Xplor More: Make Hummingbird Nectar

By | April 1, 2011
From Xplor: April/May 2011

When it comes to food, hummingbirds definitely have a sweet beak. Although they eat plenty of insects, the sugary nectar from flowers provides the energy that keeps them humming. Lucky for us, hungry hummers like sugar water just as well. Mix 1 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Get an adult to help you boil the mixture on the stove. Let the nectar cool before filling your feeder. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. There’s no need to add red coloring to your nectar. As long as part of your feeder is red, hummingbirds will come in swarms.

gather these materials

  • Small glass jar with a screw-on cap (baby-food jars work well)
  • Hammer and small nail
  • Red and yellow paint
  • Heavy string or cord
  • Scissors

follow these instructions

  1. Wash and dry the jar and lid.
  2. Use the hammer and nail to punch a 1/8-inch wide hole between the center and edge of the lid. Hammer down the sharp metal points around the hole.
  3. Paint the lid red. After the lid has dried, paint a small yellow flower around the nail hole.
  4. Tie a length of string tightly around the jar’s neck.
  5. Fill the jar almost full with hummingbird nectar and screw on the lid.
  6. Hang the feeder outside a window and watch for hummingbirds!

To keep its tiny wings aflutter, a ruby-throated hummingbird must eat nearly half its weight in insects and nectar every day. You’d have to drink nearly 160 cans of soda to do the same—what a sugar rush! To help ruby-throats refuel, make a hummingbird feeder. It’s easy, just follow these steps.

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This Issue's Staff

David Besenger
Bonnie Chasteen
Chris Cloyd
Peg Craft
Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Chris Haefke
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Kevin Lanahan
Kevin Muenks
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White
Kipp Woods