Feeding Hummingbirds

Besides sugar and water, what else can humming birds eat?

By Drew from Foxfire Drive

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June 7, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

For Marlene from Massachusetts (and anyone else who's interested): I don't use the store-bought nectar because I've read that the preservatives in it can cause a fungus infection on the hummingbirds' tongues that can interfere with feeding (as well as causing other problems). If you use a feeder that has some RED on it, you don't need to use red-tinted nectar.

Because hummingbirds are quite territorial, there should be more than one feeder in any one place. When you collect your feeders to wash and refill them, only take down one of a pair at a time so the birds will still have a nectar source when they come to drink.

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar is very easy to make. I use a large clean applesauce jar for extra nectar and make enough to refill all 5 of the feeders I have out.

The ratio should be one part sugar to four parts water. You can make however much you want. I keep the extra in the refrigerator.

I use a 4-cup measuring cup and put 2 cups of water in it. I microwave it for about a minute (until hot) and then stir in one-half cup of white sugar until all the sugar has dissolved and the water is perfectly clear.

I pour this into the clean jar and then make another batch, which I refrigerate once it is a little cooled-off. I use the previous batch of chilled nectar when it is time to fill the feeders.

It is VERY important to clean them properly -- do NOT use any cleaning solution, soap, or detergent, because even with careful rinsing there might be a slight residue, which WILL harm the hummingbirds --just hot water and a bottle brush. Scrub and rinse well.

I fill the feeders only half-full so that the hummingbirds will nearly empty them before the nectar might spoil, or once a week, whichever comes first.

You'll never run out of nectar when you make your own, and you'll protect the little hummies from that fungus, too.

Good luck! Nancy in NC

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March 30, 20110 found this helpful

Hummingbirds main diet is insects, "sugar water" is a sideline.

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April 3, 20110 found this helpful

Plant items that attract the hummers to your yard. Holyhocks, bee balm, rose of sharon, cardinal vines, trumpet vines, butterfly bush, lantana and delphinium to name a few. Most any red flowering item will attract the hummingbird.

I have a Native Fire bush and one from South America and it is a big attractor for the hummingbird here in fFa.

Jeannette

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March 30, 2011 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have cloudy hummingbird food? Is it bad for them?

By MNewby from Green Bay, WI

Answers:

Feeding Hummingbirds

I would think not but if they don't finish it off after a week I would dump and refill. (09/07/2010)

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By Suntydt

Feeding Hummingbirds

Yes, it's bad for them. It is too old. Hummingbirds only like fresh, clear nectar. It's easy to dump out,wash your feeder real good ( with water only) and start over. You'll have hummingbirds again soon. (09/09/2010)

By PainterLee

Feeding Hummingbirds

Hello,

Yes, it is bad for them. They need to have fresh necter. Please change their necter at least once a week. (09/09/2010)

By K9cats

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September 7, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

When do I stop feeding the hummingbirds? This is the first year I have ever put out a hummingbird feeder, and I would like to know how much longer I should keep the feeder available to them. I live in northwestern PA. Thanks for the replies.


By truerblue from PA

Answers:

Feeding Hummingbirds

In my area of the states, I keep hummingbird nectar until after birds go south. Hummingbirds will stop by and drink while in transit giving them food for their long journey. (09/15/2009)

By Lorelei

Feeding Hummingbirds

We take down our hummingbird feeder when there is no sign of the liquid being consumed. Our feeder has held the same amount of fluid for about a week now. So we will wait a few more days and then take the feeder down for the winter. (09/15/2009)

By foxrun41

Feeding Hummingbirds

It is 9/21/2009 and we are still feeding our hummers here in Mississippi. We just have 2 feeders and we have 5 hummers. They usually hover near our window and look in at my hubby, he is the one who usually feeds them. They are so cute, I keep expecting them to migrate but they are still here. (09/21/2009)

By crzylady

Feeding Hummingbirds

Hi, the hummingbird sites online suggest waiting for 2 weeks after your last sighting of hummies; that way, you don't risk leaving them with no food. Good luck! Nancy in NC.

PS -- in case you don't know, make your own nectar (don't use the store-bought nectar because it contains dye that can cause fungus in the hummies' tongues that interferes with their feeding). The proportion is one part sugar to four parts water; heat half the amount of the water in your microwave, mix in the sugar until it is completely dissolved, then add the other half of the water (so it's not too hot). Allow it to cool to room temperature before filling the feeders.

Keep the remainder of the nectar in a clean sealed jar in your refrigerator. Replace in the feeder at least every week after scrubbing out the feeder -- DON'T use soap or detergent and be sure to rinse completely. Enjoy! (09/26/2009)


By NokomisNims

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September 15, 2009 Flag
0 found this helpful

This is actually about hummingbirds, but I didn't see a wildlife section. I have had great success with my Hummingbird feeder and make my own nectar for them. While feeding my Parakeet it occurred to me that it might be good to add a couple of drops of vitamins to the nectar. Is this okay?

By Michele from Whitinsville, MA

Answers:

Feeding Hummingbirds

When I first began feeding my hummingbirds I did some research on just that very subject. I was thinking like you are, that if it's good for my finches (I had zebra finches at the time) then it should be good for the hummingbirds too. But I found out I was very, very wrong!

I don't remember what my source was, but I was told that they get all the nourishment they need from the nectar and that the vitamins would be bad for their little systems. So please don't add it to the nectar you make! I also make my own nectar and am glad to hear someone else does too. (05/31/2009)


By Cricketnc

Feeding Hummingbirds

I haven't had success with the store bought nectar. Could you share your recipe? Thanks, Merlene from MA. (06/05/2009)

By merlene

Feeding Hummingbirds

For Merlene from Massachusetts (and anyone else who's interested): I don't use the store-bought nectar because I've read that the preservatives in it can cause a fungus infection on the hummingbirds' tongues that can interfere with feeding (as well as causing other problems). If you use a feeder that has some RED on it, you don't need to use red-tinted nectar.

Because hummingbirds are quite territorial, there should be more than one feeder in any one place. When you collect your feeders to wash and refill them, only take down one of a pair at a time so the birds will still have a nectar source when they come to drink.

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar is very easy to make. I use a large clean applesauce jar for extra nectar and make enough to refill all 5 of the feeders I have out.

The ratio should be one part sugar to four parts water. You can make however much you want. I keep the extra in the refrigerator.

I use a 4-cup measuring cup and put 2 cups of water in it. I microwave it for about a minute (until hot) and then stir in one-half cup of white sugar until all the sugar has dissolved and the water is perfectly clear.

I pour this into the clean jar and then make another batch, which I refrigerate once it is a little cooled-off. I use the previous batch of chilled nectar when it is time to fill the feeders.

It is very important to clean them properly. Do NOT use any cleaning solution, soap, or detergent, because even with careful rinsing there might be a slight residue, which will harm the hummingbirds. Just hot water and a bottle brush, scrub, and rinse well.

I fill the feeders only half-full so that the hummingbirds will nearly empty them before the nectar might spoil, or once a week, whichever comes first.

You'll never run out of nectar when you make your own, and you'll protect the little hummies from that fungus, too. Good luck! Nancy in NC. (06/07/2009)

By NokomisNims

CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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