Is there anything sweeter than watching an energetic little hummingbird adorn your garden with its iridescent wings and laser-focused feeding skills? Encountering these brisk little birds seems almost magical, but it’s actually very easy to attract them with homemade nectar. These birds have a big sweet tooth, and mixing the cocktail of your choice couldn’t be easier since it is all sugar and water. The key is to get the right proportions to approximate the natural sucrose content of nectar-producing flowers and provide the birds with a nutritious source of calories and energy.
How to make simple hummingbird nectar:
Combine one part of refined white sugar and four parts of water in a saucepan.
Heat the mixture to low and stir slowly until the sugar is incorporated, about two minutes.
Let the nectar cool completely before filling the feeders.
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Tips for making hummingbird nectar:
Do not use brown sugar, honey, or molasses, as these are too heavy for the birds to digest and can ferment quickly, resulting in a mold that is fatal to hummingbirds.
According to the National Audubon Society, it is important to use refined white sugar because “organic, natural and raw sugar contains an iron content that can be harmful. Simple white table sugar is sucrose, which when mixed with water is very precise in sugar mimics chemical composition of natural nectar. “
While some bird nectars bought in the store are colored red, the nectar does not need to be colored red, and in fact some dyes can contain harmful chemicals. Some say the red color attracts hummingbirds, but red is not necessary to attract birds to a feeder with homemade nectar. If you want, plant some red flowers near the bird feeder.
It is important that the nectar cools completely before use, as hot nectar can warp or tear the feeder.
Kolibri bird feeders should be cleaned and refreshed with new nectar weekly or every three to five days in warm weather.
Enjoy your new hummingbird activity center!