We’ve been trying to coax hummingbirds to our yard all season with flowers and plants, with limited success. While we’ve enjoyed the plants and have had a few birds drop by, we’ve finally thrown in the towel and bought a traditional hummingbird feeder. We made up a batch of homemade hummingbird food from a simple recipe – and almost immediately this cutie moved in!
We believe she is an Anna’s Hummingbird because of her greenish-grayish color and the white stripe above her eye. Hummingbirds are notoriously territorial, and this little girl has definitely staked out our yard as her own. She is fiesty and will fight off any other bird who dares to come near “her” feeder!
We did a little research and found out that the red stuff you buy in the store is actually not good for birds – not to mention expensive! We make our own hummingbird food based on a very simple recipe from the National Zoo: one part refined white sugar to four parts water. Stir until very well dissolved – fill your feeders and store any extra in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
That’s it! No special ingredients needed, and no red food coloring (please!). Just plain old tap water will do the trick and you don’t even have to boil it. Only use regular refined sugar – honey, powdered sugar, and other sweeteners are harmful for birds.
Because it’s still pretty warm here in Tennessee, we are cleaning the feeder and changing out the nectar every other day.
How does this fit in with The New Moon Workshop mission? I’m glad you asked! Birdwatching – and any contact with nature in general – is good for your mental and physical health. It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and reduces stress hormones.
Not a bad trade off for a little sugar water!