Sunday, May 14, 2017

Make Your Own Hummingbird Nectar

Do you have your hummingbird feeder out yet?  We live in Texas and we've had ours out for a little over a month now.  I always get ours out at the first signs that the little hummers are back.  What normally happens is that I'm working in the flower beds or out in the yard somewhere and I hear one zoom by, then I go and retrieve the feeders and get them ready.
NO RED FOOD COLOR!  Yes, the feeder in the picture above has nectar with 2 drops of food coloring added to it.  I didn't know then, but I know now! Sorry little hummingbirds!

NOTE: There have been claims that  red dye impairs hatching in hummingbird eggs, and hummingbird rehabilitators report seeing an increased incidence in skin and bill tumors in hummingbirds.  YIKES!

You can buy the premixed nectars at the stores so that all you have to do is add water, but as you probably already know, most of them have a red or pink color to them and they tend to be spendy.

I've been making my own nectar for years because my Granny and my Mama always made their own.  This year, I was looking on Pinterest to see how others made their own nectar and found out that the red coloring is not good for the birds.  I always added a few drops of red food color to mine in previous years, but now I have stopped doing that.  As long as your feeder has some red on it, they will be attracted to it.  Good to know!
No, this is not a pet hummingbird, but one we found that was too weak to fly away.  He was very welcoming to our help and did even try to escape us.  See how puffed out his feathers look?  He was feeling really bad!
My honey nursed him back to strength with some sugar water on a Qtip.  He gladly excepted the gift.
See, his feathers are getting smoother now.  He's feeling better.  He could stand on the feeder perch and get his own drink now.  Weird thing is, he never seemed scared of us at all, he just welcomed the help.
We got him a box with a towel and his very own personal feeder and he stayed there on the patio until he felt better and flew away on his own.  We tried to see if we could pick him out among the others when they visited to feed, but we never could.  This was the most amazing thing I had ever experienced with hummingbirds.  As you know they are amazing and oh so interesting little things to watch, but never in a million years did I think we would ever get this close to one or actually hold it.  Amazing experience for sure!

DIY Hummingbird Nectar

4 cups water
1 cup sugar

1. Bring water to a boil
2. Remove from heat, add sugar and stir
3. Let cool completely
4. Serve to your hummers

Just in case you have a small feeder, the ratio is normally about 1/4 cup of sugar to 1 cup of boiled water.  Be sure to boil your water for at least a few minutes to get rid of all the yucky stuff they add to our drinking water.  Please let the mixture cool before serving to the birds.

You may need to change out the nectar more often when the weather heats up.  If your hummingbird water looks cloudy, please change it.  Here in Texas it gets HOT!  The nectar water will grow "green stuff" real fast if you don't watch it.  Don't let your feeder get dirty, clean feeders help keep the birds healthy.  I have learned from my own personal experience that a glass feeder tends to keep the nectar better than a plastic feeder. 

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!
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  1. That was the experience of a lifetime! I plan to put my feeder out by the end of the week. We don't get many hummingbirds, but when we do it's like seeing Santa Claus!

    1. I agree and yes it was an experience of a lifetime, so exciting! Thanks for stopping by to leave a nice comment!

  2. We do this too-make our own nectar. We have a family of hummingbirds 5-7 that visit us year round. Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Hi Nadine! Aren't they wonderful? We sure do enjoy watching them and I always looks for the ones with a purple chest, they seem so rare compared to the green chest and red chested ones. Enjoy your hummers!

  3. 1st, how cool that you helped the little guy out
    2nd, love your Texas Hummingbird Feeder

    once we had one stuck under the eves of the porch before it was covered. I didn't think I was ever going to get him out. Seems they fly up good, but don't fly down very well.

  4. Thank you and so very cool to be able to help the poor thing out! Thanks for visiting our blog! :)


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