You might be surprised to hear that hummingbirds eat a variety of foods, including tiny spiders and insects. Hummingbirds also supplement their diet with nectar from flowers in the wild—giving them a source of water, and energy-packed sugars to fuel their active lives. Did you know that a hummingbird needs to eat half of its weight in sugar every day?
Nectar is a naturally occuring substance, but it is also commercially produced using the same ingredients hummingbirds enjoy in nature. Some brands of nectar contain added nutrients—vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D. These additives help hummingbirds make strong egg shells.
Hummingbird nectar can also easily be made at home with just a couple simple ingredients. Mix four parts water with one part refined white sugar thoroughly until all the sugar has dissolved. That’s all there is to it.
Some choose to boil their water so the sugar is more easily dissolved, but that’s not necessary if you mix thoroughly. If you do choose to heat your water, be sure to allow it to cool before filling your hummingbird feeders.
Helpful Tips for Making Homemade Hummingbird Nectar
- Do not substitute other sweeteners for refined white sugar
- Hummingbird nectar can be stored in a refrigerator for up to two weeks
- Clean your hummingbird feeder before replacing unused nectar