7 Things You Should Know About Hummingbird Nectar

Attract hummingbirds in your yard, or increase their traffic, with these expert sugar water tips.

Attract more hummingbirds to your yard than ever with these seven things you should know about hummingbird nectar.

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The Recipe

If you haven’t memorized the recipe yet, now is the time. Combine four parts hot water to one part sugar. Mix it up until it’s completely dissolved. Once it cools to room temperature, it’s ready. Check out these amazing hummingbird feeders for your backyard.

To Boil or Not to Boil

Using really hot water usually suffices. However, if you plan on making extra sugar water to store in the fridge or your water quality is so-so, then it’s best to boil.

Honey Do or Honey Don’t?

Some people come up with creative ways to sweeten their sugar water without sugar, and the most common stand-in is honey. Don’t do it — honey can make your sugar-water mixture ferment more quickly. Skip the honey, stick to sugar. And beware the ants that may infest your feeder! Follow these handy hints to ant-proof your hummingbird feeder effectively.

The Red Dye Debate

Though every bird authority around the country seems to agree you don’t need red dye, people still add it to their sugar water. You also see companies offering pre-made sugar water that is red. Here’s the thing: You don’t need red water to attract hummingbirds. It might even be bad for the birds; scientists are still figuring this one out. Either way, it’s not worth the risk. Time to break this habit once and for all.

Keep Things Clean

Sugar water eventually goes bad, unless you’re lucky enough to have a busy feeder that the hummingbirds quickly empty. Get in the habit of changing it every few days, or sooner if it’s really hot out. And don’t forget to clean your feeders occasionally. Mold can collect, so make sure you’re offering hummingbirds clean, safe water. Did you know that hummingbirds love this type of birdbath?

Sugar Substitutes?

It’s always best to stick with real sugar in your mix. Say no to sugar substitutes.

Add a Feeder

Add another sugar-water feeder in late summer when migration increases. This will help keep feisty males from fighting for space. Plus, check out these 13 jaw-dropping facts about hummingbirds.

Did you know that this is what a hummingbird home looks like?