Homemade Hummingbird Food

Homemade Hummingbird foodHomemade hummingbird food is easy to make!

Each year, about the beginning of May here in Ohio, we put out homemade hummingbird food that attracts Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds to our yard. Making your own will save a little money and ensure you know the ingredients are pure.

Ingredients for Homemade Hummingbird Food:

1 part sugar

4 parts water


1 cup sugar/4cups water

3/4 cup sugar/3 cups water

1/2 cup sugar/2 cups water

1/4 cup sugar/1 cup water

Instructions for Homemade Hummingbird Food:

Pour sugar and water in an appropriate sized saucepan.  Bring solution to a boil to slow spoilage and kill bacteria.  Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Allow to cool completely before use.  Fill your feeders with just enough ‘nectar’ to last 2-3 days.

Here is a little hummingbird visitor from last year, isn’t she beautiful?

Female Ruby Throated Hummingbird


About Nelle

I am Nelle. I grew up in rural, small town, Ohio. When I was young, I learned a lot about homesteading from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, 4-H, FFA, and others around me.
Now, I’m all grown up, have 6 children of my own, and plan to teach them everything I know.

Here on Mama’s Homestead, we talk and write about homesteading, homeschooling, and kidsteading (homesteading with kids). We teach our kids about survival, self-sufficiency, gardening (vegetable, herb, flower), orchard, beekeeping, home keeping, soap making, harvesting, cooking, food preservation, livestock, nature, crafts, homesteading tools and wares, and more…

Welcome to my homestead…come and learn with us!


  1. Here is another helpful hint;
    Hummingbirds are very territorial. Make sure you have plenty of
    feeders for all of your quick little visitors, as they will fight over the feeders, making for a very fight filled area.

  2. Hurricane Isaac left our area a few days ago. The hummingbirds are thick as flies and it has been quite a show. Filling two feeders daily!

  3. Humminbird Lover says:

    P-l-e-a-s-e don’t put red food dye in your hummingbird food. I have read from several sites where it is either not needed or is considered harmful for the hummingbirds we love (and who wants to take a chance on harming them when you are feeding them!). Feel free to do your own web search on the subject…or I included a couple to get started. Thanks for feeding the beautiful hummingbirds, just please leave Out all the colors!!! :-)

    Also, please note that you need to clean out the feeder between each use (which can be once every day if hot, to once a week if quite cool – if the solution cloudy, wait no longer and clean it out immediately). Usually I see recommendations to use submerse in 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar in a cleaning solution to help sterilize the container and to help prevent mold without the potential threat from unhealthy soap and chemical residues like bleach which can be harmful if any trace is left on the feeder). The bad effects of chlorine led some to say that if you use chlorinated tap water, let it sit for a couple days (I suppose before boiling it with sugar so it doesn’t start to spoil after you add sugar?) and that will let the chlorine evaporate from the tap water into the air.

    Happy Bird Watching to All :-)

    • Thank you for your comments on “Homemade Hummingbird Food.” I love watching and feeding hummingbirds and want to keep them as healthy as possible. I agree with all that you have said, very helpful. Thanks, Nelle (Mama).

  4. Humminbird Lover says:
  5. Humminbird Lover says:

    Here is another link to plants as an additions to/replacements for nectar feeders – that attract hummingbirds and butterflies – if that is lower maintanance for you:

  6. Cheri Stuckey says:

    The red dye is not good for them……read up on it. Just buy a RED feeder and use plain color water. That’s all that red food is anyways. They will also feed off a clear feeder with clear food in it. i know alot of people that feed theirs that way. Its the sugar water they want that gives them energy that they NEED.

    • Cheri Stuckey says:

      also if you can….buy a feeder with perches on it. That way they can rest while eating..:) They also like them near trees for protection. Remember the 4 C water to 1 C of sugar.

  7. No dye not good for them, they will come to a clear solution, just have some red on your feeder!

    • No, we do not put dye in our hummingbird food and have never had any problems attracting them to our feeders. Thanks for the tip!

  8. I have a red, glass hummingbird feeder which is great for 2 reasons. It’s NOT plastic and provides the red color the hummingbirds are attracted to. I make my own sugar water as well (even using organic sugar) to avoid the store-bought, dyed “poison”.

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