A hummingbird rests on the perch of a feeder.
image by Chris Martin: sxc.hu
Known for their speed and hovering capabilities, there are more than 339 species of hummingbirds throughout the Western hemisphere. Hummingbirds require sugar to give them the energy they need for their high metabolism and to migrate in the fall. Most of this comes from flower nectar, but some may come from ready-made feeders and hummingbird juice. Hanging a hummingbird feeder is an opportunity to bring these interesting birds into your garden. Save money and give the birds an additive-free alternative to nectar by making your own juice.
Mix 1 part table sugar to 4 parts water in a large non-aluminum pot. Mix until sugar is dissolved completely in the water.
Cover and cook on the stove top on medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil for one to two minutes to sterilize.
Turn off the heat and allow the juice to cool to room temperature.
Pour the juice into humming bird feeders. Fill containers 1/3 full in the spring and hot months when hummers feed less. Fill feeders completely in the late summer and early fall when hummers empty the feeder within three days.
Store unused juice in the refrigerator up to two weeks. Discard if it becomes cloudy or moldy.