Last Updated on November 18, 2021 by Guillermina
Hummingbird nectar solution can be obtained either from making homemade nectar or simply buying this nectar solution from the store. But when it comes to store-bought nectar, do you think store-made nectar is safe for the hummingbird?
Once we see the sign of spring beginning to approach, hummingbird watchers know it’s time for us to clean and restock our feeders in preparation for the return of our favorite feathered friends.
Hummingbirds are sugar-centric birds that love to feed on nectar solutions. Providing them with this nectar is a good way of attracting them to our yard.
But when it comes to providing hummingbirds with nectar solutions, which do you prefer to go for? Do you make homemade nectar or do you buy them from the store? Ever wondered if store-bought hummingbird nectar is safe for hummingbirds? Let’s look into this.
Hummingbird Nectar Solution
Hummingbird nectar solution mainly consists of sugar and water. These birds can easily obtain the nectar solution from flowers. But we can as well provide them with extra food sources by preparing nectar solutions or by simply buying commercial nectar solutions.
Is Store Bought Hummingbird Nectar Safe: Homemade Or Store Bought, Which To Go For?
Because it is so easy to make nectar, some prefer making homemade making homemade nectar. However, it may require a bit of your time as you will need to mix the solution and always make new batches as you run of them.
Store-bought hummingbird nectar on the other hand doesn’t require much effort. All you need do is to pour out the ready-made nectar into the feeder, shake it, and dilute it if needed.
But there are some store-bought nectar that contain harmful content such as food coloring. However, some reliable store-bought hummingbird nectar may even contain vitamins that are found in natural flowers and may be unachievable to add them in our homemade formula.
But which is better between making homemade nectar or store-bought hummingbird nectar solution? The answer to this question will really depend on your preference.
There are pros and cons to both homemade and obtaining store-made hummingbird nectar. All you need do is to choose whichever one that suits you.
Both are fine to go for. But when you are buying nectar from the store, ensure you buy the ones that are purely made of sugar and water. No extra addition.
We recommend avoiding any commercial hummingbird feeder made with red dye because experts have suggested red dye in hummingbirds may be detrimental to this bird.
However, looking at this from another angle, why not just make your own hummingbird feeder as they are really easy to make.
You can even save more from making your own hummingbird feeder rather than going for a store-bought feeder. You will also have a good clue of the total content of what you are mixing.
Is Red Food Coloring In Feeders Bad For Hummingbirds?
It’s no news that hummingbirds are enticed by the bright colors especially red. For this reason, most store-bought nectar solutions are made with red food coloring or red dye.
However, experts have advised we steer clear of red dye in our hummingbird food. Red dye has been allegedly affiliated with weak eggshells, beak and liver tumors, and liver and kidney complications.
Therefore, we strongly advise you to stay off feeders made with red food coloring or red dye.
If you wish to attract hummingbirds with your feeders why not just go for feeder bottles that are decorated with red? You can as well plant colorful flowers that have been known to attract hummingbirds in your garden.
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Why You Should Consider Making Your Own Hummingbird Food
Even though preparing your own hummingbird feeder may feel like an extra chore, there are still some good reasons to consider making your own nectar. But don’t fret; making a hummingbird solution is very easy and straightforward.
Most bird enthusiast prefers to make their own nectar solution because the desire is to supply our sweet feathered friend’s only purest mixture. What’s more pure than preparing your own feeder as you know what exactly goes into the nectar solution.
How To Make The Best Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Food
Preparing hummingbird’s homemade nectar food only requires two simple ingredients. They are water and granulated sugar. The ratio of water to sugar must be 4 to 1.
So, to prepare the nectar solution, boil 4 parts of water and remove from heat. Then add 1 part of sugar and stir properly to dissolve the entire sugar. Allow the mixture to cool down and you can pour the mixture into the hummingbird feeder. It’s as simple as that!
Do Hummingbirds Prefer Homemade Nectar?
Hummingbirds will feed on any type of nectar solution so far they are in the right proportion and they don’t taste bad. Either we supply our iridescent hummers with store-bought nectar or homemade nectar, these birds will enjoy drinking from them.
Just ensure you keep your feeder clean and refill or replace them at appropriate times. Avoid letting the nectar solution ferment as this will be unpleasing to hummingbirds.
Don’t allow mold build-up in your feeders and frequently clean and refill feeders when the temperature is very hot. High temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit will make the nectar solution ferment and turn bad quickly making the nectar solution displeasing to the hummingbird.
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Final Say Regarding If Store-Bought Hummingbird Nectar Is Safe
Both store-bought hummingbird nectar and homemade nectar solutions have their pros and cons.
Regarding if store-bought hummingbird nectar solution is safe for our feathered friend will really depend on the type we are looking at. Some pre-mixed commercial nectar is made of artificial ingredients such as red dye that may be harmful to our sweet hummers. We recommend you don’t go for these types.
The good news is that there are other reliable store-bought hummingbird nectar that is safe. They aren’t made of artificial coloring and the good ones contain extra vitamins found in natural flowers that may be unachievable in a homemade recipe.
All in all, the choice of going for either store-bought or homemade nectar really boils down to your preference, convenience, and capabilities as a birder.
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.