How do u make hummingbird mix for the feeder

Can u help me make food for my hummingbird feeder

My feeder
  51 answers
  • Mary Wilson Mary Wilson on Jun 24, 2016
    Mix 3 cups water and 1 cup sugar. Bring to boil, cool and pour into the feeder. Don't put any food coloring in the sugar water.
  • Tra1962428 Tra1962428 on Jun 25, 2016
    A good ratio is 4 cups water to 1 cup sugar. Boil and stir. Bring to room temp. Refrigerate leftover till next use, but bring to room temperature before filling. Always wash out feeders thoroughly with just hot water before replenishing. Enjoy these beautiful little creatures.
  • Diane Rich Diane Rich on Jun 25, 2016
    The first recipe is not correct. It is 1/4 Cup sugar to 1 Cup tap water. Boil water, then add sugar and stir till dissolved. Cool before using. You can go to the Domino sugar site and search for their hummingbird recipe. So, I only make 3 cups at a time which is 3 cups water with 3/4 Cups sugar. Hope this helps and enjoy watching these little loves!
  • Diane Rich Diane Rich on Jun 25, 2016 Some useful info there.
  • Lynnda Lynnda on Jun 25, 2016
    We use 4 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar,boil water to dissolve sugar and cool. This is the same as the above recipe we just make more to fill more feeders..
    • See 2 previous
    • Linda Parrish Linda Parrish on Jun 25, 2016
      Red food coloring can be harmful, even deadly and experts warn against using it to attract hummibirds. NEVER use red food coloring in homemade nectar!!
  • Barbara Goodwin Barbara Goodwin on Jun 25, 2016
    1/4 cup white sugar to 1 cup boiling water dissolved. Do. It use coloring it's bad for them
  • Doje Doje on Jun 25, 2016
    Audubon society recommends 4:1 ratio......4 cups water 1 cup sugar, bring to gentle boil with occasional before putting in feeder....refrigerate unused portion
  • Melanie Melanie on Jun 25, 2016
    I put 1 cup of sugar in a 4 cup measuring cup. Put in some hot tap water and stir until dissolved. Add more water to the 4 cups and stir more. Birds don't care if they get more sugar!
  • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Jun 25, 2016
    If you live in a hot area, dump the sugar water mix everyday, clean out the feeder, and refill the next day. Bacteria can grow and kill the birds if you just leave it. Don't use red food dye, it's bad for them and the red on the feeders themselves is enough to attract them.
  • Che7602122 Che7602122 on Jun 25, 2016
    Four parts water to one part sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil so the sugar dissolves. Cool before adding to the feeder. Do NOT add food coloring, as it's not good for the birds.
  • Stephen Spence Stephen Spence on Jun 25, 2016
    These are all correct and you can store unused solution in a closed container in the fridge for several days.
  • Abita Abita on Jun 25, 2016
    Our preferred method is 1 cup sugar to 3.5 cups water. However, start with the sugar and 1.5 cups of water, bring to a boil stirring occasionally to dissolve all sugar crystals, allow too cool a bit and then add the other two cups of water - cold water - to fast cool it down. Don't add red food coloring as some dyes have ingredients very harmful to the little hummingbird livers. The color of the feeder is enough attraction; especially if you have real live blooms near. Any unused syrup is stored in the refrigerator, tightly closed up.
  • Kathleen Bingham Steube Kathleen Bingham Steube on Jun 25, 2016
    Please, for the health of hummingbirds, ONLY follow this information! Thanks!!
    comment photo
    • Eva Eva on Jun 25, 2016
      I agree 100% and I know about changing the nectar every day here in AZ!
  • Montoya Montoya on Jun 25, 2016
    4-parts water to 1-part water. This not only worked for me in Corpus Christi, but for the past 6-years in Pueblo, CO.
  • Nuclear Nana Nuclear Nana on Jun 25, 2016
    I use water from my Keurig coffee maker to melt the sugar. Just stir until all crystals are dissolved. My birds prefer 2/3 cup sugar to 2 cups water. My feeder holds 16 ounces so this amount fills it. We are careful to cool solution on the counter before pouring into the feeder.
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Jun 25, 2016
    To you HAVE to boil the water? I use 1/4 sugar to one cup water...just water from the tap...I stir every so often,the sugar dissolves...I used to put it in the microwave to heat the water,but one day in a hurry,just used cold tap water,and it dissolved after a few
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    • C C on Jun 25, 2016
      Boiling prevents bacteria from forming, which can kill them, so it's absolutely necessary. Boil 1-2 minutes.
  • C C on Jun 25, 2016
    4 cups water, 1 cup sugar. Boil and stir for 2 minutes to completely dissolve sugar but mostly to prevent bacteria from forming (which can kill them). Don't boil longer or it will turn to syrup! Let cool, fill feeder. NO RED DYE. Dye is harmful. They come to feeder without it. I have used this formula for years in California and get lots of Hummers fighting over the feeder.
  • David Dresser David Dresser on Jun 25, 2016
    Public water supplies have chemicals; some places more than others. Those things are bad for the birds. Boiling the water eliminates the problem. You do not have to have hot water to dissolve sugar. 1/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water, NO COLORANT! Ambient temperature best unless it is pretty cold, then slightly warm.
    • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Jul 06, 2016
      While boiling water may remove some chemicals, like chlorine, it concentrates others, like fluoride.
  • Linda Parrish Linda Parrish on Jun 25, 2016
    I heat four cups of water in the microwave for four minutes. After it is heated, I remove water from microwave and immediately add one cup of white granulated sugar. Stir the sugar water mixture until all the sugar is dissolved and the water is crystal clear again. Let cool, and than fill and hang your feeders. Never add red food coloring!. Enjoy the little hummers that will visit. Mine visit daily and return every year. It may take a while for the hummers to find your feeders, so be patient. Here in the south, the hummers arrive mid April and leave in mid September. Be sure to remove all feeder at the end of summer so the birds can migrate to Argentina on time. Hummers that do not leave or leave late could end up dead, as they can not handle cold winters. Be sure to clean feeders and change sugar water weekly. Left over sugar mixture can be stored in fridge.
  • Donna Krause Donna Krause on Jun 25, 2016
    I always put 4 c of water in microwave to boil....1 c sugar dissolves very quickly when added to boiling water. Allow to cool, I Colored water is NOT needed. Hummers are attracted to the red in the feeder. If you don't have enough hummers to finish this much, you can always just make 2 c water, 1/2 c sugar mixture.
    • Sue Sue on Jun 25, 2016
      I live in Arizona, too, and I do it the same way. I agree with Donna - the clear sugar water is fine, do not color the water - the food coloring is not good for the hummers.
  • Roylan Roylan on Jun 25, 2016
    Well I use 3 cups of water to / cup of sugar. I always boil my water, stir in the sugar, till it's clear, then let it cool to room temp. I have 2 feeders that hold four cups each. And my birds drink almost exactly 4 cups per day. I ALWAYS wash the feeder with soap and hot water between each feeding. I use wide mouth feeder so I can wash them good. I also scrub the flowers with a tiny brush each time as well.
  • Linda Linda on Jun 25, 2016
    I mix mine the same way if I run out of what I got at the store. Thanks for sharing that on the food coloring. I always put it in mine. I figure if people can eat it, then the birds could to. I will leave it out from now on.
    • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Jul 06, 2016
      It's like people and chocolate and grapes, we love them but they're bad for dogs.
  • Bie7523315 Bie7523315 on Jun 25, 2016
    I use a 3/1 mixture also. (1cup water and 1/3 c sugar. No red coloring) My feeders are copper wire creations using blood collection tubes as the feeders. The top has a tiny hole drilled in it and the hummers tongue can reach the bottom. Mine love the one I have that has a perch for them to sit on. Got them from a couple in Texas. I make a batch and fill up bunches of the tubes all at once and keep the extra in the fridge. I live in NW Louisiana so it's hot. They seem to enjoy the cold treat.
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jun 25, 2016
    I, also live in Az...and make up 2 cups each time, but only pour in 1 cup at a time. Keeping the extra cup in the fridge, birdies never run out that way.
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    • Af67452829 Af67452829 on Jun 25, 2016
      I also use filtered water because of the hard water in the area!
  • Kathy Stoflet Sinotte Kathy Stoflet Sinotte on Jun 25, 2016
    I have a new question , can't get birds to come to feeders, do they like cover of trees, or wide open feeders ?
    • Roylan Roylan on Jun 26, 2016
      I think they like open feeders. At least they live mine in the wide open
  • 1mort2deuce 1mort2deuce on Jun 25, 2016
    I use 1 part water to 4 parts sugar and microwave until the sugar is completely dissolved,. Please do not add food color! As long as the feeders have some red(even if its just a red bit of yarn) the Hummers will find it. I have to make a half gallon every other day, more when the babies fledge. About the cover of trees, the birds like to have some place to escape to during a feeding frenzy. Hope this helps.
    • Anna Anna on Jun 25, 2016
      4 cups of sugar to 1 of water? That would be so thick I don't think it would work. Did you mean 4 cups water to 1 of sugar?
  • Marilyn Marilyn on Jun 25, 2016
    I boil water in teapot, mix 4 parts water to 1 part sugar, mix until sugar dissolves and let cool. DO NOT ADD COLORING! It's harmful to the birds. Change food every 4 days to avoid mold.
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    • Donna Krause Donna Krause on Jul 06, 2016
      Mold happens when you don't clean the feeder or change it often enough. I like the wide mouth feeders, easier to clean.. I use a bottle brush , timing depends on how often you have to change the feeders. A drop of dish detergent, rinse well and off you go.
  • Deb6955262 Deb6955262 on Jun 26, 2016
    We use 1 gallon jugs, 4 cups sugar, fill with hot water... Good to go! We have like 30 hummingbirds!! They are little piggies...
    • Bink Bink on Jun 26, 2016
      I am 63 years old and I have never seen a live hummingbird! I know...isn't that crazy!
  • Shari Veater Shari Veater on Jun 26, 2016
    I boil 4 cups of water with one cup of sugar...don't add red food color, it isn't good for the birds.
  • Nancy Rinas Nancy Rinas on Jun 26, 2016
    4 water to 1 coloring
  • 1mort2deuce 1mort2deuce on Jun 26, 2016
    Anna I did get it backwards,it is 4 parts water to 1part sugar.Thanks for catching that!
  • Jtk1372961 Jtk1372961 on Jun 26, 2016
    We use 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups hot water from the tap. Our feeders drain fast, usually in a day or so. In the summer we have up to 10 feeders going so it's Costco for LARGE bags of sugar. We even put up 3-4 feeders this winter. We think of the feeders as jewels in our yard . So, we make the juice in as many colors as we can mix. We used to buy food coloring in those little bottles, but ran out so fast we finally started buying pint containers from Food for less. It's fun to see what colors we can come up with by using only Red, Yellow, Blue and Green.
  • Sam Sam on Jun 26, 2016
    Like everyone is saying 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water. The Audubon says the red food color won't hurt the birds you can use it if you like. I don't use it myself. Make sure you give the feeder a good cleaning once a week.
    • See 4 previous
    • Linda Parrish Linda Parrish on Jun 27, 2016
      Scroll down for info on to use dye or not.
  • Deb6955262 Deb6955262 on Jun 26, 2016
    I mix hot water in gallon milk jug then pour 1/2 of the 4 cups of sugar shake up put the rest of sugar in. Fill with more hot water.. Easy!!!
  • Mary Knox Mary Knox on Jun 26, 2016
    Have ALWAYS used the 4 water to 1 sugar formula; no red coloring...... the hummers just keep on coming! Inexpensive too!
  • Charlene Rose Charlene Rose on Jun 26, 2016
    Been doing this for years but I'd read long ago to mix the water and sugar in a pot and boil for 3 minutes to rid the mix of any bacteria from the water, especially if you use well water from your faucets. And always let it cool before filling your feeders. I make a big batch and keep it in the fridge.
  • Kathie Condon Kathie Condon on Jun 26, 2016
    If you have a problem with ants, get some of the ant traps for the top of your feeder. They are a cup that you fill with plain water. The ants drown trying to get to the nectar.
  • Sherry  B. Sherry B. on Jun 26, 2016
    Boil your water for about 5 minutes, add sugar. 4 parts water/ 1 part sugar, let cool. NO food coloring....not safe or needed. You could paint red dots on (glass/plastic) clear part of use red electrical tape and stripe, but not needed. For cheap ant trap, Vaseline on about 4 inches of hanger and top of feeder. They cannot get out of it to get to feeder. Use it yearly....tested/proven.
  • Syblef Syblef on Jun 26, 2016
    Mix a solution of 1 part white, granulated sugar and 4 parts warm water. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cane sugar is a sucrose that falls into the carbohydrate family. Carbs are easily digested and give the hummingbirds the immediate energy they need to keep those little wings flapping. Boil the sugar water for 1 to 2 minutes. Boiling the mixture will slow down any bacterial growth that may occur. Boiling the water will also get rid of any extra chlorine that might be in your tap water (which in turn could harm the little hummers.) Let mixture cool before hanging it out for the hummingbirds. For 2 cups of water, you would need 1/2 cup sugar.
  • Carole Carole on Jun 26, 2016
    Change solution at least once a week or more if the water gets murky. Store any left over solution in frig. Bring up to room temp before refilling feeder
  • Susan Clements Brown Susan Clements Brown on Jun 26, 2016
    one part sugar, four parts VERY hot water. You are making a simple syrup. No need for food coloring
  • Sam Sam on Jun 27, 2016
    Unless you have a really big problem with the ants don't worry too much about them because the hummingbirds eat them too. The sugar water is not their main food supply, insects are.
  • PLT PLT on Jun 27, 2016
    Have had a problem with ants,,,,,,just put a chalk line around where they travel, they wont cross it. Never use food coloring in humming bird feeders. There is a reason why the feeder already has red on it. I have a problem with yellowjackets at my feeders. Hummers dont like them and wont come back to the feeder.
  • Anita Minton Anita Minton on Jun 27, 2016
    1 part sugar to 4 parts water - e.g. 1/4 cup sugar 2 cups water. Bring to boil then cool completely.
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    • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Jul 06, 2016
      She did mean 4 water to 1 sugar. Boiling can be a good idea, depending on your tap water quality and how long it will be in the feeder. Anyone needs to clean out the feeder before any harmful mold develops, and that's before it shows up--hot climates should change out the sugar water every day.
  • Sobeam Sobeam on Jun 28, 2016
    Boil water first, solution should be 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water. Do not add red food coloring, as it is not necessary and may be harmful. Keep the food in the fridge until needed. Here in NC, I change my food every 3 days, cleaning the feeder each time. The solution can sour, especially after hot temps and even a summer rain.
  • Sherry  B. Sherry B. on Jul 05, 2016
    Absolutely Sobeam, I forgot about changing due to souring. Boiling to purify water Is the reason, they do not need chemically treated or hot water from faucet (which leaches lead from old pipes underground).
  • Barb in Texas Barb in Texas on Jul 06, 2016
    I'd like to say that red food coloring has long been considered harmful to hummers. Like people and chocolate, but dogs can't tolerate it. The red coloring on most feeders is more than enough to attract the birds. Even better than feeders that need to be scrubbed and refilled, you might want to consider just growing plants that attract them. They stop blooming at the proper time for hummers to continue to migrate so they don't get caught by bad weather.
    • A A on May 07, 2017

      I used to put out hummingbird feeders but if the solution ferments, the little guys can get tipsy . . . I grow flowers that they like and I've actually seen more hummers in my yard than when I had the feeders.

  • Firewife824 Firewife824 on May 07, 2018

    I use my grandmothers recipe of 1 to 1. My feeder holds 16 ounces. So I add a cup of sugar to a cup of boiling water. My next door neighbor also has a feeder and was won why his nectar was hardly gone after a week. I told him my recipe (wish I hadn’t) and now we both get empty feeders!

  • Mogie Mogie on Sep 22, 2023

    1. Mix 1 part sugar with 4 parts water (for example, 1 cup of sugar with 4 cups of water) until the sugar is dissolved.
    2. Do not add red dye.
    3. Fill your hummingbird feeders with the sugar water and place outside.
    4. Extra sugar water can be stored in a refrigerator.

  • Mix one part sugar with 4 parts water. Heat on the stove to dissolve.