How to Make Hummingbird Food

This super-simple cost-effective recipe will keep your backyard friends happily humming.
Ruby Throated Hummingbird Hovers Over Red Petunia

Ruby Throated Hummingbird Hovers Over Red Petunia

A ruby throated hummingbird hovers over a red petunia.

Hummingbird lovers are undoubtedly familiar with the bright-red liquid food that typically fills the small birds’ feeders. But did you know you can make hummingbird food yourself? This super-simple cost-effective recipe will keep your backyard friends happily humming, and you can skip the trip to the store:

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup regular white cane sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • Food coloring (optional)

Instructions:

  • Heat water to a boil
  • Turn off heat, add sugar
  • Stir until sugar is dissolved completely (liquid should be clear)

At this point, you have the option to add a few drops of red food coloring for a traditional-looking hummingbird cocktail. The jury is out on whether this is a good idea: some sources say that the food coloring is bad for birds, while other hummingbird enthusiasts have noted that birds will not approach their feeder unless the liquid is red. I would suggest trying the clear solution first to see how the birds like it.

When the solution is done, let it cool, then fill your clean bird feeder! Store leftover solution in the refrigerator until it’s ready to use. The nectar will go bad fairly quickly, and be sure to clean out and refill your feeder every 3-5 days (possibly more often in very hot weather) so that bacteria doesn’t build up in the sugary solution.

It’s really as easy as that! Now get out there and enjoy watching your winged friends eat.

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Make Homemade Tomato Juice

Make tomato juice at home without separation anxiety.

How to Make Foam Halloween Tombstones

These hand carved and painted tombstones are an inexpensive and easy way to create a personalized and creative outdoor Halloween display.

How to Make a Cat Condo

Use everyday items to build a fancy cat post with baskets.

How to Make Glittered Pumpkins

Shake up your Halloween decor with these colorful glittered pumpkins. A great project for kids, creating these sparkling pumpkins is quick, easy and fun. Plus, since the pumpkins remain whole, they'll last much longer than carved ones.

How to Make a Backyard Fire Pit

Create a cozy space for outdoor entertaining with a stone fire pit.

How to Make Peekaboo Pumpkins

Create a spooktacular vignette of peeking pumpkins using miniature gourds and a variety of inexpensive bowls and lidded dishes.

How to Make Dill Pickles

A dill pickle recipe that keeps the dilly punch in the crunch.

Grape Expectations: How to Make Grape Jelly

Turn grapes into delicious homemade jelly.

How to Make a Trellis Planter

Take your plants vertical with a trellis planter. Use this planter as a focal point or as a privacy screen.