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2-Ingredient Hummingbird Nectar Recipe

Our 2-ingredient hummingbird nectar recipe is not only incredibly easy to make, but it’s also perfect for attracting these mesmerizing creatures right to your garden. By using only water and sugar, this homemade nectar mimics the natural sweetness found in flowers, making it a healthy and irresistible choice for our tiny, fluttering friends.

humming bird nectar inside hummingbird feeder

When it comes to making homemade hummingbird food, it’s best to keep it simple.

While it’s true that hummingbirds are attracted to the color red, they do not need red dye in their nectar despite popular belief.

hummingbird on hummingbird feeder

Want more animal recipes? Check out these Homemade Dog Treats made in the air fryer!

Can I use red dye in my hummingbird food?

While there is no definitive scientific study proving that red dyes are harmful to hummingbirds, many experts believe that artificial dyes, particularly Red Dye #40, could potentially have negative effects on the birds’ health.

The long-term impacts of consuming artificial dyes are still uncertain, and it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the well-being of wildlife.

With that being said, you shouldn’t use red dye in your hummingbird feeder to ensure you are feeding your local hummingbirds only the best.

What kind of sugar should I use in my homemade hummingbird nectar?

According to The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, you should only use refined (granulated) white sugar which is the typical white sugar you have in your pantry.

You are never supposed to use honey, corn syrup or raw, unprocessed sugars. Do not use powdered sugar (confectioners sugar), brown sugar or any sugar substitutes.

Why do I use white sugar for hummingbird nectar?

The mixture of water and white sugar is the closest to nectar found in flowers that hummingbirds typically eat.

hummingbird on hummingbird feeder

Homemade Hummingbird Nectar Ingredients

You will also need:

homemade hummingbird nectar in hummingbird feeder

Things to Note

  • Most hummingbird feeders hold up to 8 oz of fluid meaning this recipe will be enough to fill several hummingbird feeders (4 to be exact).
  • You can half the recipe. So, 1/2 cup of sugar with 2 cups of water.
  • Just use plain white sugar and do not use any artificial sweeteners.
  • Follow the instructions to boil the sugar solution. It should be boiled after mixing to drive off chlorine and kill yeast and bacteria, then cooled before putting in your hummingbird feeder.
hummingbird on hummingbird feeder

How to Make Homemade Hummingbird Nectar

This homemade hummingbird nectar recipe is a 1:4 ratio. Meaning for every 1 cup of sugar, you need 4 cups of water.

Simply heat up your water on a stove and get it to boil.

Add in your sugar and stir to dissolve (it may take a few minutes of a low boil to get it to dissolve).

Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and allow your nectar to cool.

Once cooled, add your homemade nectar to your hummingbird feeder and watch your tiny flying friends come get some.

Hummingbird Nectar

Hummingbird Nectar

Yield: 4 Cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

How to make homemade hummingbird nectar using just 2 household ingredients.


  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 4 Cups Water


  1. Simply heat up your water on a stove and get it to boil.
  2. Add in your sugar and stir to dissolve.
  3. Once the sugar has dissolved, allow your nectar to cool.
  4. Once cooled, add your homemade nectar to your hummingbird feeder and watch your tiny flying friends come get some.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 194Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 0gSugar: 50gProtein: 0g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please consult with a registered dietitian for dietary advice. You may read our Nutritional Disclaimer here:

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