Spring is here and summer will soon be upon us and that means it’s Hummingbird season!
If you know anything about me, you know I’m absolutely head over heels in love with Hummingbirds. From their sweet chirps to their tiny yet powerful wings, every spring I anxiously anticipate their return. The first day they show up at the feeder easily becomes my new favorite day. I’m also obsessed with taking photos of them, easily spending countless hours trying to capture great shots of them.
There’s a simple sugar water recipe that I follow to keep my hummingbirds happy and healthy all summer.
Small Batch Recipe: Always a 1:4 Ratio
• 1/4 cup of plain, white, table sugar
• 1 cup water
• In a medium pot, bring water to a boil (I use bottled spring water) Some just use bottled spring water without boiling first but I’ve found the sugar dissolves better if the water has been heated)
• Add 1 cup of boiled water to a glass measuring cup
• Add 1/4 cup of white, table sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved
• Let cool completely
• Make sure your hummingbird feeder is clean and free from mold
• Fill up your feeder and enjoy!
You can store any leftover in the fridge, I’d say 2-3 days max, if you’d like but I just make fresh batches every time. Change the sugar water every 2-3 days and more frequently in the summer and if your feeder is in direct sun. Make sure to check the feeder frequently for mold or cloudy sugar water. Cloudy water means the sugar is in the process of turning to alcohol and while a few sips of an adult beverage may be nice for you, Hummingbirds don’t like feeling tipsy. If you see mold, take it down right away and clean it. I use a baby bottle brush and another type of brush to clean the smaller feeder ports. Use hot water and NEVER use any bleach, chemicals, soap or cleaners. I’ve used a mild (like barely any at all) distilled white vinegar solution and let all of the feeder parts soak to ensure everything is really clean. Honestly, I’ve only used the vinegar solution once because my feeders really needed a good cleaning after a bad spoiled sugar water incident. I always just use hot water, the baby bottle brush and the smaller brush for the sugar ports.
Also, please don’t add anything else to the feeder other than sugar water. No honey, no maple syrup, no artificial sweetener, no corn syrup, no fruit juice, nothing other than plain ol’ table sugar water. Sugar water is the closest to flower nectar.
If you’d like to help feed the Hummers but can’t dedicate the time, try planting flowers that will attract them! Of course, flowering plants that are native to your area are best but you can also plant whatever you’d like or purchase some hanging flower baskets. Last year, they loved the Zinnia, Butterfly Bush and Salvia/Sage in our backyard. If you look closely at the next 3 photos, you’ll see a Mantis chillin’ on the Butterfly Bush. If you do notice a large Praying Mantis near or on your Hummingbird feeder, try to gently convince it to chill elsewhere. Believe it or not, the larger Mantis can capture your Hummers which could result in an unfavorable outcome. Please don’t harm the mantis, just help it move along.
I’ve lived in 4 different locations (3 here in Maryland and 1 in Nevada) and always had Hummingbirds show up using this tried and true method. I use a clear glass feeder with red accents and homemade sugar water. That’s it!
So, get out there and have fun watching your adorable little summer friends visit your feeder. Once they get used to you being around, you may be able to catch some photos of them too! I’d love to hear your Hummingbird stories in the comments below ♥