How to Make Hummingbird Nectar (Step by Step)

Hummingbirds are some of the smallest birds in the world. Flapping their tiny wings burns up calories fast so to maintain their momentum, hummingbirds need to eat a lot. And what do they like to eat? Nectar of course. If you don’t have a lot of nectar in your yard you may not attract hummingbirds so you can make your own hummingbird nectar with two simple ingredients – sugar and water!

These fast flying birds consume half their body weight in bugs and nectar, feeding every 10 to 15 minutes, They will probably visit from 1,000 to 2,000 flowers per day just to get enough nectar. With this DIY nectar recipe, you can help hardworking hummingbirds get the nutrients they need.

Video: Mike Fernandez/Audubon. Footage: Camilla Cerea/Audubon

Hummingbird Nectar Ingredients:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • Bowl
  • Spoon

Note: you should not use red dye here as it is not necessary to attract hummingbirds and the chemicals could prove to be harmful to the birds.


1. Mix sugar and boiling water until sugar is dissolved.

2. Cool and fill feeder.

3. Hang up your feeder outside and wait for the hummingbirds to arrive.

It’s so simple to make your own hummingbird nectar at home that you not only save money because you aren’t buying the pre-made mix, you can make it easily with just sugar and water.