How to Make Your Own Hummingbird Food
Hummingbirds are amazing little creatures and using the right hummingbird food recipe will help attract them by the dozens. The best way to attract hummingbirds is by knowing what they need.
Hummingbirds are small, delicate birds that need plenty of nutrients from food to keep up with their rapid energy. By supplying them with plenty of food (nutrients) you will ensure they are happy and healthy, and plan on staying around. By using the right hummingbird food recipe you can provide them with a plentiful supply of food and also save money from store bought nectar. You will also prevent them from receiving unnecessary chemicals and additives that can actually be harmful and is commonly found in store bought hummingbird nectar.
Below you will find the best recipe for hummingbird food along with tips for attracting hummingbirds, maintaining feeders, how to keep the ants off your hummingbird feeder and much more!
Do Not Use Red Dyes in Your Hummingbird Food Recipes
Food Coloring Can Harm Hummingbirds
When making your hummingbird food do not add food coloring to the recipe. I know the store bought nectar contains red coloring but it's a special type. Normal cooking dye is not needed and can harm your hummingbirds.
Most hummingbird feeders have red on them so there is no need to add color to the food. If your feeder does not have red on it you can add red ribbons, decorate it with red embellishments or hang it near bright flowers to get the attention of hummingbirds.
Ruby Red-Throated Hummingbird
- 1 part sugar
- 4 parts water
- Consider using 4 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. You can store left overs in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Using a medium sauce pan, bring water to a boil. Slowly add in the sugar stirring constantly. Once the sugar is added remove the boiler from the heat and continue to stir until the sugar is well blended.
- Allow it to cool completely and the add to your hummingbird feeder.
- Do not add red dye. It is NOT needed using a hummingbird feeder.
When to Feed Hummingbirds
When to Put out Hummingbird Food
Aside from what to feed hummingbirds, the next big question is always when to feed hummingbirds. New hummingbird watchers want to know when to put out hummingbird foods to insure they have it up in time. The answer depends on the region you live in.
Hummingbirds start their migration through the United States at near the end of February. Southern states along the Gulf Coast can start putting out hummingbird feeders around the end of February or early March. Sooner is better in case they arrive a little later. The middle states should be prepared for their arrival near the end of March or early April. The extreme northern states should have their hummingbird feeders out in late April no later than the first week of June.
Learning when to feed hummingbirds in your area make take a little observation for a few years to get the timing right since it will vary by a few days in your area. Remember, they fly from the south to the north and hit the Gulf Coast around the end of February and make it to the far North near Maine by the first week of June. Have your feeders out accordingly. It's better to be early than late. You don't want them to arrive without food and set up home in the neighbors yard.
When to Change Your Hummingbird Nectar
Hummingbird Nectar Needs to Be Changed if Not Eaten With in a Few Days!
Many people fail to realize that hummingbird nectar needs to be changed if it is not eaten with in a week or so. The sugars in both homemade and store bought nectar can grow bacteria and yeast. This can be harmful and prevent your hummingbirds from coming back.
Change Your Hummingbird Food During Hot Weather
During normal temperatures below 70 degrees F you should change your hummingbird food every 7-10 days. Hotter temperatures will result in needing to change the food more often.
High temperatures Change nectar after
71-75 6 days
76-80 5 days
81-84 4 days
85-88 3 days
89-92 2 days
93+ change daily
If you live in hotter regions that require your food to be changed every few days consider only filling your feed with one cup of food each time. This will prevent waste and the need to make a new batch every other day.
Change Your Hummingbird Food if it is Cloudy
Cloudy hummingbird nectar is a sign that something has gone wrong. Either it has gotten two hot, has bacteria in it or fine particles have caused an algae bloom.