The feeding solution that you use in your feeder can be a commercial mix or you can simply make your own.
Make your own hummingbird nectar
Hummingbird feed (man-made nectar) is a simple mix of white sugar and water. Here are the basic steps.
- Mix one part sugar with four parts water.
- Heat the mixture to the boiling point and stir to ensure the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove the mixture from the heat as soon as a strong boil is reached or the concentration of the mixture will increase beyond the desired level.
- Cool and serve.
- The sugar water can be stored in the refrigerator for later use.
Broad-billed Hummingbird at feeder. Note the nectar does not need to be red.
The 4:1 ratio of water to sugar is the maximum suggested. Higher concentrations do not do a better job in attracting the birds and may be harmful to them.
It is probably not necessary or even desirable to add red food coloring to the solution. The feeder you use will have red "flowers" or other bright colors to attract the hummingbirds.
Do not substitute honey for the sugar. Honey solutions spoil more quickly and are more likely to support the development of fungus infections in the birds.
Depending on the temperature, unused solution should be changed every 3-5 days. Watch for mold or discoloration of the feeding fluid.
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