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Homemade Hummingbird Food/Nectar

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

I have learned, since the beginning of last year, that hummingbirds are cute, curious, clever, and demanding little sugar addicts. You know you are failing a hummingbird when one tells you off for a good amount of time by hovering right up in your face and clicking and chirping in a not so nice way. I named that hummingbird Zip and spent a good month or so trying to figure out if Zip was a boy or a girl. (Still not sure) After my scolding, I realized I had no flowers anywhere...unless you count the sad azalea who was fighting hard against the years of no fertilizing. I did have one thing going for me. A long-forgotten faded feeder out in the backyard. Was more of a yard ornament than anything. You can probably feel Zip's disappointment right now.

I thought just filling up the feeder would do it. No hummingbirds, at all. Zip did do a fly by. It was not worthy of Zip's attention. The flowers on the feeder were yellow and a bit faded. I read that red is a more attractive color for hummingbirds.

I brought out my 6 year old red acrylic paint set. Surprisingly it was just as I left it. I repainted the flowers on my feeder. I bet the hummingbirds didn't even bother with the feeder that was always empty but with the new paint and flowers, I was hoping the change would be enough to signal to them to check it out.

The next day I noticed a hummingbird was drinking from my newly painted feeder. We will just say it was Zip. It sure looked like Zip as did almost every other hummingbird.

Now, to really show Zip and company my commitment I did some more research on flowers that hummingbirds prefer. There are a ton of flowers that can attract hummingbirds. You can find some nice packets of seeds specifically for hummingbirds you can find in just about any garden section at your local grocery store. Being impatient I decided to get a hanging fuchsia from a local nursery. Maybe I got a shade Fuchsia and maybe I hung it up in the sunniest place of the yard almost killing it before I realized there are different varieties of fuchsia. FYI hardy Fuschia do well in sunnier spots otherwise they need to have a nice cool shady spot to thrive.

Pretty soon there were more hummingbirds than I could count.

I also decided to make my own nectar.

Hummingbird Nectar Reciepe:

  1. 1 cup Water

  2. 1/4 cup Sugar

Mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1 cup of water in a pot. Stir and bring to a simmer then turn off the heat, this helps kill off bacteria. The cloudiness will go away and you will have clear nectar simmering. Let it cool before you put it in the feeder. I make bigger batches now so I do 1 cup sugar and 4 cups of water, let it cool and put it in a container in the fridge.

Notes: The smell is a good indicator of whether you should change it out. Also, any floaty whispy things in the nectar is also a sign to change it. You don't need to add red dye to nectar. It is not necessary and can be harmful to them.

Replacing Nectar:

Summer Time:

If it is less than 75 degrees I change it once a week if hotter than that I change every 1-3 days depending on how hot. I clean the feeder every time I change the nectar out with warm water and soap because I am a neat freak.


I found out Anna's Hummingbirds tend to stay over the winter so I made it my mission to make sure they had nectar whenever needed.

I do a once a week change unless there is a freeze I try to change it in the morning. I also try to heat the new nectar just to give them a warm treat.

Just something I wanted to share. Hummingbirds have incredible memories which you can read more about it here.



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