Hummingbird Nectar

I saw the first hummingbird of the season the other day come to my feeder hoping for something. Unfortunately there was nothing there for him/her. So I quickly brought the feeder inside and cleaned it up and made some hummingbird nectar, filled the feeder and hung it back outside.

Hummingbird nectar is easy to make. 1 part sugar, 4 parts water. I put the sugar in a canning jar.. and added enough hot water to dissolve the sugar…

Then filled the jar up. I added some red food coloring to my mix.. for one reason.. when my kids look in the fridge they will know what the heck it is! LOL… BUT after I did this I researched a little more on this… some say it is NOT the thing you want to do, some say it is not a problem..

One thing I do know is that it is not necessary to add it. Is it bad or good for the birds? I have no idea. I probably won’t do it next time. I’ll just put some note on the jar so my family knows what it is…

In any case.. I’m looking forward to watching all the hummingbirds come to my feeder. They are beautiful birds and give a lot of joy…



  1. Thank you for the recipe :) The only reason for the red coloring is it attracts the humming birds

  2. It's not necessary to add the red food coloring. The bright red parts of the feeder itself attract the birds. It's a good idea to take the feeders down at the end of the season and put them up again in the spring when they've got the nectar in them. Happy Hummingbird Watching! <3

  3. Hello there! I make my own nectar as well and my babies LOVE IT! However, I don't use the food coloring, I leave it clear. As proverbs31heart mentioned, the red parts of the feeder will attract the birds itself.


  4. The red color actually hurts the hummingbirds kidneys and cuts down their life expectancy. If you want to attract more humming birds plant red and purple flowers near your feedings. HTH.

  5. Crystal,
    I love this recipe. I've used it for a couple years now without the food coloring and the hummingbirds just love it! Glad to hear it works for others, too! Hummingbirds are so beautiful and entertaining, for sure. Can't wait for the weather to warm up for them to come back. Chance of some wet snow mixing in with rain here in Maine tonight. C'mon spring!

  6. Hi Crystal, This is the exact recipe needed, minus the food coloring. I have had the fortune to learn many things about many birds, but hummingbirds in particular, from Bob and Martha Sargent. They are the founders of the Hummer Bird Study Group and have devoted most of their past 30 years or so to educating the public about birds. They are wonderful. He (Bob) says to NOT put red food coloring and to keep your feeder up year round (in the South, anyway). Google and look up their web site. Lots of info there.


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