How to Make Hummingbird Nectar

Knowing how to make hummingbird nectar is essential if you want to attract these fascinating birds to your landscape. Hummingbirds are native to North and South America. They are the only species of bird that can fly backwards!

How To Make Hummingbird Nectar That Will Keep Them Coming Back

The hummingbird's primary food is the nectar they gather from long-throated flowers. Hummingbirds can tell the sugar content of nectar and will ignore flowers that produce nectar with less than a 10% concentration of sugar. Humming birds will also eat insects to supplement their diet, especially when feeding their young. The average hummingbird consumes up to five times its weight in nectar each day so you better get busy! Here's how:

  • Seeing red. Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored blooms, which is why most commercial nectar feeders are red or incorporate red parts. Hang your hummingbird feeder where birds will have easy access and you'll be able to watch from a comfortable vantage point.
  • The secret recipe. Mix four parts water to one part sugar. Water should be bottled or boiled for several minutes and allowed to cool. Mix the nectar until all of the sugar is dissolved.
  • What not to add. Be sure to use only white, refined sugar. Avoid honey or molasses, which is difficult for hummingbirds to digest. Also, avoid artificial sweeteners, as these don't have any nutritional value for hummingbirds.
  • Keep it clean. According to the National Audubon Society, nectar feeders should be cleaned once a week with a solution of one part white vinegar and four parts water. Rinse your nectar feeder well with clear water after cleaning.
  • How long will it last? Hummingbird nectar will last a week to ten days if kept refrigerated, so make only as much as your nectar feeder will hold to avoid waste. During hot weather, you may need to change your nectar more frequently.
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