How to Make Hummingbird Food

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While making a fresh batch of hummingbird food this morning, I decided it was the perfect time to write a post on how to prepare it. We started feeding hummingbirds about a year ago, and placed a feeder outside our kitchen window so we could enjoy watching the delightful little birds as they eat. It did not take long before we started to recognize individual birds. We were surprised to see how territorial these little guys are. The above photo shows all that is needed to attract hummingbirds to your home. Notice that red food coloring is not part of the ingredients. It was once thought that red food coloring had to be added to the sugar & water mixture to attract the birds. This is not so. I never add food coloring, and from the very beginning the hummingbirds easily located the food source. The red base of the feeder helps to attract them.

Ingredients:  Water 4 cups, Granulated Sugar 1 cup

edited boiling water

Bring fresh water to a full boil before adding sugar.

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Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Be certain to boil the sugar mixture for at least two minutes to kill any mold or bacteria that might be in the granulated sugar and could harm the birds. When finished boiling the sugar water mixture, set aside to cool. Always make certain the feeder is clean and thoroughly rinsed before filling.

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Above is an Anna’s hummingbird that routinely visits our feeder. We have noticed lately that the feeder has been emptying very quickly, and yesterday we found out why.

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Wild finches had discovered the hummingbird food, and they love it. Unfortunately they can empty the feeder in a day. We’re not sure what we’re going to do about it, so I’ll have to do some research. Would love to hear if anyone has a solution.

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