Feeding Hummingbirds


Hummingbirds feed numerous times each day from nectar-bearing flowers and nectar feeders. Hummingbirds need to eat an average of 7 times per hour for 30-60 seconds each feeding.   Most hummers won’t pass up an easy nectar meal from feeders and most hummingbird fans won’t pass up the chance to watch them dart about.



Homemade nectar should be one part table sugar to four parts hot tap water, mix well and cool, store extra in the refrigerator.  Red food coloring and decorative red flowers not necessary.  Do not use any sugar substitute or honey. 


Cleaning Feeders

Feeders with glass jars and few moving parts are easier to clean and maintain.  Cleaning feeders and changing nectar should occur every three days to prevent mold build up during warm weather and in weather below 65 degrees replace nectar every two weeks. Do not use bleach, insect sprays or petroleum-based products on nectar feeders.


Hanging Feeders

Hanging multiple hummingbird feeders (3 or more)  about 10 feet apart, will attract more hummingbirds.  Hummingbirds see further and hear better than humans, they have no sense of smell.  They will find your feeders.


Bee or Wasp Problems

If you have bee or wasp problems at your nectar feeder,  try creating a diversion for the bees and wasps.  Take down all your hummingbird feeders and create only one with strong sugar syrup:  ½ cup sugar per 1 cup of water.  Put this heavy syrup feeder in an out-of-the-way spot  --  away from where you want your hummingbirds to feed.  Bees and wasps will find the heavy syrup and stay with that one.  You can return your hummingbird feeders with the regular sugar water (1 cup sugar to 4 cups water) to your favorite location a few days later.


The above information is from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Ruby-throated Hummingbird brochure AND www.hummingbirdsplus.org