Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

Some friends are using a mixture (of what I call harmful) of 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water. This does really attract the birds, but I know that it must be very harmful for the birds. Am I correct?

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By Joan from Signal Mtn., TN

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

I don't know about harmful but the usual ratio is 4 to 1. In other words, 4 cups water to 1 cup sugar. I would think it would spoil quickly in hot weather.

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

The standard mixture, I believe, is 4 to 1; i.e., four cups of water to one cup of sugar.

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

I would say that yes you are correct. It would probably give them a sugar rush! When you make your own Hummingbird food, you are supposed to mix it 4 - 1.

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Mix one cup of sugar to four cups of water. It seems to me that 1 -1 is way to sweet for them and would probably attract a lot of bees to the feeders.

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

I have used this mixture for years - 4 cups water to 1 cup sugar.I microwave to dissolve the sugar - stir well - cool and fill my feeders! I do not add red food coloring and it hasn't deterred the hummers. Why would that be harmful? Just curious as to your reasoning. I certainly would NOT buy the commercial mixes.

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

I have used this mixture for years - 4 cups water to 1 cup sugar. I microwave to dissolve the sugar -stir well - cool and fill my feeders!

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I do not add red food coloring and it hasn't deterred the hummers. Why would that be harmful? Just curious as to your reasoning. I certainly would NOT buy the commercial mixes.

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

Hummers love the sweetness, but a different ratio is considered better. I use two to three cups of water to one of sugar. I have read that 1::1 is not good for them, but they will ignore your feeder if they can find somethng sweeter. If you use less sugar, I am guessing you will find they will prefer the sweeter mixture early in the morning and late in the evening, and a lighter mixture during the day as a source of both sugar for energy and water.

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June 18, 20120 found this helpful

4 cups water to 1 cup sugar is correct.
No need to add red food coloring. Some "birders" say that if it isn't good for humans,why should we give it to birds? I agree. The bird feeders usually have a red base anyway.

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We have 4 feeders 3 in our yard and one just outside the wall to the Path Garden. We have 3-4 butterfly bushes and a couple of cape honeysuckle bushes near by. This week a young father and his child said he counted 9 hummers at the garden feeder.

We also have a couple of orioles that sneak a drink from them. Just be sure to check for mold during the week. GG Vi

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June 20, 20120 found this helpful

It's like everyone saying 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. Thanks, 'Cookie"

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April 28, 20140 found this helpful

For warm weather 4 parts water to 1 part sugar is proper mix...for those of us who get hummingbirds in cold weather winters...( Vancouver B.C. down to -10 Celsius on occasion) ... then 3 parts water to 1 part sugar is good. A more sugary mix than that is harmful to a hummingbirds kidneys.

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And once a hummingbird chooses your winter feeder you really are responsible for its survival by keeping the feeder ice free and back outside before first morning light. They need to feed every 15 or 20 minutes at least. Rotate your feeders every hour or two to keep from freezing.

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