You have to admit hummingbirds are more than cute; they truly are extraordinary! It is easy to become mesmerized by these majestic little creatures as they buzz into the yard with their resplendent feathers, astounding speed, stupendous maneuvers, and fantastic feeding skills.
Hummingbirds burn some serious calories. They expend an enormous amount of energy fluttering their wings up to 80 times per second. Their tiny hearts beat at 1,260-beats per minute, and with high body temperatures and heavy breathing, they eat a lot… and very often.
Several species of hummingbirds grace North America with their presence every summer. These acrobats are the only bird that can fly backward or hover in place thanks to their unique “figure-eight” motion wing-flapping skills. If you don’t want to miss the action, you’ll need a sweet nectar to draw them into your yard.
To provide those sweet-tooth, sucrose-craving birds with enough nutrients to flourish, you only need a few simple ingredients to fill a feeder. Since Hummingbirds feed mainly on nectar, it’s easy to recreate a homemade nature-like cocktail that they can’t get enough of.
Here’s how to make hummingbird crack!
Hummingbird Nectar Recipe:
- In a pot, add four parts water to one part refined white sugar.
- Heat the mixture on low, stirring until the sugar dissolves for approximately 2 minutes.
- Let the liquid cool completely before pouring that sweet juice into the feeders as to not damage the container or the hummingbird.
What To Keep In Mind When Making Hummingbird Food:
- Only use plain white table sugar when making your nectar. The dangers of alternative sweeteners like honey, molasses, raw sugars and brown sugar are that they contain levels of iron, causing mold to grow faster, which can quickly ferment and is deadly for a hummingbird to consume.
- Shy away from the store-bought red dye mixtures, as they can contain chemicals that are harmful to hummingbirds. Since most feeders are bright and colorful, coloring the juice adds nothing but a visual effect — it’s simply not necessary.
- Feeders need to be cleaned weekly. However, during the warmer months, every 3 to 5 days is better to avoid mold. Rinse feeders well and never leave any soapy residue behind or it could contaminate the juice and harm the birds.
Now… just sit back and enjoy the show as the birds buzz into your yard for hummingbird happy hour. Cheers!