Remember, use what’s best for the birds by offering what’s closest to their natural flower nectar!
The tried and true formula for hummingbird food is simple: one part white granulated sugar to four parts water. This 20% sugar concentration best mirrors the sugar concentration naturally found in flowers preferred by hummingbirds. Also, the natural sugars found in flower nectar are primarily sucrose, like that of white granulated sugar. Don’t over-tech it & don’t offer any nectar that has added coloring! While you don’t have to boil your water, it does facilitate dissolving the sugar more quickly and may contribute to it lasting a bit longer when stored in your refrigerator.
- DO NOT add red food dye or any coloring, whether natural or artificial, to the nectar.
- We only recommend using regular white granulated sugar in nectar preparation.
- Do NOT use honey. Honey is comprised primarily of fructose and glucose and therefore hummingbirds digest this much less efficiently. Also, fermentation and mold growth occurs much more rapidly in nectar solutions using honey than those from granulated sugar.
- Do NOT use artificial sweeteners! Remember, these sweeteners contain no calories, which means they provide no energy to the hummingbirds.We only recommend using regular white granulated sugar in nectar preparation.
- Make sure to thoroughly clean your feeders before the first use of the season and before each subsequent refill.
- Higher concentrations of nectar are not necessary, we sometimes see claims that offering nectar with more sugar is necessary early in the season and again in the fall to help hummingbirds recover from and prepare for migration. That is not the case, we want to offer them the closest to natural flower nectar at all times.
Other Tips & Tricks:
- We love using a Nectar Bottle (like the one pictured above) to make a larger batch of nectar and keeping it in the fridge between fills! This makes maintaining your hummingbird feeders quick and easy.
- Early in the season, before activity at your feeders ramps up, we recommend only filling your feeders a little bit so that there isn't as much nectar thrown away during cleanings
Can/Should I add anything to my Nectar to make it last longer?:
We do recommend Sapphire Labs Nectar Defender and Nectar Defender concentrate to help keep nectar fresh naturally without artificial preservatives. Nectar Defender will help your nectar last about twice as long as it does without Nectar Defender added.
Nectar Defender contains only copper sulfate, this micronutrient is found in the bugs that naturally make up 80% of a hummingbird's diet. This has been thoroughly studied and Nectar Defender is well within the natural range of copper found in wild hummingbird diets. The arthropods that hummingbirds eat can be many times the copper level in Nectar Defender. And, even combined the copper level of Nectar Defender and arthropods is within a hummingbird’s natural range.