Thursday, December 11, 2014

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

I have yet to see a hummingbird in the winter, but it is definitely a possibility. During the summer in North Carolina (and anywhere else east of the Mississippi) the primary hummingbird you will find will be the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  The Roufus Hummingbird, on the other hand,  is a more cold hardy species that can also be found here throughout the winter.  When I found this out, I cleaned up our feeder and started looking for the bottle of nectar.  When it failed to turn up, I found a recipe instead. 


As far as recipes go, it does not get any easier than this:
  • Dissolve ¼ cup of white sugar into 1 cup of boiling water.  
  • Let cool, and add to clean feeder.
The batch size can easily be changed provided you maintain the 1:4 ratio.  Additionally, it is recommended the nectar be rinsed and replaced regularly, as issues of mold and fermentation of nectar may arise.

I looked for other recipes using alternatives to white sugar, in hopes of finding something more natural.  It turns out white sugar is more similar to the nectar they would feed on naturally than every other sweetener I could think of.  Even honey is considered unsafe for hummingbirds.  The nectar that is available for purchase contains red dye to entice the birds to the feeder, but since the feeder itself is red, I don’t see it as a necessary addition. 

Our feeder is up, now we are just waiting on Roufus to show up.  We will definitely let you know if we spot him.

No comments:

Post a Comment