Please DO NOT purchase commercial “hummingbird food” which is essentially expensive sugar water with red dye. Even the “clear” commercial hummingbird food that claims to have vitamins and electrolytes specifically for hummingbirds should NOT be purchased.
Instead, mix white table sugar (preferably cane sugar although beet sugar is okay) at a ratio of ONE PART SUGAR TO 4 PARTS WATER. There is NO NEED to compensate for cold temperatures or during migration.
RED FOOD coloring is NOT necessary…most feeders are red in color and that is sufficient to attract hummingbirds. There are many ongoing studies about the effects red dye has on hummingbird health…bottom line in our book, it’s not necessary so don’t add it!
If you chose you may boil the water, remove it from the stove and then stir in the sugar. Do not “cook” the sugar-water. However if you have good quality tap water that you drink you can simply mix your solution using the hot water from the tap and cane sugar.
PLEASE DO NOT USE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS, HONEY OR RAW SUGAR it will harm your birds. In the fall when our feeders are buzzing with activity you may choose to mix your sugar water in larger batches and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. But always check the quality of solution before filling you feeders.