I just saw our first hummingbird of the season this morning, he was drinking from the waterfall in our backyard koi pond. And although my Hummingbird Food recipe is a little different from my normal people’s food recipes, everyone needs good food, so I have a recipe for everybody, even the Hummingbirds.
My Hummingbird Food recipe is very simple with only two ingredients, four parts water to one part granulated sugar. We should never add red dye, honey or other types of sugar to Hummingbird Food, just plain granulated (caster) sugar and water.
There is one thing that is extremely important for the health of the hummingbirds, and that is the cleanliness of the feeder.
Feeders are out in the hot air and any contaminants, such as dust, ants, bees, pollen and bacteria from the bird’s beak, etc., will cause the sugar in the Hummingbird food recipe to start fermenting. The feeder has the potential to grow all sorts of fungus, mold, and mildew so it is very important to clean it regularly.
The first thing you want to do is choose a feeder that can be easily disassembled and cleaned. The fancy, super ornamental feeders might be the worst because they aren’t easy to clean. Preferably, choose a feeder that can go in the dishwasher. I have two feeders that I rotate, one outside with food in it and one that is being cleaned and dried, ready for the next rotation.
If you are cleaning by hand, I use a diluted bleach water solution for sanitizing and disinfecting. This is the same solution used in restaurant kitchens and is very safe and easy to make. A ratio of 10:1 water to bleach is strong enough to kill any harmful bacteria but once the feeder has been rinsed well and dried it is safe for the hummingbirds.
So, if you have space, plant a garden with plenty of Hummingbird and bee-friendly flowers (no pesticides, please) and put a hummingbird feeder out for them to drink your homemade Hummingbird Food out of. You’re going to love having hummingbirds around your home, and the Bee’s will appreciate you too!!!
Here’s my Hummingbird Food Recipe:
- ½ Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 Pint Boiling Water
-Combine the sugar and boiling water
-Stir until completely dissolved
-Refrigerate until needed, will keep for about one week
-Clean and refill feeder ever 2-3 days
-In hot weather, the food will become rancid quickly, and you may need to change the more frequently, possibly daily
-Keep the feeder in a shady location to keep it cool and refreshing to drink and to make it last longer
Disinfectant Cleaning Solution:
- 1 Teaspoon Regular Unscented Household Bleach (5-6%)
- 1 Gallon Hot Water
-Follow all safety guidelines on the bleach container
-Mix bleach with hot water
-Clean and sanitize the feeder, inside and out
-Allow to 100% air dry