The Only Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Recipe You Need

Mix 4 parts water and 1 part table sugar. Boil the water to completely dissolve the sugar.

Fill feeders with cooled mixture. Between fills, refrigerate spares. DIY hummingbird nectar is safest with pure white table sugar. Avoid honey, brown sugar, and artificial sweeteners.  

Many believe think organic sugar, which isn't pure sucrose, is hazardous for hummingbirds. Forget the red food dye in your hummingbird concoction! The birds don't require it, and colorless sugar water is easy to monitor for freshness.

Fill feeders halfway and clean them before refilling to avoid moldy hummingbird nectar. Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman explain

“Lab studies show that hummingbirds consume different amounts of sugar water depending on sugar concentration. With a 4:1 water-to-sugar ratio, a ruby-throated hummingbird may only drink 2 fluid ounces per day.

Keeping feeders in the shade will prevent homemade nectar from deteriorating. Exchange the mixture every three to five days—more often on hot days. If feeders are empty, birds will forage elsewhere.

“Hummingbirds’ nectar needs are so specific and quite regular, so they’ll always take advantage of those kinds of resources,” says John Rowden, National Audubon Society senior director for bird-friendly communities.

Put multiple hummingbird feeders out of sight to deter territorial nectar hogs.