Hummingbird Food Recipe: Sugar Water Ratio

In addition to insects & fruits, Hummingbirds are known to enjoy consuming nectar out of flowers. The cause of that is hummingbirds are naturally drawn to sugar and addicted to it.

Creating your own nectar can be easy, All you have to do is mix water & sugar together and wait for the sugar to properly dissolve in the water. The trick is to know how much sugar should you use.

As a general rule, The sugar water ratio for a humming food recipe is 1 to 4, With 1 part being sugar and 4 parts being water in the summer. In the winter the ratio should be 1 to 3, With 1 part sugar and 3 parts water.

The reason for using 1 to 3 in the winter is: When the climate is cold, birds tend to burn more calories to keep themselves warm. Having a nectar that is packed with sugar let them consume more calories without having to eat that much.

Organic Hummingbird Food Recipe To Make At Home

Sugar water ratio for nectar

Ingredients and Materials:

  • 1 part table sugar (Regular kitchen sugar).
  • 4 parts warm water.
  • Bowl.
  • Spoon.


  • Pour the water in a large container and add sugar gradually.
  • Mix until the sugar dissolves.
  • Repeat.
  • Done! Now fill the feeders and store the rest in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Hummingbird Diet FAQ

What should i avoid when making hummingbird nectar

Using Red Dye: Even though hummingbirds are naturally attracted to the color red, That doesn’t mean coloring the nectar with red dye is a good idea. Since most Nectar Feeders in the market have either a red base or top, adding a chemical to the nectar will be unnecessary at best and harmful at worst.

Using Sugar Alternatives: Even though using sugar alternatives like honey, stevia or xylitol make seem like a good idea, It can be a very bad idea to use them since using too much or even too little can be very toxic for hummingbirds when mixed with water.

Using Brown/Powder Sugar: Anything other than your regular table sugar tend to cause problems to hummingbirds.

Should i boil the water when I make my hummingbird food

Both boiling and/or using warm water work just fine to dissolve the sugar, But some people claim boiling the water helps remove bacteria and fungus from the water and helps the nectar last longer.

Is store bought hummingbird nectar safe

Even though most commercial nectar bottles are safe for hummingbirds, I would still suggest you stick with your homemade solution mostly because of of a couple of reasons which are:

  • More expensive.
  • Contain extra unnecessary chemicals.
  • The coloring used in the commercial nectar can decreases reproduction rates and increases the incidence of both internal and skin tumors [Read More About The Case Study Here].

How long does nectar last

How long your nectar stays fresh depends heavily on the temperature & humidity of the spot the feeder is in. But as a rule of thumb, the hotter the climate, the more frequent you have to clean the feeder & change the nectar. 

In the winter, Nectar should be changed every 5-7 days. During summer, It should be changed every other day just to make sure everything stays safe for the hummingbirds to consume.

Where should i place my hummingbird feeder

There are a couple of points you should keep in mind when placing the feeder:

  • Shade: The feeder should be covered from the sun, This makes sure the nectar stays good as long as possible and also gives the birds a spot to cool off.
  • Visibility: Just because you should put the feeder in a shaded spot doesn’t mean you should hide it completely. The feeder should still be visible to passing birds.
  • Safety: This can be from harsh weather like strong wind, intense rain and blazing sun. But also other animals (predators) that may harm the birds while they try to eat.

What are some natural hummingbird attractants

Since hummingbirds can’t actually smell, They rely on their enhanced vision to find food sources. Some of the flowers they tend to look for are:

  • Red Hot Pokers.
  • Honeysuckle.
  • Milkweeds.
  • Foxglove.
  • Butterfly Bush.
  • Agastache.
  • Columbine.
  • Black/Blue/Red Salvia.

Even though all these flowers are perfectly safe for hummingbirds, Your best bet will be to find plants that they prefer that are also native to their area. The reason for that is because native flowering plants are going to be a lot more adapted to your conditions wherever you live.

Conclusion: Sugar Water Ratio Hummingbird Food Recipe

As a conclusion, Homemade nectar is a great hummingbird food recipe that anyone that want to attract and feed them needs to learn. If you enjoyed our article make sure to leave a comment down below telling us your experiences.