he asked me, Mom, how high can a hummingbird fly?" All I could say was I knew that they could fly thousands of miles in distance. Really couldn't find an answer.

Mary on March 22, 2019:

Rented a house in Sun City for some spring training. Found a dusty old feeder in garage and decided to fill it. Found your recipe. Surprised there was no red food coloring but thought I’d see what happens. To my surprise one arrived within the first hour. Later 2 more (at once). Will try again when I get home to Wisconsin

Carol Rondo on September 17, 2018:

What a great & informative article! We have 3 hummingbirds that never leave in the winter with the others. In winter months we take the the screen out of our window and bring the feeder in. The hummingbirds are out there waiting when we put it back out in the morning!

Mary Beth Walkup on May 31, 2018:

Thanks for the fact filled article! We’ve recently moved to the Center Hill Lake Area and enjoy watching the hummingbirds from our deck. I had never heard about the red dye in commercial food being harmful. I will share this info and make mine from now on !

Peg Andrews on May 10, 2018:

On our trip to Alaska we ate at a restaurant where the main attraction was the humming

bird feeder area.....there were hundreds of them there‼️‼️‼️

Vin on May 06, 2018:

My aunt told me to put Vaseline on the shears hook to keep the ants from the feeder. It works well.

Ed Noehre on August 01, 2017:

A hummingbird got stuck in our garage yesterday. Most birds will stay at the roof line in a garage and cannot find their way out. Birds often get stuck in our big pole build and our garage so here is what I do to get them out: Do not chase them with a broom, a stick or anything else. That just terrifies them and stresses them out. Rather, put a low flat pan of water (pie plate) on a stool in the garage near the big overhead door so the direct or indirect sunlight will reflect off the water. If dehydrated they will come to the water and possibly fly out the door. Otherwise open all garage doors and windows. Remove screens of course. Leave the bird alone to calm down. It may take all day but as evening and darkness approaches the cool air entering the garage will lead the bird outside. I have had several dozen birds find their way outside this way. It works everytime. Even leaving just one window open works. Good luck.

Amy Heitman on July 22, 2017:

Please beware of the type of sugar you use. Make sure your sugar says CANE SUGAR. If it doesn't say CANE, it's probably beet sugar and not good for hummingbird feeders.

dan c. on July 10, 2017:

Very interesting reading...some I knew but a lot I didn't. I had not heard the story about migrating on the backs of geese..Interesting image. We tried and tried to use commercial feeding water - not successful. We changed to sugar water and saw the first hummingbird within hours. I now have some great close-up pics of hummingbirds. :-)

Bonnie Sweitzer on June 05, 2017:

Thanks for the interesting article. My feeder is late going up but at least I will entertain some on their way back south.

Sandy Stallbom on June 03, 2017:

I have heard that it is not good to feed hummingbirds with sugar water as it is not good for them and you should rather plant the flowers that attract them. Please let me know your thoughts on this

Gail Wallace on October 01, 2015:

I live close to the Mountains in Colorado. I have to feeder's by my windows. I love seeing the hummingbird's go from my feeder's to flower's in my yard. Also love watching them flying up to our water feature to wet themselves!!!!

We planted our yard to be hummingbird and bee friendly!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on April 28, 2014:

I live near Key West and I have them in my yard all the time. I keep two feeders up all the time.

KrisL from S. Florida on April 28, 2014:

Thanks for an interesting and useful hub. We don't see all that many hummers down in South Florida, though I would expect to see more with the year-round flowers.

I wonder what would happen if I put up a feeder.

daveshummers on November 18, 2013:

I put up a feeder last year and what a great experience. My hummingbird doesn't like to share the feeder and chases away all the hummers that try to feed, somestop for a quick drink and get away before being chased

SolveMyMaze on June 16, 2013:

Nice hub. We don't have hummingbirds in the UK as far as I know, but it's still an interesting read regardless. I did actually think that they would sing though before reading this hub. I suppose the hint that they chirp instead is in their name.

Eiddwen from Wales on May 16, 2013:

Interesting ,well informed and so useful so voting up for sure.

Voting up for sure and enjoy your day.


Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on May 15, 2013:

Thanks to everyone about your wonderful comments. They are appreciated. Hummingbirds are my favorite bird. I really appreciate everyones comments.

Faythe Payne from USA on May 15, 2013:

Thanks for the tips ..I have many humming birds here..they nest in my Japanese red maple tree..

Zsuzsy Bee from Ontario/Canada on May 15, 2013:

Fabulous hub. Great info and pictures.

regards Zsuzsy

moonfairy on May 15, 2013:

I always anticipate the arrival of the hummingbirds in the spring. They're so awesome to watch!! Our table sits in front of a set of glass doors and the hummingbird feeder hangs over the edge of our deck railing right in our line of sight. I absolutely adore watching these tiny little birds =)

Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on May 15, 2013:

Very well written and interesting article with some good useful information within it. Well done !

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 15, 2013:

Thanks for the reminder to put my hummingbird feeder outside! This was a lovely hub with beautiful photos and helpful tips (recipe, the cinnamon idea for ants). I am putting it to good use today!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on May 15, 2013:

Thanks to both you for great comments. They are appreciated.

Claudia Mitchell on May 15, 2013:

Beautiful photos here. We are just starting to see the hummingbirds come by here in NW Pennsylvania. I don't usually boil my sugar water mixture, but will definitely give it a try. Pinned for later use.

Silva Hayes from Spicewood, Texas on May 15, 2013:

Voted Up and Useful. I would like to add another plant that hummingbirds like. It grows well here in Texas: Gregg's salvia, or Salvia Greggii, one that has red blooms. We have large beds planted in both front and back yards and the hummingbirds come back every year to feed.

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on May 15, 2013:

Thanks for the comment. And yes they are beautiful birds.

HendrikDB on May 15, 2013:

Very thorough hub! And what a beautiful bird!

Thomas Byers (author) from East Coast , United States on May 15, 2013:

Thanks for your comment. And yes they do help to pollinate a lot of flowers.

whonunuwho from United States on May 15, 2013:

Thanks for sharing this beautiful work, my friend and I always am amazed at the uniqueness of Humming Birds. The bird does as much as the bee in pollination. Fantastic hub. whonu

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