I created this Hummingbird Nectar Recipe and Conversion Chart, ’cause, out here in the hinterlands of New Mexico you have to get your entertainment where you can. I like to have my morning tea on the front porch and watch the hummingbirds, little fighter pilots of the Audubon world. Their speed and agility is unmatched anywhere in nature in my humble opinion. We have two feeders set up about 10 feet off the porch. There are a couple of trees that allow the birds to check out the situation before they come down to feed, so it’s a great set up. Hummingbirds eat 1.5 to 3 times their body weight a day. If they spent less time running each other off and just shared the feeder, they might not have to eat so much. They wouldn’t be nearly as interesting to watch though. Aerial battles and all, it is a great way to start the day.
So, as I was attempting mathematical gymnastics in my head to figure out how to make just enough hummingbird food to fill my two feeders, it occurred to me that a conversion chart might come in handy. I don’t always make the same amount of hummingbird nectar because at different times, I get a different number of birds. Also, in the heat of the summer, the nectar will go bad fairly quickly so when it’s really hot I only fill my feeders half full.
The standard recipe is a 4 to 1 ratio of water to sugar. I created a chart that lives on the side of the refrigerator to make my life a bit less mentally taxing. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing out here in the country, I probably need to make every effort to keep sharp you know, but I thought some of you might find it handy. This pdf file will print on a letter size sheet of paper. If you like, you can cut it down so it’s half that size. Real estate on the fridge being what it is.
The recipe itself is pretty straight forward. Make sure to bring the water to a full boil. This ensures there will be no bacteria. Dissolve the sugar completely, and don’t be tempted to add color. Any dyes are not good for the little rascals.
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Homemade Hummingbird Nectar
- 4 parts water
- 1 part sugar regular, white granulated
Bring water to a full boil
Add in sugar and stir until fully dissolved
Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before filling feeders