The decision to feed hummingbirds carries along the responsibility to offer them fresh, healthy food and a safe, clean feeding station.
Forget the commercial nectars or red dyes. Plain old sugar dissolved in water at a ratio of one part sugar to four parts water is best. This approximates the sweetness of flower nectar. Use only white table sugar. Honey and artificial sweeteners have been shown to be harmful to hummingbirds.
Because of the high sugar level, hummingbird nectar may sour and mold may grow in the feeder in warm weather. When preparing your sugar-water, boil the water for a few minutes, stir in the sugar and let it cool, then fill the feeder and refrigerate any excess solution. Keep your feeder clean by rinsing it out between fillings.
If you see spots of mold, scrub with a brush. If the mold persists use a 5% dilute bleach solution, then rinse thoroughly. Replace old nectar with fresh sugar water every week in spring and fall, every two to three days as it warms up, and daily if the temperature rises above 85 degrees.
Hummingbird Lunch In the Wild
Hummingbirds must eat constantly to maintain the energy to fuel their perpetual motion. They visit lots of different plants in the wild.
In the East and Prairies
|Lunch in the East|
|Beebalm||Evening primrose||Morning glory||Turkscap lily|
|Cardinal flower||Japanese honeysuckle||Trumpetcreeper|
In The Southwest
|Catmint||Evening primrose||Morning glory||Wild tobacco|
In The Pacific