Making Hummingbird Nectar

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird at Feeder in autumn
Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird at Feeder in autumn. Hummingbird. It was 52 degrees fahrenheit outside when this photo was taken. Fort Washington State Park. Photo by Donna L. Long.

Several people have seen hummingbirds here in the Philadelphia area.  These tiny fast fliers often whizz by so quickly, you might think they are insects or bees. The only hummingbirds that breed in this area are the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds.

Attracting Hummingbirds

Last year was my first successful year attracting hummingbirds to my garden. I have planted hummingbird attracting flowers and hung a nectar feeder in my garden.

Hummingbird nectar can be made at home. It is just sugar-water. It mimics the nectar found at the base of flowers. Hummingbirds sip the nectar and any tiny insects floating in it.

You can also grow spring blooming flowers that attract hummingbirds.


How to Make Hummingbird Nectar

I make enough nectar to last a week and keep it in the refrigerator. I change the nectar every other day or so. I don’t mind doing this because the thrill of seeing hummingbirds in my garden is more than worth  the effort.

The recipe is 1 part regular granulated sugar to 4 parts water.  Boil this mixture until the sugar crystals are dissolved. Pour it into your hummingbird feeder of choice.

birds_female ruby throated hummingbird
Female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird at a feeder.

Choosing a Hummingbird Nectar Feeder

This feeder is model that I use. It is very easy to keep clean.

I have gone through several feeders. Some feeders are hard to clean and get moldy fast. This is one of them.

The color red is proven to attract hummingbirds. You don’t need to color the nectar red. That could introduce chemicals that make not be healthy for the birds.

I look forward to maybe getting a photo of a hummingbird in my garden . The bird photos here were all taken at the hummingbird feeders in Fort Washington State Park. My empty feeder looks lonely.

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