Asked on May 07, 2014

Hummingbird food gets hard

Elaine Simmons
by Elaine Simmons
We make our own hummingbird food by using 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, which is the accepted way. The problem is the liquid turns to hardened sugar under the ports after a couple of days It didn't do that when we first had it when we moved to AZ but is doing it now. Could it be the sugar itself? I make sure I boil the water first and then put the sugar in and stir till it is dissolved.
  7 answers
  • Donna Byram Donna Byram on May 07, 2014
    May be the sugar. I have found the hard way in candy making that the store brand sugar(or coarse granules) does not dissolve as well as CH or the fine sugar. Also, do you have your feeders in the shade or sun? Seems like the ones I have in the shade do better than the ones that get more sun. Last year one of my turned to syrup and it was getting a lot of sun. Just a thought.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on May 07, 2014
    Thanks Donna, that makes sense. We had some tree trimming done so it is more in the sun than it used to be. Maybe we should move it to the shade. I will try a different sugar next time too as we do use the store brand.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on May 08, 2014
    Donna, just noticed your last name. This is a long shot but do you or did you have relatives in Iowa? The doctor who delivered my first baby was Dr. Byram. Can't recall the first name.

    • Donna Byram Donna Byram on May 09, 2014
      @Elaine Simmons More than likely they are connected somewhere down the line. My husband doesn't have any immediate family members that are doctors, but have found most of them to be related distantly.

  • Grammie Grammie on May 08, 2014
    I LOVE anything Hummingbird--they're SO cute!!! It's amazing to me that those tiny little bodies can just "hover" as they do, and back-up, turn around and chase so swiftly, and with such determination and commitment. I was shocked that they were so adamant about guarding and protecting their territory. I stood and watched two-to-three birds fight over who was the "owner" of my feeder--GEE, talk about "SIZE DOES NOT MATTER--these tiny little birds have more stamina and strength than many animals much bigger than themselves. I've read a lot of articles about them and it just keeps getting better and better---I could go on and on, but I won't. While I haven't heard of the sugar hardening, I have discovered that the red food coloring can cause great health scares to the little birds, so if you were not aware of that, you might want to take note of it. The nectar I make is the same "recipe" that you use. I've not had any problems with my nectar at all. I don't fill my feeders up to the top because there is so much wastefulness in doing that--I fill each of my feeders a third to a fourth up; then, empty and wash the feeder (with just plain, hot water-no soap of any kind). Lastly, I pour in the fresh-made nectar; if you don't use all the nectar you just made, you can store it in the refrigerator for one month; I just take it out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temp. When I make the batch of nectar, I don't boil the water, I just make sure the water is good and hot and let it sit on the counter to cool to room temp.. Occasionally, stir while cooling. Good luck!!-)) Susie P.S. My apology--I didn't realize that I had made such a LONG reply. I'll try to keep an eye on what I have typed up every few sentences, to avoid doing it again. Have a lovely Mothers' Day/weekend

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on May 08, 2014
    Susie, I have done it both ways.......used very hot water and boiled it. It makes no difference. I am going to change sugars and see if that helps. I posted on another forum about the hummingbird nest right outside our den window. We got to watch them hatch and fly the much fun!

    • Donna Byram Donna Byram on May 09, 2014
      @Elaine Simmons Oh how neat! Would love to have seen a nest of them hatch!

  • Janice Davis Janice Davis on May 09, 2014
    You need to make sure you get sugar made from cane, not sugar beets. Cane seems to work better.

  • Elaine Simmons Elaine Simmons on May 10, 2014
    Ok, just curious because it is not a name you hear very often. This doctor died in a plane crash.