You don’t need to buy the instant mixes in stores because making homemade hummingbird nectar is actually a simple process. Here are the basic ingredients.
Required Tools and Materials
Mix ¼ cup of sugar for every 1 cup of water. You can put the mixture in a saucepan or jar. Use a spoon to mix it. Boil it for a couple of minutes. Let it cool down and put in the bird feeder. Pour the rest of the nectar in a container. The nectar can be stored for up to five days. Use a measuring cup if you’re having trouble getting the measurements right.
Putting food coloring on homemade hummingbird nectar is optional. Some believe that red food color attracts the birds. Others contend that it’s the feeder that needs to be red and not the food. Try giving the food without any coloring first.
Most of the time, the birds will eat the food even without red color. Aside from being unnecessary, the additives and chemicals in food colorings may be harmful.
Cleaning the Feeders
Nectars in the feeders need to be changed every week. Change it more often if it’s hot in your area. It’s also important that the jars and plates you use are clean. It’s also a good idea to clean the feeder itself every week.
Position the feeder a little high so insects will be kept at bay. However, keep it away from direct sunshine. Too much heat will spoil the food.
About Boiling Water
Those who make homemade hummingbird nectar have conflicting views on boiling. Some think it isn’t necessary. This theory states there is nothing in the sugar that will cause problems. Others assert that boiling is needed. It’s probably best to boil though. However it shouldn’t be for more than three minutes.
Ingredients to Avoid
Only use granulated sugar. Sweeteners and preservatives should be avoided. Honey mustn’t be used either. They contribute to fermentation. It may also attract other insects.
Keeping Other Insects Away
Look for bird feeders that have an ant guard built in. This is a structure specially designed to keep the insects away. You can use specially designed feeders to keep bees away.
Wipe the feeder if there are nectar stains left. This can happen when the birds feed on homemade hummingbird nectar.
Tips and Warnings
As stated, once a week cleaning will be sufficient for feeders. But if there are black spots, it has to be cleaned immediately. These black spots are molds. Use a brush to wipe it off.
You can also mix sand with water to get rid of the mold. Wash the feeder every time you change the nectar. This will prevent mold from building up.
Don’t fill the feeder to the brim. The birds won’t be able to consume it all before changing time arrives. You’ll just end up wasting the nectar. You’ll want to put up a couple of feeders if the birds come aplenty. They are very territorial.
The recipe for homemade hummingbird nectar is simple. Resist the temptation to add to the ingredients. Just put these in the feeders and the birds will come soon enough.