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July 23, 2010


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The Zen Birdfeeder

Richard, I'd say that your container is not 100% clean. Use a glass container to mix/store - easier to get squeaky clean! No need to boil the solution for a period of time - just hot enough to dissolve the sugar.
Thanks for taking care of the birds!

Richard Schiefer

I mixed 4 parts. Water. To 1 part. Sugar and i used a 1 gallon plastic. Water container and i am getting black spots in container.. Also i boiled the water and sugar a few minutes . WHAT KIND OF CONTAINER SHOULD I USE...????

The Zen Birdfeeder

Cathugs, personally, I feed only nectar that has no other ingredients other than water and sugar. I would not personally buy a nectar listing any additional ingredients. They will continue to get their minerals and vitamins from nature.


So I agree wth the no red dye but what about the vit D and calcium the bag says hummers need for stronger eggs? If we make our own they don't get these vits?

The Zen Birdfeeder

Sara, thanks for making the switch for the hummingbirds!



The Zen Birdfeeder

Sharon, thanks for sharing your experience with your switch AWAY from red nectar.
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are known for not sharing well. Other hummingbird species are better at it, as well as ruby-throateds during migration. Where are you located (to know what hummingbirds you might attract)

The Zen Birdfeeder

Rosie, from what I've read, hummingbirds aren't necessarily attracted to lime green naturally, but if they try it and it contains fresh quality nectar, they'll come back. Tying a red ribbon was a good idea to help attract them to it!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Cherie - hooray!!! Thank you for making the switch for the birds!

Sharon Popikas

After three years of trying to attract hummingbirds to my feeder, this year I didn't use the red colored liquid, I made my own with water and sugar. I now have two that come on and off all day long. I had a surprise last night after dark when I looked at the feeder. Both birds were sitting on the feeder. They normally chase each other away. They stayed there for several hours. Is this normal?


I just bought a new pack of Perky Pet nectar powder. Went to make a batch and it turned red. How disappointing. I won't be using it. I did contact them to see what they use to make the solution turn red. Will be interested to see what they say. Another question. I bought a new feeder this year and its lime green. Do you think it matters when I am trying to attract the hummingbirds (so far not much luck although have one flying around. Hopefully I'm just missing when they hit). I did attach red ribbon to my feeder to see if that helps. Would be interested if you think the green feeder is distracting instead of attracting. Thanks. Peace


Convinced me....I will make my own!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Diane, thank you so much for (1) taking the time to read that label; (2) checking here for more information; and (3) your very kind words. Your comment made my day!!!! Thank you!

Diane Kuhring, Belleview, FL

I recently bought a feeder & commercial nectar (out of ignorance) when I saw a hummingbird going after my hanging baskets. But when I turned the bottle over to read how much to dilute it I read the ingredients & was shocked! HF corn syrup & Sodium Benzoate, a preservative & possible carcinogen! I don't consume this stuff myself or my dogs! Thank you Zen Birdfeeder for your HELPFUL advise. BTW the syrup recipe is also backed up by the Smithsonian info website. Peace

The Zen Birdfeeder

Dave, thanks for your "no red nectar" pledge! And I know what you mean about the eyes; I've been seen leaning in close to check the nectar level in my feeders. Thanks for reading and commenting!

Dave In Colorado

The only reason I thought about using red dye was for me, not the hummers.
These old eyes are not what they were.
It is easier to see at what level the nectar is.
I have never used it in 25 years and, after reading this, never will.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Lori, yes, but if 4 cups is too much, you can make smaller quantities. Check out our website to see how to make 1-cup, 2-cup, 3-cup, and 4-cup quantities http://saratogasprings.wbu.com/content/show/22507

The Zen Birdfeeder

Thank you Angela and welcome to the hobby! Enjoy!


So.....are we saying it is best to make it with 1 cup sugar to 4 cups of water?


great information about not needing to color the water to attract the hummingbirds. I'm a newbie, and appreciate the information!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Bravo Barbara!!!

barbara morton

I have had hummingbirds for many years and knew about the harms of red nectar. I say leave the red dye out of bird feeders and use for the baking cakes and other yummy human food!!!

The Zen Birdfeeder

Linda, unfortunately you should not add anything to color the nectar. Does the feeder have a clear base? If not, our window feeder does so you can monitor the nectar level more easily.

The Zen Birdfeeder

Fred P.: Smart mom, good thing you listened to her!
llcecreates: Good to hear. Thank you!
Linda: You should use granulated white sugar, which on my bag reads "pure cane sugar".
Madge: First of all make sure the feeder is clean each time before you refill. Any mold left over from previous fillings will taint the new nectar. If possible, move the feeder to a shady spot. Nectar in feeders in the sun will go bad faster. If these two steps don't make your issue better, you'll need to clean and refill your feeders more frequently than you currently are. If you're tossing a lot of nectar, don't fill the feeder full.
Brenda: Since most oriole feeders are orange to attract them, just make your own nectar for their feeder as well. Nectar for orioles is 6:1 to 8:1 water to sugar ratio.

Linda Wagner

I make my own nectar also, have been for years. I just bought one of those kind of flat feeders that attach to the window. We have lots of hummers on it and they love it as much as we love watching them. My dilemma is that there are so many hummers on it they drink the limited supply of nectar it holds very quickly. It is very hard to see (we are old..LOL..) the level of nectar so I was wondering if there is anything we can add to nectar to just barely tint it that will not harm are little visitors? My husband thought maybe a drop or two of some kind of juice.. Maybe beet juice or cranberry.. Hope there is someone out there that can help. Thank-you in advance!

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