Hummingbird Food / Nectar
When it comes to choosing feeders, there are so many styles and options available you can be overwhelmed when it comes to deciding which one to purchase. Fortunately, when it comes to selecting what kind of hummingbird food to serve in your feeders, the choice is really very simple.
Despite the fact that a hummingbird diet consists mainly of protein-rich insects, they also need to frequently and consistently supplement their diet with a high-energy sugar and water solution – known as hummingbird nectar. It couldn't be easier to feed to them! This sugar / water solution is a vital food resource to fuel these acrobatic, high energy-consuming fliers
Hummingbird food must contain a variety of nutrients for the birds to remain healthy – nutrients such as protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Because of their high-energy lifestyle, hummingbirds must constantly seek and find dependable food sources to live on. Yes, they do feed on the nectar from flowers, as they have developed the instinct to follow the plant cycles as they flower at different times during the warmer months.
But a hummingbird's well-rounded diet is not completely fulfilled by flower nectar. They need more. So it's interesting to realize that the majority of the nutrients they need they get by eating insects. How do they catch the small flying insects so important to their diet? They hover in the air and use their lightning speed to consume them. And during the breeding season, they will catch and feed insects to their young as well.
But there is another important part of a hummingbirds diet. It is hummingbird nectar, which is nothing more than a simple sugar and water solution. While hummingbirds feed on nectar from various types of flowers, they have also come to rely on human beings (most notably hummingbird enthusiasts) to put hummingbird feeders in their yards and fill them with hummingbird nectar.
The recipe for hummingbird nectar combines 1-part white sugar to 4-parts water. Make sure the sugar dissolves by warming the mixture (do not let it boil as that would create crystals that could be harmful to hummingbirds). Then allow it to cool before putting it in your feeder.
If you don't have time, or don't want to make your own hummingbird nectar, there are several instant nectars available that you can purchase. Perky-Pet® provides a wide variety of instant hummingbird nectars made with 100% sucrose (sugar) that contain no artificial flavors or sweeteners. It's health food for the hummers! This is a sugar/powder that mixes instantly with tap water. Perky-Pet® also offers ready-to-use and liquid-concentrate nectars.
Want to know more? Read this article on how hummingbirds rely on more than just taste when deciding on how much nectar to drink.
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