Attracting hummingbirds can be a challenge. However, once you do, making their food is easier than you think.
Forget about costly commercial red food available through most big chain stores. The ingredients to make your own food, you probalby already have in your own kitchen.
Here is a list of what you will need to get started:
1. Fresh water
3. Measuring cup
5. Pan for boiling water
Here's what I do:
First measure out a 1/2 cup of sugar into a pan. Next, I add 2 cups of fresh water. Stir and then put on high heat and cook the food just until it boils. Don't overdo it, it should only take a few minutes.
Make sure there are no sugar granules left in the pan — only liquid. Stir if needed. Turn off burner and allow to cool for at least an hour.
You have just prepared homemade hummingbird food!
Since I have two hummingbird feeders and about five to seven birds that visit my feeders daily, the amount I prepare is just enough for about three to four days of food for both feeders.
In the summer months the food must be prepared at least twice a week, regardless of whether or not they are eating it. The food spoils if it is not changed often and the birds will boycott your feeder, sometimes permanently.
In the winter months, you only have to change it once a week. As a rule, pick a day or two (ex: Monday and Thursday) and prepare the food without fail. If it starts to become a hassle, simply make two-weeks worth of food and refrigerate the leftovers in a sealed container.
Remember, it is one part sugar to four parts water. Once the birds know the feeders are full with fresh food, they will feed on it without fail early in the morning and late in the evening.
During the day they will trickle in for a drink or two but mainly they are out looking for the real stuff and bugs. After the bird(s) find the food and become regulars you can watch them from very close distances and admire their unique qualities. They begin to ignore you after a while and focus only on eating.
It can be a rewarding hobby and try and remember they will rely on you for their morning feed and late night snack. Special note: Always remember to clean the feeders before adding fresh food — it makes a difference. Good luck!
In a later post, I will cover another way on attracting hummingbirds very easily.