How to Make Hummingbird Food

How to make hummingbird food!

Earlier this summer I noticed that two cute little humming birds were frequenting my flowers so I made some hummingbird food and hung up a feeder. At the store I noticed that hummingbird food can be pricey!! Don’t pay for it! It’s so easy to learn how to make hummingbird food yourself and all you need is some sugar, water, and a heat source.

In the video below where I show you how to make hummingbird food, I use a pan on the stovetop but just as often I’ll use a large pyrex bowl in the microwave. Both work very well! The reason you heat the water until it is boiling is two fold.

One reason is so all of the sugar will dissolve and stay in solution. You don’t want grainy hummingbird food, that would end up being an inconsistent food source, not to mention it would clog up your feeder.

The second reason is to be extra certain there isn’t any mold or bacteria in the food you are making. Once mold gets in your feeder it is hard to get out and it can be toxic to hummingbirds.

Also, I just have to say it. IΒ hate that hummingbird feeder! I picked it up at the store on a whim because it was $2 and I wasn’t sure the hummingbirds would even eat from one. Turns out they love it and now I’m hesitant to change it because I hear they can be picky. I think I’ll get a prettier one that I love and hang them side by side for a while to see what happens. I am loving these glass bottle feeders! They are on my list…

Now, I know adding food coloring to anything can be controversial. First of all, please remember that food coloring is added in such small amounts it really isn’t going to influence the food. But if you are opposed to adding it, then don’t! I find they prefer colored water. Another solution is to purchase a feeder that is tinted. Problem solved! Although I’m not convinced food coloring is a problem in the first place πŸ™‚ {Read more about my thoughts on food choice here}.

Let’s do a little math review. Don’t leave! Ha! It’s easy. Ratios are often given by saying four to one or written 4:1. When a ratio is given instead of an exact measurement, it’s actually very nice because you can scale whatever your making up or down to suit your needs. A 4:1 ratio means there are 5 parts total – think of it like a pie with 5 slices. 4 of the slices are water, and 1 slice is sugar {if we are talking about hummingbird food}.

How to make hummingbird food!

How to Make Hummingbird Food

Learning how to make hummingbird food is as simple! Get the exact directions here and keep those little birds coming back to your yard!

5 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

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  • 4 parts water (see note)
  • 1 part sugar (see note)
  • Food coloring, optional


  1. Combine water and sugar.
  2. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently (see note).
  3. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and add a small amount of food coloring, if desired.
  4. Allow to cool completely.
  5. Pour into feeder and enjoy the hummingbirds!


β€’ My humming bird feeder holds roughly 5 cups of fluid, so using the 4:1 ratio of water to sugar, that would be four cups of water and 1 cup of sugar. This ratio can be scaled up or down depending on how much humming bird food you need (see blog post for further explanation).

β€’ You can boil the mixture on the stovetop or in the microwave in a microwave safe container.


Learning how to make hummingbird is as simple! Get the exact directions here and keep those little birds coming back to your yard!

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