Skip to Content

Sugar Water

Hummingbird sugar water

Feed hummingbirds with a mixture of sugar and water. Food coloring is not required or even desirable. The feeders you use should have red (typically) or orange feeding ports to attract the hummingbirds.


Sugar Water Recipe For Hummingbirds & Orioles

  1. Mix 1/4 cup of sugar with each cup of water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then remove the mixture from the heat.
  3. You may have to stir the mixture to ensure the sugar dissolves.
  4. Cool before serving!


Using the right mix of sugar water will help you attract species like the ruby-throated hummingbird.

You may make up a several days supply of sugar water in advance. On hot summer days sugar water can start to ferment.

If you live in a hotter part of the country you may not want to fill the feeder completely.

Add only enough fresh sugar water to the feeder that can be consumed in 2-3 days.

The time frame will vary depending on how hot it is and how much direct sunlight is on the feeder.

Oriole feeders are often orange in color, instead of red. The same mix can be used for feeding orioles and other nectar feeders.

Do not use molasses or honey in your hummingbird feeders!




About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

Let others know your thoughts or ask an expert

Would you like to get new articles of birds (Once a month?)

No SPAM! We might only send you fresh updates once a month

Thank you for subscribing!

No thanks! I prefer to follow BirdZilla on Facebook