Everything You Need To Know About Homemade Sugar Water For Hummingbirds

Last Updated on September 29, 2022 by Guillermina

Take a look at this article and find out more about homemade sugar water for hummingbirds.

The daily menu of the smallest bird in the world contains much more quantity and variety than you think! Most birders will agree on one thing, hummingbirds do indeed have a symbiotic relationship with certain wildflowers. Even their tiny bodies are completely adapted to consuming nectar from flowers, which is actually extremely difficult for most other pollinators to obtain. This act fills the birds and pollinates the plants. A beautiful natural phenomenon, isn’t it?

Since not everyone’s garden is equally abundant with flowers, some people turn to make homemade sugar water for hummingbirds. Setting up feeders that are abundant with sweet liquid will not only help hummingbirds get a boost of energy but will also entice them to choose your yard over your neighbor’s.

That’s exactly why you should look at this article because here you can find the most delicious hummingbird sugar water recipe ever.

How Much & How Often Should These Birds Eat?

You know how they say you’ll never find a true athlete who doesn’t exercise? The same applies to hummingbirds, they are never not eating! Since they constantly burn energy, these amazing flying creatures can eat up to three times their body weight in just one day.

To gather enough energy, hummingbirds feed on a variety of insects, including ants, aphids, fruit flies, mosquitoes, weevils, bugs, mites, and mosquitoes, as well as nectar from flowers and feeders.

If the average person tried to follow their eating pace, they would have to eat an average of 300 hamburgers a day just to get through the day without gaining weight. Doesn’t it sound a little strange and unbelievable? Either way, it’s completely true.

Over and above that, they need to eat every 10 to 15 minutes because otherwise, they risk starving to death. They visit about 2,000 flowers a day, and in the meantime try to find some insects to nibble on, this is precisely because they still need to get their daily dose of protein, not just carbohydrates.

Stay with us and learn more about homemade sugar water for hummingbirds.

 how much sugar water for hummingbirds

Homemade Sugar Water For Hummingbirds Recipe

This recipe, which we have always found, is very easy to make and requires only a few ingredients, most of which you already have in your pantry. Let’s go into detail!


  • White granulated sugar
  • Clean water (bottled, boiled, or tap)

Instructions on How to Make Sugar Water for Hummingbirds

The best and safest way to feed your little visitors is to prepare nectar from a simple sugar water solution. The most important thing is to use the right proportions to attract these birds and give them an easily digestible meal.

Step #1: Clean & Patch

First, clean the feeder itself, and patch up the leaking areas. A clean feeder greatly extends the shelf life of the sweet solution.

Step #2: Prepare

As for the actual preparation of sugar water for hummingbirds, it is best to use table sugar and clean water. You can even use tap water, it doesn’t have to be bottled or boiled as it all depends on your water quality.

We generally always choose to boil the water ‘cause in that way we almost completely eliminate contaminants that reduce the quality of the nectar and pose a danger to these delicate creatures.

 how to make sugar water for hummingbirds

Step #3: Mix

Combine plain white granulated table sugar with water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. The process of slow fermentation and sugar dissolution usually takes up to about 2 minutes, depending on the amount of water and sugar you have added.

Step #4: Serve & Store the Rest

Once the sugar has completely dissolved, set it aside to allow the sugar solution to reach room temperature. It is not very wise to put extra hot nectar in the feeders, besides you can melt it if it is plastic, and you can seriously injure the bird.

How Much Sugar Water For Hummingbirds?

When it comes to hummingbird food recipe sugar water ratio, it would be best to use a ratio of 1 part white, granulated sugar to 4 parts water. Wondering why? Simply because that ratio best matches the concentrations found in the nectar of the wildflowers they prefer the most.

It is very important to emphasize that it is never possible to completely mimic the exact concentrations because in reality sugar and water molecules have different atomic weights and therefore you cannot simply divide to get your percentage by volume alone.

For example, if you use our recommended ratio of 1:4, a refractometer used to measure the sugar content of flower nectar would measure this solution as 18.6% sugar. Since these birds prefer a natural sugar concentration of 20%, you simply can’t go wrong with a 1:4 ratio.

Furthermore, if you search online, you can find many recipes with varying sugar-to-water proportions, starting with a 3-to-1 and going all the way up to a 5-to-1 ratio. It is true that other ratios can work, but not in the long run.

What’s the problem? It is widely believed that higher sugar concentrations can cause liver and kidney damage to hummingbirds. Also, are you familiar with the fact that hummingbirds are more likely to develop tongue yeast infections the more often they feed on high-sugar nectar? This is primarily a consequence of fermentation, rapid development and spread of fungi and/or bacteria, as well as insufficient cleaning of the feeder.

To Wrap Up

Hummingbirds are beautiful little creatures that simply take your breath away. In addition to attracting attention because they look like jewels in the sun, they possess incredible acrobatic abilities that other birds can only dream of.

They mainly feed on insects and the sweet juice found in nectar-rich flowers. In addition, they like to spend time at specialized feeders filled with DIY sweet liquids.

Now that you are familiar with homemade sugar water for hummingbirds, we hope that you will successfully translate all the acquired knowledge into reality.

If you have any questions, please, let us know in the comment section below.

Related article: Hanging Basket Flowers For Hummingbirds / Top 7 Beautiful Nectar-Rich Flowers That Are Worth Your Time & Effort

 hummingbird food recipe sugar water ratio