DIY Hummingbird Food Recipe & Bonus Feeder Tip

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Hummingbirds have always fascinated me. Their ability to hover, their amazing speed, and how they appear to dance with the air. As long as I can remember, my grands and my ma had a red feeder hanging outside the window to attract hummingbirds. Little did we know back then that the red food dye was bad for them. Now that we know better, this simple DIY Hummingbird Food Recipe fills those feeders and attracts them just as good. 

In addition to the simple hummingbird food recipe, I’ll share a fool-proof way to stop ants from eating all their food!

DIY Hummingbird Food Recipe & Bonus Feeder Tip

Commercial products sold as “instant nectar” or “hummingbird food” may also contain preservatives and/or artificial flavors as well as dyes, and are not necessary. The long-term effects of these additives on hummingbirds have not been studied and therefore should not automatically be considered safe.  

Hummingbird Food- Don’t let them starve

Hummingbirds consume more than their own weight in nectar each day, and to do so they must visit hundreds of flowers daily. Hummingbirds are continuously hours away from starving to death and are able to store just enough energy to survive overnight. 

Spring is the time for the hummingbird migration from southern Mexico and Central America. As the hummingbirds make their way back to their northern homes they will need to stop for food and fuel.  

Hummingbird Flowers- The Best 18 Plant Families for Natural Nectar

In order to help support the hummingbirds (as well as other beneficial pollinators) consider planting flowers to attract these amazing birds.

The Hummingbird Society

  • Abutilon (Chinese Bell Flower)
  • Agastache (Cusicks Giant Hyssop)
  • Aloe Vera
  • Anisacanthus (Desert Honeysuckle)
  • Aquilegia (Crimson Columbine)
  • Caesalpinia (Bird of Paradise)
  • Callistemon (Crimson Bottlebrush)
  • Chilopsis (Desert Willow)
  • Fuchisa
  • Hamelia (Firebush)
  • Justicia (Shrimp Plant)
  • Kniphofia (Red Hot Poker)
  • Lobelia (Fools Bane)
  • Lonicera (Honeysuckle)
  • Monarda (Bee Balm)
  • Penstemon (Beard-Tongue)
  • Salvia (Sage)
  • Tecoma /Tecomaria

Hummingbird Food Recipe

Make sure you have an ample source of food available for these feathered friends with this DIY Hummingbird Food Recipe. 


  • 1 cup granulated organic cane sugar
  • 4 cups of filtered water


  1. Place these in a saucepan, heat just until sugar dissolves.
  2. This is very much like preparing simple syrup.
  3. Turn the heat off, allow to cool.
  4. Keep refrigerated.
  5. The feeders will need cleaning every couple of weeks due to no preservatives in the sugar water. Do not add red food coloring, it is not necessary and is not good for their little diets

Hummingbird Feeder DIY Bonus Tip

Ants can sense food from far distances and seem to have a special attraction to sweets. To keep ants out of your hummingbird feeder you need to make an ant trap moat.

All you need to make this moat is:

  • an old (clean) medicine cup
  • a wine cork
  • two round eye bolts.

Screw one round eye bolt through the bottom of the medicine cup and into a wine cork, then screw another eye bolt through the bottom of the cork. Fill the medicine cup with water and it will act like a moat to keep ants out of your feeder, hang your feeder from the bottom of the cork like in the picture above.

Hummingbird Migration

Want to know when the hummingbirds are headed your way? Check out this migration chart so you’ll be ready with their hummingbird food. 


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