hummingbird feeder

The kids and I FINALLY got the hummingbird feeder out.

Given the incredibly weird winter (really it was nutty everywhere) we had this year the hummingbirds came back a few weeks early this year. In fact, by my observation, they come back earlier every year but this year it was pretty dramatic.

This is the first male Broad-tailed we’ve had at the feeder. He showed up within an hour of putting the feeder out. I have not seen any females yet.

Here is what we do for our hummingbird feeder nectar:

One part clean, organic white table sugar, four parts RO water. Not tap water. If you have no choice use tap water but boil the mix for just one minute. Not too long or you’ll steam off so much water that your proportions will change. All you want to do is boil off any chlorine and other contaminants.

I don’t like to use the tap water for the hummingbird feeder for the same reason I don’t like to drink it….what the hell is in there? Sure, if there was no other choice its good enough but tap water can have a lot of junk in it. Which is also why I never buy bottled water…because most of it is just tap water. But that is another story.

NEVER put in any kind of dyes. Never. That is like putting poison into the hummingbird feeder.

For the sugar DON’T use things like molasses or brown sugar or honey or any of the chemically-laden sugar substitutes that are on the market. Honey and the rest can breed a mold that is fatal to hummingbirds. The sugar substitutes wont have the caloric intake the little guys need keep those wings flapping at that rate.

Don’t believe ANYTHING that is said on the packages of commercial hummingbird feeder solutions. They don’t need the supposed vitamins and additives in those things. Stick with the simple and CLEAN sugar water solution.

We prep the feeder by cleaning it thoroughly. I don’t want anything infecting the hummingbirds. Once we boil the nectar we let it cool completely before putting it in the feeder.

Through the summer, clean the feeder and change the nectar once a week. I often do it more frequently, especially if there are a lot of birds using it…which there are by June.

Change the nectar in the feeder often because it can start to ferment quickly.

That’s it!

Simple but keep it clean. Clean. Clean.

Also consider planting a landscape with flowers that specifically attract hummers.  Check it out.

Then just sit back and enjoy.

And take pictures.   This one was f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 200….and I was just a few feet away.



  1. Comment by Cynthia Sue McCann

    Cynthia Sue McCann Reply April 26, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing your awesome work, Jim. I like the way you offer up the metadata….the triangle…I need that ! Lovely always lovely.

  2. Comment by Kiva Duckworth-Moulton

    Kiva Duckworth-Moulton Reply April 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    I love the loyalty of hummingbirds – same family, year after year, I figure! Lovely photo.

  3. Comment by Corinne Vail

    Corinne Vail Reply April 28, 2014 at 7:53 am

    Great shot!

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