Hummingbirds are one of the most majestic and beautiful birds there are. They come in many unique colors; most commonly green and ruby. Hummingbirds are frequent feeders, and although they can eat certain insects, most of a hummingbird’s diet consists of sweet nectar. Their metabolism is about 100 times faster than an elephant’s. This means that a hummingbird will eat about three times its body weight in just one day. They must visit hundreds of flowers each day to get the amount of food that they need.
If you love birds, chances are you have a few bird feeders in your yard. Why not add a hummingbird feeder to attract these beautiful birds to your yard? You won’t have to worry about those pesky squirrels and raccoons eating out of this type of feeder. It’s great to hang the feeder in front of a window so that you can get an up-close look at the hummingbirds that feed there. It’s amazing to watch how fast their wings move, and you get to see how beautiful they truly are.
Your feeder can be homemade or store bought. Most store-bought hummingbird feeders are usually red. While bright red will attract hummingbirds, you don’t necessarily have to have a red hummingbird feeder. You can get clear or any other color. If you get a feeder that is not red just be sure to add something red near the feeder to help attract the hummingbirds. Many people that hang the feeder at a window will use stained glass ornaments, or window clings. If your hummingbird feeder is out in the yard, try using a red garden globe to attract hummingbirds to your feeder.
What Do You Put in the Feeder?
You can purchase premixed hummingbird nectar from most retailers. You can find it in the lawn and garden section. There are also store-bought powder packets that you have to mix with water at home. Some of these certain types of nectar have additives that are not natural to the hummingbirds. This can cause digestive problems and can make the hummingbirds sick. It’s best to go as natural as possible; this will help the hummingbirds be able to digest the nectar properly. Instead of buying it from the store you can easily make your own hummingbird nectar. All it takes are a couple of minutes and a few ingredients.
- 1 cup of cane sugar
- 4 cups of water
- In a heavy saucepan, combine your sugar and water. If you have city water that contains chemicals or have water that has a strong smell, you should try using bottled or distilled water.
- Heat your mixture over medium heat. Make sure you don’t scorch the sugar. This will cause the nectar to taste bitter, and it won’t attract hummingbirds.
- Continuously stir the mixture as it is heating to keep it from sticking to the pan. After about 2 minutes or so the sugar should be melted, and you’ll be left with a thick liquid.
- Allow your freshly made nectar to cool completely before storing it or filling your feeder. Just leave it out and let it cool. You can cool it quickly in the refrigerator if you need to.
- Once the nectar has cooled down, you can fill your feeder.
- You can keep the leftover nectar in an airtight container. Just make sure to keep it in the fridge to prevent fermentation. The nectar should keep for about one week. If it looks cloudy throw it out. You can also freeze the leftover nectar for up to one month. Just thaw it out and fill your feeder.
This is the easiest hummingbird nectar recipe, and once you try it, you will never buy that store-bought stuff again. This fresh nectar is sure to attract hummingbirds and is as close to natural nectar as you can get.
Tips and Tricks
- Clean your feeder once a week and add fresh nectar.
- Never pour hot or warm nectar into your feeder. It can damage your feeder and cause leaks.
- Never use brown sugar, honey sugar substitutes, or molasses. It will make the nectar harder for the hummingbirds to digest.
- Attract hummingbirds with bright colors, especially red.