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Readers ask: What to feed hummingbirds?

Is it OK to feed hummingbirds sugar water?

A: No, only use refined white sugar. Other sweetening agents have additional ingredients that can prove detrimental to the hummingbirds. Never use artificial sweeteners to make hummingbird nectar. Q: How often should I empty and clean the feeder?

What is a hummingbird’s favorite food?

Nectar: Hummingbird nectar is the most popular food to offer hummingbirds, and even if this is all you offer in your yard, you can be successful feeding hummingbirds.

What can I feed hummingbirds besides sugar water?

To feed hummingbirds insects…

Leave cobwebs intact for hunting hummingbirds, and consider adding a small dish of mashed banana, ripe oranges or watermelon chunks near hummingbird feeders to attract delicious insects.

Do I need to boil sugar water for hummingbirds?

Do I have to boil the water I’m making my hummingbird nectar with? A. No, all you need is for your water to be hot enough to dissolve the simple table sugar you’re mixing in. Remember, table sugar ONLY, in a ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water.

Do hummingbirds prefer homemade nectar?

There are many great reasons to make your own nectar, however, and because this critical hummingbird food is easy to make, there’s never an excuse not to make it from scratch. Homemade nectar is better for hummingbirds, and once you learn how to make it, you’ll never rely on commercial mixes again.

What should you not feed hummingbirds?

Always use refined white sugar (regular table sugar). Never use honey, corn syrup or raw, unprocessed sugars. Powdered sugar (also called confectioners’ sugar) often contains additional ingredients, such as cornstarch. Therefore, it is not recommended for use in creating hummingbird food.

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Should I feed hummingbirds in the winter?

While keeping the nectar from freezing is essential for feeding hummingbirds in winter, there are other tips to keep in mind to ensure these birds are healthy even through the coldest season. Always keep hummingbird feeders clean to prevent mold and fungus that can be fatal to hummingbirds.

What is a hummingbird’s favorite flower?

Brightly-colored flowers that are tubular hold the most nectar, and are particularly attractive to hummingbirds. These include perennials such as bee balms, columbines, daylilies, and lupines; biennials such as foxgloves and hollyhocks; and many annuals, including cleomes, impatiens, and petunias.

Can hummingbirds eat peanut butter?

Birds can have peanut butter that is past its best by date, but no butter that is rancid, moldy, or spoiled should be available to birds, as it could be toxic or dangerous.

Do hummingbirds become dependent on feeders?

It’s a fair question, but you shouldn’t worry about creating a generation of feederdependent, sugar-water swilling junkies. Their parents and instinct will teach them about feeding from flowers, but more importantly, the nectar is just one part of the hummingbird’s diet.

Can you put plain water in a hummingbird feeder?

Clean the feeder and replace the nectar every three to five days – sooner if the nectar gets a little cloudy. As tempting as it may be, you should never put anything other than sugar and water into a hummingbird feeder.

What size hummingbird feeder is best?

Size. The size of your hummingbird feeder will determine how many birds it can accommodate, as well as how often it needs to be filled. On the smaller size, an 8-ounce feeder is best for just a couple of birds, while some feeders may hold as much as 40 ounces of nectar or more, easily feeding several hummingbirds.

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Are glass hummingbird feeders better than plastic?

Some feeders are acrylic, and some glass. The plastic ones are lighter and not subject to breakage, but may contain BPA. However, many prefer glass hummingbird feeders and their long-term durability as opposed to plastic (which can warp, fade and crack over time). And sometimes glass is easier to clean than plastic.

Can you put too much sugar in a hummingbird feeder?

The mixture must always be four parts boiled water to one part sugar. Too little sugar will not provide the necessary calories; too much sugar can harm the liver and kidneys of hummingbirds. Use only granulated white cane sugar and fresh water. Store bought hummingbird food contains preservatives; avoid it.

How often should you change hummingbird sugar water?

You must change your feeder’s nectar, even if it looks like it hasn’t lost a drop, on a regular basis. During hot weather, change it every two days. In milder weather, once a week is fine.

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