Saturday, April 2, 2011

Recipe: Hummingbird Nectar

Spring is finally among us, which means the hummingbirds are on their way!  I absolutely love hummingbirds.  They are so tiny, graceful, and absolutely beautiful.  When we moved into our home, we removed many trumpet vines that these beautiful birds frequented. 

After a few minutes of research, I learned quite a bit about how to feed these beautiful birds to replace taking away their vines.  I also learned that the pre-made nectar in stores is not necessarily good for them.  Hummingbirds are attracted to red; however, the nectar does not have to be that color.  I’ve read that the coloring added to the nectar is actually bad for the birds.  As long as your feeder has red on it, the hummingbirds will find it (within 3-7 days).

I could barely believe how simple the recipe was for the nectar: 4 parts water to 1 part sugar.  The stores want $3+ for their red hummingbird food.  To make 4 cups of hummingbird nectar cost us $0.27.  This is based on the price of a 5lb bag of sugar being $2.69 in our area.

I bought two hummingbird feeders at the Dollar Store and put nectar into each to determine whether or not they would find their new source of nourishment.  Within a couple of hours, we had hummingbirds swarming around our house taking sips from their new feeder(s).  We love how they “hover” and look at us as if we are the beautiful creates to be watched.

There are many websites online that show how to make your own hummingbird feeder with water bottles and plastic containers you may have lying around the house. 





  1. Heat water in microwave for 3-5 minutes or until hot
  2. Add sugar
  3. Stir until sugar has dissolved
  4. Let nectar cool to room temperature
  5. Fill feeder(s)
  6. Store remaining nectar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Side Note:
It is not good for the hummingbird food to stay in the feeder for more than a week.  Otherwise, it tends to get moldy or cloudy.  For this reason, I make smaller batches of hummingbird nectar and refill the feeders more often.  Many times, I make 1 or 2 cups of nectar with ¼ cup or ½ cup of sugar.  Or, I make the full 4 cups and keep the extra nectar in a glass jar in the refrigerator so I can easily refill their feeders.


  1. I always get huge, black carpenter ants in my hummingbird feeds, no matter what I do or where I place them.

  2. I was just given my very 1st hummingbird feeder and store bought nectar. No worries though as that is the only time it will be purchased! We put it up on Sunday afternoon and today we had out very first visitor! So exciting!