Homemade Hummingbird Food

2 Materials
$3
30 Minutes
Easy

Garden season is in full swing when the hummingbirds make their way to our garden zinnias and hummingbird feeder. But how can you avoid the red-tinted hummingbird food at the store and instead easily make homemade hummingbird food? It’s easy and only takes 2 ingredients. No red food dye!

Gather Materials

Other than saving gas by not driving to the store, making hummingbird food at home is a great way to save money and not put another plastic jug into the trash. And you won’t have to be concerned about what exactly is being used to make that store bought hummingbird food red.


For this homemade hummingbird food, here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • pot or kettle
  • hummingbird feeder
  • funnel
  • mason jar or other container for storing extra


  1. To begin, decide whether you'll use the microwave, kettle, or stovetop method.
  2. For microwave, use a glass measuring cup and heat four cups of water for 2-3 minutes in the microwave.
  3. For the stovetop method, heat 4 cups of water in a small sauce pot until boiling or close to it.
  4. For the kettle method, fill kettle with water and set to boil.

Add Sugar

No matter how to choose to heat your water, you'll then add the sugar. For the microwave and stovetop methods, add one cup of sugar to the heated water. For the kettle method, add one cup of sugar to a bowl and add four cups of the hot water.


Stir each sugar/water mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved.


Let cool.

Store Extra

Once cooled, this homemade hummingbird food can easily be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. I keep mine in a mason jar with these great  reusable plastic lids. It can stay in the fridge for several weeks until you need to top off your hummingbird feeders.


Fill Container

It's now time to fill your container and hang it outside for the hummingbirds to enjoy! It has been suggested to me to not completely fill hummingbird feeders, instead to only fill them halfway. This keeps the food fresh, (it can sour over time) and that means less work for you.


See my full post for a list of hummingbird feeders as well as frequently asked questions all about feeding hummingbirds!

Resources for this project:

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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3 comments
  • Tammy
    on Jun 20, 2020

    I also got the ice cube trays that are long and skinny, I freeze my left over mixture and on really hot days I add it to their feeders. They enjoy a cool drink on a hot day!

  • Skilled Thrifty Creatives
    on Jun 20, 2020

    Glad you shared the homemade recipe, you might want to add that it's also advised to change your water weekly to avoid bacteria build up in warm weather. This is why it's suggested to only half fill the feeder....less wastage and they'll enjoy fresh sugar water. It's recommended to sterilize your feeder with boiling water before refilling. Cheers...happy birdwatching!

    • Donald
      on Jun 30, 2020

      Wow, I did not know this.

      Thanks for the tips.

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