Hummingbird Food Recipe

Hummingbird Food

Ever marveled at how fast a hummingbird can fly? Ever wonder how many times their wings beat per minute? How about feeding them with this hummingbird food recipe! The best way to get up close and personal with hummingbirds is to feed them with homemade hummingbird food.

With a little hummingbird food and a feeder you can ponder all of these questions every morning before you head out to work, and every evening when you return.

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Hummingbird Food Recipe

All at the feeder at once

I love watching hummingbirds swoop in for a sip of food, aka sugar water, and swoop back out. Plus it makes for some great photography practice!

It is incredibly easy to feed hummingbirds, but be prepared, because once you start feeding them they will start showing up in droves, which means you will probably be making a batch (or three) of hummingbird food every few days! Make sure that you have a great hummingbird feeder as well. It makes a huge difference! I use the flat bottom feeder here.

If you want to also feed the orioles with your feeder then get one with a larger hole like this one.

Purchase a Hummingbird Feeder now:

Note that this hummingbird food recipe does optionally call for food coloring. There have been some concerns about red food dye being bad for hummingbirds. I believe that mostly stems from older food dyes, but like with anything, you can never be too safe.You can read more about it in this article. This is entirely unnecessary to use red dye, and if you want to be on the safe side you can leave it out.

Hummingbirds feeding

This Hummingbird Food recipe is a quick and easy sugar water that you can make ahead of time and store in the fridge for when your feeders go empty. (I usually refill once a day during the hot days of summer!)

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Hummingbird Food
Recipe can be multiplied easily (24 cups of water and 6 cups of water will last a few days once you starting getting lots of birds)
hummingbird food recipe
hummingbird food recipe
  1. Boil Water. Once water reaches a boil, add sugar. Stir and bring back to a boil. Turn off. Food coloring can be added when cool, but it's not necessary. Serve your hungry birds. Liquid can be stored for 2 weeks in the fridge.
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It may take a few days for your birds to realize the feeder is there, but once they’ll stay, as long as you keep the feeders full. Enjoy the birding- I look forward to seeing your shots.

Purchase the hummingbird feeder I use:

Long Tongue Licking LipsTips for Photographing Hummingbirds

1. Patience

You’ll need a lot of patience to capture the perfect shot. First off you need to find a place from which to grab a great photo, but then you’ll need to wait for the hummingbird to show up. If you’re trying to capture photos of the hummingbird in flight, not just sitting on the hummingbird feeder, then you’ll need even more patience for the perfect moment and backdrop. Take a lot of photos.

2. Use a dSLR.

There are just so many more variables that you can control when you’re using an SLR camera that allow for a better photo. When you’re capturing something as small as a hummingbird you don’t want to miss out on the perfect shot because your phone camera is too slow!

3. Set your camera to manual.

If you want to capture the hummingbird in flight then you’ll need a really fast shutter speed- the faster, the better. Those wings are FAST. You’ll also want to set your aperture to f/2.8 if possible. This will help keep the focus primarily on the hummingbird, and everything else slightly blurred.

4. Try different angles.

Don’t be afraid to get low. Sitting on the ground, looking up at the hummingbirds can make for some great visuals that may look more natural, than just the bird sitting on a feeder.

Ruby Throated Hummingbird

How to Photograph fast moving subjects like birds, especially hummingbirds. Tips and ideas for getting the best photo taking a great action shot picture

2 Thoughts on “Hummingbird Food Recipe

  1. Rita GodfreyNo Gravatar on February 27, 2018 at 10:43 am said:

    I see you’ve used red food coloring but I’ve read elsewhere it isn’t necessary and is actually harmful to the birds. One of the reasons I’m switching to homemade nectar. Where did you find the flat feeder? I’ve found I still got a couple of hummers that didn’t go south so I’m feeding this winter.

    • Hi Rita-
      Absolutely wonderful questions! You are right about the food coloring and I updated the post to say as much. I had put it as optional in the recipe, but forgot to talk about that element in the post- I don’t know that food coloring is harmful to the birds anymore (most of the nectars that you buy in the store even have the dye, but I have also stopping using it just because you never can be too safe!)

      Also I included a few links to the flat feeder that I have pictured- I love it and it’s so much easier to keep clean from bugs than the other ones.

      I sure wish we had hummingbirds in the winter, but there’s no way they’d survive a northern winter! Hope they like the food you put out for them!!

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