Making your own hummingbird food and watching the birds feed on it is a great joy. It also saves you the expense of having to purchase it and with the added advantage that you will have is the control on its quality. The process is not just simple but only takes a few minutes.
Ingredients that you will need
All you need is sugar and clean tap water, nothing else.
Hummingbirds are attracted to red color, and you may be tempted to use food color to make your nectar red. This is strongly not advised
as food color has been shown to be harmful to the birds. If worried about attracting them, tie a red ribbon to your feeder, or better still, find still a red feeder.
For the sugar, it’s advisable to use plain granulated sugar, not any other sugar substitute. And white sugar, not brown sugar.
Artificial sweeteners have no nutrients in them and should likewise be avoided. Never use honey to make the bird food as it can cause infection on the hummingbird’s tongue. The following is the process to follow to make the food.
1. Mix the water and sugar in the ratio of 4 to 1. The measurements or the amount you will use will largely depend on the size of your feeders. These simplified measurements will help you.
1/2 cups of sugar to 4 cups of water
3/4 cups of sugar to 3 cups of water.
1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water.
2. Next, put your measured water on a stove and bring it to a boil.
3. As the water to boils, take your measured sugar and add it to the water all the while stirring til it totally dissolves.
4. After you mixture starts to boil, let it continue boiling for two or three more minutes. This is to rid it of any chlorine that might
have been present. Boiling will also help to kill any harmful fungi and bacteria that might have been in the sugar or water, making it safe for the birds. Being free of microorganisms, your hummingbird food will stay for longer without fermenting.
5. After 2 to 3 minutes of boiling, take the mixture of the stove and allow it to cool. Allowing it to cool completely before putting it in the feeder prevents the possibility of it crystallizing. Your nectar is now ready and can be put in the feeder. Only ensure you feeder is pretty clean, or it will re-introduce bacteria in your nectar and make it spoil soon.
If you made an excess of it, it’s alright to store some in the refrigerator to use later though not for more than two weeks. Always change the nectar every three to five days. Because the mixture contains sugar, it is bound to go bad easily. Site your feeder under a shade to make the nectar stay for longer without going bad as direct sunlight speeds up fermentation. Keeping it under your window still may be a good idea.
The whole process is cheaper and will save you dollars and not to mention the frequent visits to the store you would have needed to make.