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Feeding Hummingbirds

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


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

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