Homemade Hummingbird Food Recipe
I love all birds feeding in my yard but there is something very special about the hummingbird that simply leaves you in awe when you watch them feed and zip around.
They truly are a wonder of nature!
You do not need to buy the red dye hummingbird food that is on the market..
Make your own, using this simple recipe, and avoid potentially harmful red dyes and food colorings.
Healthy Hummingbird Food
This recipe below will make 2 batches, enough for 2 feeders or simply fill the clean feeder with one half and save the other half in the refrigerator. It will be good for a week. But chances are you will be refilling it often. There are only 2 ingredients needed.
2 cups water
1/2 cup granulated sugar (do not substitute white sugar with anything else)
1. In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil and stir until it dissolves.
2. Boil for one minute and then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature with the lid on the pot.
3. This makes two batches. Split in half and use one batch now and the other can store in the refrigerator for a few days or put in a second feeder.
4. Always clean your hummingbird feeder by rinsing it with hot water twice a week, and fill with fresh nectar. I like to do this when it gets dark so as not to put them off finding the feeder.
5. I find if you do this twice a week the ants don't really get a chance to move in. If you do find yourself with ants, just give the base a quick spray of water, that will move them along.
6. Always choose a feeder with a red base to attract the hummingbirds and sometimes orioles. The red on the feeder with attract the hummingbirds, so there is no need to use red colored food.
7. If you also plant red, orange or pink flowering shrubs or flowers and have the feeder nearby this will get them attracted to your yard.
8. I have my feeder hanging on a double hook plant pole with a basket of red flowers hanging beside the feeder.
Your reward will be beautiful hummingbirds visiting your yard...
If you simply can't make your own food as the recipe above, and really love the idea of attracting these little guys to your yard, you can purchase the clear nectar in a bottle. You don't need the red dye, the hummingbirds are attracted to the red and colorful feeders not the color of the food. This particular one is as close to a flower as you can get.
Once you have mastered the homemade food for these beautiful tiny birds, you can take a step further and try to feed them by hand. This kit not only makes a great gift idea for the bird lover on your list, but also for yourself. It takes a little patience, but once you have attracted them to your yard, it doesn't take much to have them land on you and you can watch them up close.
If you find that your feeder just seems to attract ants more than humming birds, then you can purchase these cool little ant guards. The ants usually gain access from the top hook. So if you hang yours on a pole or a branch then will work their way down to the sugary treat at the base and annoy the birds.
I find a quick squirt of water and they are gone, but if you find they are constantly on the feeder, then consider one of these motes. It is a simple design but does the job. Lots of great reviews. Something to consider if this is a big issue, because I have noticed that if there are lots of ant the bird will hover and then leave. They don't like anything between them and their food! The ants would also appear quite big to a tiny hummingbird and put them off.
I usually find that if you clean the feeders at least once a week with hot water and swish it around it cleans it, but sometimes later in the season, you can build up bits of dirt, mold or simply gunge on the inside, round parts, and because the opening is hard to get into, you need something that will bend and rub off the offending dirt.
I would get super creative, even tried using a pipe cleaner, but really there is a tool just for this job as you can see above. It is not a big investment and can really keep those feeders clean especially if you own a few of them.
Unique Hummingbird Feeders