Last Updated on October 7, 2021 by Guillermina
The addition of electrolytes into hummingbird’s nectar-feeding solutions may help with dehydration in hummingbirds. So we will be looking at how to make hummingbird food with electrolytes.
Our sweet little feathered friends love to feed on nectar solutions either from natural flowers or a homemade or commercially made sugar solution. With their high-demanding activities, they are capable of consuming about half of their body mass per day.
It’s true hummingbirds require electrolytes and hummingbirds can simply get them from feeding on a different flower. They can also benefit from the addition of electrolytes to your feeder solution.
So let’s look into how to make hummingbird food with electrolytes.
Hummingbirds require electrolytes in their body. Electrolytes help maintains the body’s pH balance
With so much food or nectar solution that is consumed by hummingbirds for their body mass, excess water consumed is processed rapidly. But when it comes to processing this much water, it comes at a cost.
During their urine excretion, electrolytes are lost. This is a result of a lot of urine production and this can result in a net loss of electrolytes. This can in turn result in dehydration of hummingbirds. Therefore, hummingbirds are prone to suffer from dehydration which is caused by their diet.
Tips On How To Make Hummingbird Food With Electrolytes
How to make hummingbird food with electrolytes is pretty easy. Making a hummingbird nectar solution or recipe comprise of water and sugar in the ratio 4:1 where the water is 4 in part and sugar is 1.
The addition of electrolytes to this nectar recipe involves adding potassium and/or sodium bicarbonate.
As hummingbirds lose electrolytes during excretion, it’s crucial for these electrolytes to be replaced. Hummingbirds need to replace approximately 14% of sodium and potassium lost in their body per day.
So, here are some tips to making homemade hummingbird nectar with electrolytes:
- First, boil 4 parts or cups of water and allow the water to cool. Water is usually boiled to ease sugar from dissolving into the water.
- Next, get 1 cup of white granulated sugar and add it to the water. Then mix properly until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Then in order to incorporate electrolytes into your hummingbird food, simply add potassium bicarbonate or sodium bicarbonate to it.
- Go ahead and fill up the nectar solution into your hummingbird feeder. Store any leftover nectar in the refrigerator for about two weeks.
You can as well purchase a pre-made hummingbird feeder. Some of the pre-made hummingbird feeders may contain at least one of the bicarbonate of electrolyte added to the nectar solution. It may as well contain preservatives such as sodium benzoate and/or potassium sorbate along with citric acid incorporation.
Is Adding Electrolyte To Feeder Necessary?
Although most homemade nectar solution lacks electrolytes, this isn’t something to worry about. Unless hummingbirds are only going to feed on your nectar solution, then the electrolyte addition will be needed.
Most natural flowers containing nectar tend to already have some electrolytes in them. So, either you add electrolytes to your hummingbird’s nectar solution or not, hummingbirds will always get adequate electrolytes when they feed on hundreds of flowers daily.
Therefore, the potential risk of hummingbirds being predisposed to dehydration is drastically reduced.
However, if you still wish to add some electrolytes to your hummingbird food, you can simply follow our tips on how to make one.
Matter of fact, hummingbirds do not only feed on nectar solutions. They also feed on hundreds of small insects daily. They can as well obtain the necessary electrolytes from consuming these small insects.
Also, to further ensure hummingbird gets adequate electrolyte, ensure you plant different flowers that hummingbirds are attracted to.
Hummingbirds mostly feed on nectar solution which contains purely sugar and water. But these vibrant birds require more than just sugar solutions to thrive daily and even reproduce properly.
Although they also obtain various nutrients or vitamins from also consuming different insects, providing these sweet little hummers some extra vitamins won’t be a bad idea.
Providing extra vitamins for these iridescent birds may help boost better egg production and stronger bones. It may also help boost brilliant colors and feathers. So, you can simply add or mix some vitamins to their nectar solutions.
You can always purchase pre-made vitamin drops to add to your hummingbird’s nectar solutions.
Tips To Providing A Healthy Hummingbird Food
Providing these sweet little hummers healthy nectar solution should be your goal so you can always have more of them visit your yard every spring. A stale or unpleasant food will discourage hummingbirds from coming to your feeders or even visiting your yard.
So, here are some tips to ensure you always supply our sweet feathered friend’s healthy nectar solutions:
- Replace food constantly: the first and most important tip is to always change hummingbird’s food every 2 to 3 days. Sugar tends to ferment and taste sour as time goes on. Therefore, always replace the nectar solution from time to time so hummingbirds can always get a fresh supply of these foods.
- Avoid feeder leakage: ensure your feeders aren’t leaking. If you notice any leaks from the feeders, quickly patch it up. Leaking feeders may expose your feeders to more ants or bees invasion. Hummingbirds can still withstand a few ants and bees. But they will most likely abandon any feeder invaded with too many ants or bees.
- Avoid food coloring: we also recommend you avoid the use of food coloring in your feeding solution. Experts have hinted that food coloring such as red dye #40 may pose a health risk to hummingbirds. So, it’s better to avoid using them. if you want more bright colors for attracting hummingbirds, simply get a feeding bottle decorated with red or other bright colors. You can as well tie some red ribbon close to your feeders and also plant some bright colored flowers.
How To Make Hummingbird Food With Electrolytes: Final Say
Electrolytes are important requirements for these adorable little hummers. If you’re wondering how to make electrolytes for hummingbirds, you can simply follow our tips.
Eunice is a passionate lover of hummingbirds and all things nature. She loves to observe and study the tiny birds, learning about their unique behaviors and unique features. She has written a number of articles about hummingbirds and their habitats, which have been featured in a variety of publications. In her spare time, she enjoys visiting hummingbird sanctuaries and going on bird–watching trips in her local area. She also volunteers with local wildlife rescue organizations, helping to rehabilitate injured birds. When she’s not outdoors, Eunice can be found writing articles, creating bird–inspired art, and playing the flute.