How to Make Nectar for Hummingbird Feeders


Making your own hummingbird nectar allows you to feed the hummingbirds while avoiding the dyes and additives found in most commercial nectar. The best, and easiest, recipe for hummingbird nectar is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. You must boil the water to bring the sugar into a solution. (Dissolve it completely.) Add a little extra water, approximately 1/4 cup, because you will lose some water to evaporation while boiling.

Step 1

Place 4 and 1/4 cups of water into a pot, and bring it to a boil.

Step 2

Turn off the heat, and add 1 cup of sugar. Leave the water/sugar mix on the hot burner.

Step 3

Stir the mixture until the sugar completely dissolves.

Step 4

Remove the pot from the burner, and allow the water/sugar mix to completely cool.

Step 5

Store unused water/sugar mix in a container (plastic or glass), and place in the refrigerator. Seal the container tightly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never substitute artificial sweeteners as they do not provide calories for energy. Never substitute honey as it will grow a fungus that causes fatal illness in hummingbirds and honey attracts bees. Do not add food coloring or dye to the sugar/water nectar as they cause sickness in hummingbirds.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring cup
  • Water
  • Pot
  • Stove top
  • White cane sugar
  • Spoon
  • Plastic or glass storage container with tightly fitting lid


  • The Backyard Bird Company; Feeding Hummingbirds
  • The Best Nest: Making Hummingbird and Oriole Nectar
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