This recipe is for the sweet fluid that fills a hummingbird feeder. The red concentrate you find at Home Depot is optional: the active ingredient is “100% sucrose” which is plain old sugar. It is just as easy to make hummingbird food at home as it is to make Simple Syrup.
These directions are adapted from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Institute. My hummingbird feeder holds about 1 1/2 cups of liquid and this recipe makes 2 batches.
3 cups of water
3/4 cup of sugar
Mix water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil to kill any bacteria or mold present. The sugar will dissolve quickly.
Cool and fill feeder. Store remaining sugar water in the refrigerator.
There is no need to add red dye. Natural nectar is colorless and the dye may be harmful to the birds. The red trimmings on your hummingbird feeder are all you need to attract hummingbirds. Remember too that they also like a clean feeder and in hot weather, you may need to change the water every 2 or 3 days.