how to Feed Hummingbirds

Answering questions about how to feed hummingbirds.

Hummingbirds have voracious appetites and they are always looking for more hummingbird food.

How to feed hummingbirdsHummingbirds Feeding

What do hummingbirds eat in nature?

What is the hummingbird feeder recipe?

Must I put red food coloring into their food?

What about pests and hummers fighting at the feeder?

When should I put out their feeders?



Feeding hummingbirds is fun and easy!

Hummingbirds are high-energy birds and they burn a lot of calories every day.

They eat approximately twice their weight in food every day.


what do hummingbirds eat?

Hummingbirds' natural food is flower nectar.

Provide some of the Hummingbird's Favorite Flowers.

They supplement their diet with small insects and spiders for protein and other nutrients.

Some Types of Hummingbirds eat other things.

The Ruby-throated and Rufous Hummingbirds have been seen eating tree sap from the holes sapsuckers have made.

The sugar content of the hummingbirds favorite flowers is approximately twenty-five percent.

This gives us the proportions for our hummingbird feeder recipe.

How to feed hummingbirdsHummingbirds Feeding
  • What do hummingbirds eat in nature?
  • What is the hummingbird feeder recipe?
  • Must I put red food coloring into their food?
  • What about pests and fighting at the feeder?
  • When should I put out their feeders?



Feeding hummingbirds is fun and easy!

Hummingbirds are high-energy birds and they burn a lot of calories every day.

They eat approximately twice their weight in food every day.

what do hummingbirds eat?

Hummingbirds' natural food is flower nectar.

Provide some of the Hummingbird's Favorite Flowers.

They supplement their diet with small insects and spiders for protein and other nutrients.

Some Types of Hummingbirds eat other things.

The Ruby-throated and Rufous Hummingbirds have been seen eating tree sap from the holes sapsuckers have made.

The sugar content of the hummingbirds favorite flowers is approximately twenty-five percent.

This gives us the proportions for our hummingbird feeder recipe.

hummingbird feeder recipe

Four cups water + one cup sugar makes the twenty-five percent solution they prefer. Use white sugar, do not use brown sugar.

Boil the 4:1 solution for a couple of minutes to kill anything that may cause the food to spoil.

Cool the hummingbird feeder food before placing it in a clean feeder. Extra hummingbird food may be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

It is not necessary to use red coloring when feeding hummingbirds. There is plenty of red on their feeders to attract them.

Homemade Hummingbird NectarNo Red Food Coloring
Homemade Hummingbird NectarNo Red Food Coloring

Four cups water + one cup sugar makes the twenty-five percent solution they prefer. Use white sugar, do not use brown sugar.

Boil the 4:1 solution for a couple of minutes to kill anything that may cause the food to spoil.

Cool the hummingbird feeder food before placing it in a clean feeder. Extra hummingbird food may be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

It is not necessary to use red coloring when feeding hummingbirds. There is plenty of red on their feeders to attract them.

Absolutely do not use honey in your hummingbird feeder recipe.

Honey can support a fungus that causes the hummingbird's tongues to swell and can cause their death. We don't want to harm God's gift of hummingbirds.

By the same token do not use artificial sweeteners. They do not provide any nutrients. 

how to feed hummingbirds

Feeding hummingbirds is as easy as one - two - three.

  1. Clean the feeder thoroughly before putting fresh food in it. Use a bottle-brush and/or a pipe cleaner to get into the small areas of the feeder. Hot water with a little vinegar or bleach will kill any bacteria or fungus.
    R
    inse thoroughly.

  2. Put fresh hummingbird food recipe in it once a week and more often during very hot weather.

  3. Hang the feeder in the shade between 3-7 feet off of the ground.

What do hummingbirds eat?Commercial Hummingbird Food
What do hummingbirds eat?Commercial Hummingbird Food

Feeding hummingbirds is as easy as one - two - three.

  1. Clean the feeder thoroughly before putting fresh food in it. Use a bottle-brush and/or a pipe cleaner to get into the small areas of the feeder. Hot water with a little vinegar or bleach will kill any bacteria or fungus.
    R
    inse thoroughly.

  2. Put fresh hummingbird food recipe in it once a week and more often during very hot weather.

  3. Hang the feeder in the shade between 3-7 feet off of the ground.

hummingbirds fighting at the feeder

Not all hummingbirds are as considerate as those in the photo.

Hummingbirds are territorial and there may chase other hummers away to keep them from eating out of ‘their’ feeder.

So when you feed hummingbirds hang another feeder in a different spot where they can’t see it.

They can defend only one feeder at a time.

More interesting Facts About Hummingbirds.



Hummingbird Nectar FeedersLarge Hummingbird Feeder
Hummingbird Nectar FeedersLarge Hummingbird Feeder

Not all hummingbirds are as considerate as those in the photo.

Hummingbirds are territorial and there may chase other hummers away to keep them from eating out of ‘their’ feeder.

So when you feed hummingbirds hang another feeder in a different spot where they can’t see it.

They can defend only one feeder at a time.

More interesting Facts About Hummingbirds.

feeders with perches

Feeders with perches encourage the hummingbirds to sit and stay at the feeder longer.

Hummingbirds spend about 80 percent of their time perching.

I like to use feeders with perches, so the hummingbird can sit down while they are eating.

Hummingbird Painting of an Anna's sitting on a perch.

Hummingbird Paintings by Carol MayPainting by Carol May
Hummingbird Paintings by Carol MayPainting by Carol May

Feeders with perches encourage the hummingbirds to sit and stay at the feeder longer.

Hummingbirds spend about 80 percent of their time perching.

I like to use feeders with perches, so the hummingbird can sit down while they are eating.

Hummingbird Painting of an Anna's sitting on a perch.

pests in the feeder

Having problems with insects or bees eating the food?

You can get a feeder with bee guards.

Or use a flying saucer shaped feeder. When you feed hummingbirds only fill the feeder partially full so the insects can’t reach the food.

If ants are crawling down the wire that holds the feeder and getting in the hummingbird food, you can buy or make a small water container to hang above the feeder and hook the feeder wire to it.

The ants won’t go through the water.

Keep pest out of hummingbird foodSaucer Hummingbird Feeder
Keep pest out of hummingbird foodSaucer Hummingbird Feeder

Having problems with insects or bees eating the food?

You can get a feeder with bee guards.

Or use a flying saucer shaped feeder. When you feed hummingbirds only fill the feeder partially full so the insects can’t reach the food.

If ants are crawling down the wire that holds the feeder and getting in the hummingbird food, you can buy or make a small water container to hang above the feeder and hook the feeder wire to it.

The ants won’t go through the water.

when to feed hummingbirds

Put the feeders up and start to feed hummingbirds in the spring, usually April.

Farther north, start a bit later.

Don't stop feeding the hummingbirds until you see no more hummingbirds for at least a couple of weeks. Any late migrating hummingbirds will be able to find food on their trip south.

This normally would be by the end of September.

feeding hummingbirds in winter

Some parts of California, Arizona and Texas have hummingbirds all year.

So feeding hummingbirds takes a commitment to maintain the hummingbird's food all year.

Where my California sister lives she gets lots of hummingbirds at her house. One winter the snow caught a bunch of hummers at her house. They stayed all winter. She sent me a photo of her feeding hummingbirds in the snow.

Feeding Hummingbirds in the winterFeeding Hummers In The Snow

She would bring the feeders in after dark to keep the hummingbird food from freezing. And put them out again before daylight. Sometimes on cold days she would have to replace a frozen feeder with thawed hummingbird food from the house.

When you feed hummingbirds, also plant some flowers for them. They are not only pretty, but butterflies eat from many of the same flowers hummingbirds like.

Enjoy God's gift of hummingbirds!




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