How to Make Hummingbird Food

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There is no need to buy it when you know how to make your own hummingbird food. You’ll save money and the hummingbirds will love it!

How to Make Hummingbird Food

Hummingbirds are indeed fascinating creatures known for their iridescent feathers and unique ability to hover in mid-air. They also have the highest metabolism of any bird species, with some species beating their wings up to 80 times per second. With all that flapping, they can burn through calories fast. So, they need to eat a lot!

You can help supplement these tiny creatures’ diet by learning how to make hummingbird food. Not only is it super simple to make, but you’ll get the added benefit of enjoying watching them all summer long.

How to Make Hummingbird Food

Just 2 simple ingredients

  • Refined white sugar
  • Water

You only need 2 ingredients to make hummingbird food. Sugar and water. Here are the steps:

  • Mix 1 part sugar to 4 parts water in a pot.
  • Boil just until sugar is dissolved.
  • Cool completely before filling the hummingbird feeder.

It’s important that you only use refined white sugar.

How to make hummingbird food

FAQs about Hummingbird Food

Only use refined white sugar. Do NOT use any other sweeteners such as honey, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, or raw sugar. Also stay away from powdered sugar as it can sometimes contain corn starch.

Plain tap water is fine. You’re going to gently boil the water to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved. Therefore, boiling the water will destroy any bacteria that it could contain.

Substitute “part” for whatever measurement you’re using. For example:

  • 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar and 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups water

Dye does not help attract hummingbirds. This is a myth. It is nectar that attracts them. There is no need to add dye to your hummingbird food as it may actually be harmful to them.

Hummingbirds migrate, so their feeding times vary depending on where you live. Here in Georgia I hang my feeders in mid-March, and we continue to have hummingbirds come to feed through late September and into early October we see a few stragglers.

The farther south you live the longer your feeding time will be. The farther north you live, the shorter your feeding time will be. Hang your feeders in March and note when the first hummingbirds arrive. Then hang them a week earlier every year to zone in on their arrival in your area.

Generally, the higher the temperatures, the more often you need to refresh the food and clean your feeders. I replenish the food and clean my feeders weekly in the hottest part of the summer. Be sure to clean them every time you change the food. You don’t want to grow bacteria and make these little birds sick!

What kind of feeder do I need?

Hummingbirds are not picky about the type of feeder you use to attract them. However, if you’re going to be watching them all summer long you might want to pick out one that you love to look at.

Since we can see our hummingbird feeders from our living room, I like to use ones that compliment our interior decor. Here are some of the feeders I’ve had over the years.

Some of my favorite hummingbird feeders

Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. That means I may earn a commission if you purchase something by clicking through that link. It does not increase the cost to you. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use or find to have great reviews.

How do I hang my hummingbird feeder?

Hummingbirds like to perch in trees, so hanging your feeder in a place with trees nearby is ideal. You also want to hang your feeders where you can see them easily. These little birds are territorial and will put on a show chasing each other away from the feeder.

Here’s a quick video I took of several hummingbirds chasing each other around our feeders. I could watch them all day!

As you can see I like to hang our feeders directly on the outside of our living room windows. To do this you’ll need a hook that will stick out far enough to give clearance between the window and the feeder. You’ll also need a hook with a strong suction cup. I have tried several different hooks, and these are significantly better than any others I’ve tried. They come in a 2-pack or a 4-pack.

How to make hummingbird food

You can also hang hummingbird feeders from a sturdy tree branch or from a Shepherds Hook like this one. The advantage to using a Shepherd’s Hook is that you can place it anywhere in your yard to give yourself the best line of vision. Simply place Shepherds Hook into solid ground and hang your feeder.

Once you learn how to make hummingbird food and start attracting these tiny birds, you will get to enjoy endless hours of free entertainment.

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