How to Make Hummingbird Food

Looks can be deceiving, and hummingbirds wear a very deceitful look. Hummingbirds are so small that you’d need about 150 of them to make one kilogram. However, despite their size, hummingbirds are voracious eaters—their wings flap at 90 beats per minute to maintain their momentum. So, to keep flying at certain speeds, hummingbirds eat a lot. 

Hummingbirds feed every ten to fifteen minutes and eat about half their body weight daily. This is why well-meaning people are encouraged to make nutritious food and place them at strategic feeding stations. This guide will teach you all you need to know about making good food for your little friends. 

Why Do I Need to Make Hummingbird Food? 

You may wonder why you should make food for birds you cannot keep as a pet. Yes, it is illegal to keep hummingbirds as pets in countries such as the United States, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still actively care for them. 

It is important to make food for hummingbirds when you consider that they are always one meal away from starvation. Hummingbirds must constantly eat to stay alive due to their high metabolism rate. Sometimes, they may be unable to find all the food they need; thus, some die of starvation. So, when you commit yourself to the recipes we share in this guide, think about all the little hummingbirds your actions are saving. 

You see, hummingbirds are cute to watch. Hummingbirds have over 350 species, and they are known for being colorful. When you create a feeding station in your home, you will be blessed with the presence of these birds because they will constantly fly around your house to eat. Your kids will love them! That said, let’s delve into learning how to make hummingbird food. 

How to Make Hummingbird Food Using an Easy Recipe 

This recipe will show you how you can make hummingbird food also known as nectar. The ingredients you will need for this recipe are hot water and refined sugar. You probably have these recipes at home, so why aren’t you making any hummingbird food yet? Avoid using organic sugar as they are harmful to hummingbirds. 

Humming Bird Nectar Recipe

The Hummingbird Nectar recipe is simple: Mix one part sugar with four parts water. This simply means using four times as much water as the sugar, so one cup of sugar and four cups of water.

hummingbird nectar

Step 1 

Begin by boiling the water. Boil to a reasonable level of heat. Use your discretion. Remember that the mixing ratio is four parts water to one part sugar. 

Step 2 

Remove the water from the heat and add the sugar. 

Step 3 

Then, stir the sugar until it dissolves completely. 

Step 4

Allow the mixture to cool, pour it into your hummingbird feeder, and voila! You have made yourself homemade hummingbird nectar. 

How to Make Hummingbird Food Without Boiling Water

Mix 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water until the sugar is dissolved. Fill your clean hummingbird feeder with the mixture and place it outside. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator. Let it sit at room temperature before adding it to the feeder.

Don’t Stop At Feeding The Hummingbirds: Important After-feeding Tips You Need To Know 

It is one thing to feed a hummingbird, but it is also another to ensure that their feeders are clean and their food stays fresh. One of the things you need to do to ensure that the hummingbirds are well taken care of is to change their food after three to five days. This would keep their food fresh and help them avoid common hummingbird diseases

You also have to check the bird feeder regularly for mold. When changing their food, please take a quick look at their feeder and check to see any gray molds. Since sugar water attracts ants, you may want to check if any ants have crawled inside the bird feeders. 

If you notice ants in the hummingbird feeders or the sugar water, throw the water away. It isn’t healthy for the birds to drink or eat when ants and gray molds are in their feeder. 

Please ensure that you clean their feeder using warm water. You can put a few drops of bleach into the water and clean using a brush. After cleaning, rinse the feeder with fresh water and allow it to dry. Then, proceed to put in new food. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Hummingbird Feeders 

Hummingbird Feeder

While there are obvious advantages of using feeders to feed these tiny babies, it is important to pause often and think if we are being helpful to them by placing food in their feeders. In this paragraph, we will look at the benefits and disadvantages of using hummingbird feeders. 


  • Feeding hummingbirds using a feeder allows you to see these beautiful creatures up close. This can benefit the hummingbirds because people can get interested in protecting them when they experience them. 
  • We know that deforestation is a huge problem for our ecosystem. Often, the places where birds, such as hummingbirds, acquire food have been affected by environmental change. So, placing feeders for them can be a way to save them from starvation.


  • When hummingbirds are fed using feeders, it causes many hummingbirds to begin feeding from the same source and almost at the same time. This can cause a breakout of diseases amongst the birds.
  • There is a possibility of feeders changing the natural balance between species. A more aggressive species may thrive at the feeders, eventually pushing out timid species into starvation. 
  • It is also possible that feeding hummingbirds with feeders will cause them not to migrate. Hummingbirds migrate to find food. They may not need to migrate if they have a regular food source, which can cause an imbalance in our ecosystem. 
  • Some people may become lazy and not regularly place food in the feeder. But the hummingbirds will keep coming back to check for food. This fruitless back and forth may result in a waste of energy for the birds. 
  • Predators like cats may learn to wait for the hummingbirds at their feeders and attack and kill them. 
  • If a feeding station is suddenly shut down, it could throw a large number of hummingbirds into starvation. 


  • What Hummingbird Feeders Should I Use? 

There isn’t any particular hummingbird feeder that can be recommended because all of them are created almost equally. Just get a feeder that can hang and hold your homemade food. You can get a red-colored feeder with flower patterns because hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored flowers. 

  • Where Can I hang The Hummingbird Feeder? 

It would be best to hang your hummingbird feeder somewhere you can easily see. This would allow you to watch the birds as they come and know when to change the food and water. Choose an open location where the hummingbirds can easily swoop in and out. 

  • When Should A Hummingbird Feeder Be Put Out? 

You need to note that hummingbird migration is a seasonal activity. So, the best time to put out a hummingbird feeder depends on where you live. If you live in the southern part of the United States, the best time to put out a hummingbird feeder will be from February to November. However, for those who live in the Northern parts of the United States, the perfect time would be from the beginning of May to September. 

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