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hummingbird nectar recipe

I’m still deeply ensconced in my secret project, so I haven’t had anything crafty to post about recently – hopefully that will all change soon! In the meantime, I thought I’d share a quick nectar recipe for those of you who are lucky enough to live in an area visited by hummingbirds.

ruby throated hummingbird

Hummingbirds are fascinating little miracles – so tiny and so fast, it’s hard to believe they can exist! They are only 3-4 inches long from beak to tail and they beat their wings around 60 times per second, which produces the humming sound for which they were named. Coming from the UK, I had never even seen a hummingbird until a couple of years ago, and now I can see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds daily (in summer) in my own garden, just by putting up a little nectar feeder for them 🙂

ruby throated hummingbird

You can buy powdered hummingbird nectar, but it’s a bit messy to prepare, and expensive. It’s actually super-simple to make your own nectar for feeding hummingbirds: all you need is sugar and water! Hummingbird feeders are red, so the colour of the feeder will attract the birds and there is no need to add red colour to the nectar.

  • Ingredients: 1 part granulated white sugar and 4 parts tap water. (I use 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups water, which makes a 2-week supply for my hummers.)
  • Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Cover the suacepan and boil the nectar for a couple of minutes (this retards mould growth).
  • Allow to cool to room temperature, then pour into a clean hummingbird feeder.
  • Store leftover nectar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Replace the nectar and clean your feeder twice a week to prevent mould.
  • Enjoy the beauty of the visiting hummingbirds!

ruby throated hummingbird


  1. patty said

    Thanks for the nector recipe.
    Had no hummers then all of a sudden i cant keep them fed i can count as many as 10 only they are so busy and fast. I know there are a lot of them. I have wondered if someone stopped there feeding. Anyway they are awsome little fellers.
    Thanks PATTY

  2. KD said

    I’ve actually had hummers get really close to my face, like they’re saying “fill up the nectar bottle!” I had one actually tap on my slide door window, to let me know the bottle was empty, lol. Isn’t that the most adorable thing? My dilemma is I have the powdered type nectar which I put in a container and didn’t keep the mixing instructions. So now I don’t know how many parts of powder nectar to mix with water. Can anyone who knows, tell me? I’d really appreciate it! Thank you.

  3. Kira said

    Can’t wait for the secret project!!

  4. val said

    Hi June! We have 5 feeders around our house! We had to add 3 this year b/c they are all OVER us. Last week during a light rainstorm, we had 7 of them up under the front porch, feeding at the same time. I don’t know how many we actually have…I think about 12!
    I had one just the other day fly about a foot from my face and hovered there fussing at me. I was too close to the feeder. When I moved back, it went and landed to feed. SO funny! Each time I took a step closer, it would fly down and fuss at me in my face! The kids were loving it!

  5. Deb said

    Love it! I watched a hummingbird actually resting on one of my rhodies yesterday–sat there nearly 2 minutes! But I’ve never had any luck making my own nectar! So I resort to the powdered nectar from the store. We have Anna’s Hummingbirds here…

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