Last Updated on October 4, 2022 by Guillermina
Can you use granulated sugar for hummingbirds? Check out this article, below we bring you a lot of information that could be of great use to you.
There are over 300 species of hummingbirds with new species being discovered every year. Although these smallest birds in the world mainly inhabit North and South America, they can also be found in many different environments from the tropics to deserts below sea level. People mostly recognize them by their colorful feathers and characteristic long beaks.
We know that they feed on flower nectar and various insects, but did you know that you can also prepare a very tasty treat just for them? You can attract them to your own backdoor by serving them simple-to-make sugar nectar. Since it is made from only two ingredients, water and sugar, today we will try to answer the question can you use granulated sugar for hummingbirds? So, let’s get to the point.
Can You Use Granulated Sugar for Hummingbirds?
As you could see for yourself every time you enter the store, you can get dozens of different forms of sugar, from crystals, cubes, etc. Accordingly, you can choose from different types of sugar to make nectar for these lovely creatures.
Furthermore, it is very important to note that different sugars have different benefits as well as drawbacks. It is recommended to always choose white sugar because the brown one can contain molasses or other additives that can make the nectar less attractive, and in some cases even toxic.
So, can you use granulated sugar for hummingbirds? The answer is affirmative. You can find more details in the rest of this article.
What’s The Best Sugar For Hummingbirds?
Compared to all the other types of sugar that can be found on store shelves, white powdered sugar is a much better option than any other. Some of its advantages include being readily available, affordable, and quickly soluble in water. Granulated sugar is really a good choice for making syrup.
Honestly, it is always better to stick with real white sugar and say no to all other substitutes, especially the ubiquitous brown sugar.
Keep in mind that people are quite creative and like to invent different methods to sweeten sugary water for hummingbirds without using sugar. Honey is one of them. However, no matter how popular the option is, it does not mean that it is good because it contributes to the fermentation of the solution faster than it should.
We also got to see how some people put red food coloring in the nectar to attract hummers. Trust us, you want to skip this step because no matter what color the nectar is, these birds will always find it.
Should You Boil Sugar Water For Hummingbirds?
There are different opinions among birdwatchers about whether it is necessary to boil water for the sweet solution. Some consider it completely unnecessary because they use bottled water, given that it is completely safe for human use, therefore it is safe for hummingbirds as well.
Is tap water OK for hummingbirds?
There are birdwatchers that use tap water and believe that it is necessary to neutralize the impurities that could be in the water as well as in sugar. Also, it is very important to emphasize that we encourage boiling because sugar dissolves more easily when it is in hot water.
In spite of that, be aware of the fact that as soon as the feeder is outdoors, contaminants will end up in the water anyway. At best, boiling will keep the DIY nectar solution fresher for a little longer. To be honest, regular cleaning and maintenance of the hummingbird feeder are much more important than boiling itself.
To sum it up, if you plan to make an extra amount of sugary water to keep it in the fridge or have poor-quality tap water, it’s always better to go with the boiling option.
Is Nectar Better Than Sugar Water For Hummingbirds?
It’s no secret that hummingbirds need sugar, over and above that, nectar is an integral part of their daily menu along with insects. That being said, they don’t necessarily need sugar water from the feeder to survive, but they will never refuse it if it is prepared to their taste.
Now we are going to say a few words about chemistry so you can look at this question from a different angle, okay? Flower nectar is a natural sweet solution that mainly consists of electrolytes and amino acids. In short, it is sucrose, as opposed to glucose or fructose.
Furthermore, white granulated sugar is the same as flower nectar – sucrose. It is also free of toxic components and is completely safe for human and hummingbird consumption.
Lately, we have noticed that some species simply prefer DIY nectar from a feeder to nectar from real flowers, because that way they use much less energy than when they go from flower to flower.
The nectar made of water and white granulated sugar is especially welcome to them in periods after long and exhausting migrations when they need a meal that will fill them with a lot of energy.
From a nutritional point of view, as far as their overall well-being is concerned, it would be best for them to consume flower nectar rather than sugar water. However, currently, we don’t have a lot of scientific research that can tell us more about what hummingbirds prefer.
Abstract: Can You Use Granulated Sugar for Hummingbirds?
Hummingbirds will rarely refuse to take a sip of sugar water from your feeder, especially if it is prepared in the ideal ratio. So, can you use granulated sugar for hummingbirds? For all those who have been struggling for a long time because they do not know which sugar to choose, we officially inform you that white granulated sugar is a very good option. In fact, one of the best.
Therefore, feel free to use it the next time you prepare a sweet solution for your hummingbird feeder.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us in the section below.
Read more: Do Hummingbirds Like Nasturtiums? Many Consider It Too Sweet For Their Taste