Making one’s own hummingbird nectar is equally as effective yet significantly cheaper than products available on the market. Any hummingbird enthusiast will agree that making special nectar to attract these fluttering birds is rewarding to both the hummingbird and the pleased observer.
The first consideration one must deliberate is the amount of nectar desired. An important ratio to remember is four parts sugar to one part water, meaning if four cups of water is sufficient, then one cup of water will be sufficient as well. Once the amount of nectar desired is settled, pour the appropriate quantity of water into a pot on the stove and boil. Use a measuring cup to ensure accuracy. Once boiling, add the appropriate quantity of sugar, and stir. Continue for at least a few minutes, and when complete, safely pour the mixture into another container and allow it to cool. Once the concoction reaches room temperature, it is safe to pour into the feeder and attract flocks of eager hummingbirds. Any extra nectar may be placed in a safe container and stored in refrigeration for, at maximum, two weeks.
Though it may be tempting, it is advisable not to add honey to one’s homemade mixture, as it is likely to cause the nectar to ferment. In addition, a significant consideration is placement of one’s hummingbird feeder. Keeping it in direct sunlight may be flattering to one’s backyard, but it is likely to spoil the nectar kept in the feeder quicker, and thus impose more frequent replacements. The standard amount of time between nectar replacements, in mild weather, is 3-5 days, though as weather becomes warmer, it is wise to increase replacement frequency proportionately. Spoiled nectar will not only emit a foul odor, but will also displease the hummingbirds that one is trying to attract.