Skip to Content

Best Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe

Are you noticing that hummingbirds are starting to show up more to your feeders? If so, it’s important to have the best homemade hummingbird food recipe for them to eat. If you’re feeding the hummingbirds consistently, it’s time to have good food for them in their hummingbird feeder

Hummingbird visiting feeder with homemade food

Store-bought vs homemade hummingbird food

There are so many benefits to having your own homemade bird food in your bird feeder at home. Because of all the additives in store-bought hummingbird food, it’s really something that you should stop buying and do not use. 

The reason for this is because a lot of store-bought foods are not made to be healthy for the hummingbirds. They’re packed full of chemicals and red dye which are things that a hummingbird doesn’t need to ingest. 

Let’s not forget about the cost, too. It’s so much more effective to use natural ingredients that you have at home to create your homemade natural nectar. 

If you love hummers, you’ll want to read this book to learn all about hummingbirds.

Related: Grateful Gnome hummingbird feeders

Best Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe

Below you’ll find some of the best tips for creating a fresh nectar sugar solution to feed the hummingbirds. 

Hummingbird food ingredients

No matter what type of recipe you decide on, you’ll find a combination of these simple ingredients:

  • tap water
  • white sugar

How to make hummingbird food

The easiest way to make hummingbird food is to put 4 cups of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Once it starts boiling, take off the stove and stir in 1 cup of white cane sugar. Let the sugar water get to room temperature before adding to the hummingbird feeder.

Frequently asked questions about homemade hummingbird food

What is the correct ratio of sugar to water for hummingbirds?

As mentioned above, 4 cups of water to 1 cup of white granulated sugar seems to be just about the perfect combination for the birds. 

Can you use tap water for hummingbirds?

You can. You’ll find that most recipes call for unfiltered water which means that tap water works perfectly to create the hummingbird food recipe. 

Is beet sugar good for hummingbirds?

It’s “okay” for them but not good. The best sugar is white sugar. Beet sugar doesn’t taste as good to them and actually might discourage them from eating out of the bird feeder. 

What types of sugar are bad for hummingbirds?

Really any type of sugar besides white sugar isn’t good for hummingbirds. Brown sugar is really bad, so make certain that you’re not using that in any of your recipes. 

Can I make hummingbird food with corn syrup?

This is not recommended. Corn syrup can cause issues with your hummingbird because it’s such a highly processed food item. They might not be able to digest it once they consume it. 

Is maple syrup good for hummingbirds?

Some people do say it’s fine to give pure maple syrup to hummingbirds and use it as a sweetener in their food as long as it’s pure maple syrup. But buying the processed maple syrup at the store will have a negative effect on them because of how its made and bottled. 

Can you use Kool-Aid for hummingbirds?

Absolutely not! You should not try and use kool-aid for hummingbirds. It has a lot of chemicals in it that can cause illness in hummingbirds. Don’t use any type of food color to try to make a bright color of their food. It’s not worth the risk. 

Do I need to boil sugar water for hummingbirds?

Yes, before serving the sugar water to the birds, you do need to boil the water on the stove and then mix in the refined white sugar once done. 

Does hummingbird sugar water need to be refrigerated?

If you have excess leftovers of this hummingbird food recipe,  you can store it in the fridge and keep it good for up to 2 weeks. More than likely, the hummingbirds will need a refill before then so you will have the chance to use it up. 

Will cold sugar water hurt hummingbirds?

It’s not going to hurt them necessarily but they’re much more likely to drink from the feeder if the sugar water is room temperature. 

Why does hummingbird nectar get cloudy?

The cloudiness could be caused by the sugar not totally dissolving all the way. It’s nothing to be concerned about and will usually clear up on its own. 

The water can also appear cloudy if there are particles in the water or other air bubbles as well. These are things that will likely go away on their own, too. 

Does hummingbird sugar water go bad?

It can. If you don’t have it in the fridge and use any leftovers within 2 weeks, you need to toss it out and make a fresh batch. This doesn’t mean that it’s “spoiled” per se, but it does mean that the older it gets, the more likely the hummingbirds are going to be able to tell that it’s not a fresh batch.  

How often should I change hummingbird sugar water?

Hummingbirds like fresh water, so changing out the sugar water every couple of days is a good idea. This will keep it fresh and will keep them happy. 

Keep an eye on the bird feeder as you might need to change it out sooner if the squirrels and ants are messing with it. 

How long does hummingbird sugar water last outside?

Roughly about 48 hours. If you make a mental note to change it every couple of days, you should be fine and have no issues. 

During the summer months, hummingbirds are going to be drinking more so there is a good chance that you could be filling up the feeder on a daily basis. 

Spoiling the hummingbirds with homemade nectar is great but keep in mind that hummingbirds love flowers as well. If you can plant some flowers in your yard that hummingbirds love, this is a simple and natural way to keep them healthy and happy as well. 

When it comes to feeding the hummingbirds, use this simple homemade hummingbird food recipe. Fill up the hummingbird feeder regularly if you want to keep them coming. 

How many bird feeders will you be filling full in your yard?

Homemade hummingbird food recipe - Pinterest image
Website | + posts

Adriana Copaceanu is a passionate nature lover living in the country on her dream property where she grows vegetables, lavender, and wildflowers that she shares with the wildlife they attract. When she's not in the garden, she loves spending time with her chickens and planning her next nature project. Check out her books below:

How to Grow Lavender for Fun and Profit: Lessons Learned from Planting Three Hundred Lavender Plants

How to Raise Chickens for Eggs: A Guide to Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens for Nutritious, Organic Eggs at Home

Pin To Save For Later

Red Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Monday 8th of February 2021

[…] of a wine red than a true red, the bee balm flowers are rich in nectar and great food for hummingbirds. These flowers grow in clumps of upright stems up to 3 or 4 feet […]