Three Things To Know Before You Buy Hummingbird Feed (Nectar)

Hummingbird feed, or nectar, makes drawing these tiny, fun-to-watch creatures to your feeder a simple task.

hummingbird at feeder
Hummingbird feeders are a great way to attract some screen-free entertainment to your camp, cottage, or back yard.Amazon

Some people are happy to make their own hummingbird food (nectar), while others prefer to purchase nectar, whether in liquid or powdered form. Either way, feeding and viewing these fleet-flying little birds is a pastime that can be enjoyed by the whole family, young and old, alike. All you need to start is a feeder and feed (nectar). To select the nectar right for you, consider three important factors—whether you want liquid or powder, red or clear, and what kind of feeder you’ll be needing to feed your hummingbirds.

Liquid Or Powder?

Kaytee hummingbird nectar
This already mixed liquid nectar is ready to pour into your feeder and start attracting hummingbirds.Amazon

Hummingbird nectar is available as a powder or as an already mixed liquid. Liquids are easy to use—just pop the top and fill up your feeder, then store the rest in the refrigerator until your feeder needs to be refilled. Powders take a little more effort, but are as easy as just mixing them with water and stirring well. As far as price, powder tends to give you more bang for your buck, but that comes at the expense of spending a little more time getting your nectar mixed and ready to feed. You can't make a wrong choice here, just decide if the extra effort to mix the powder is worth it to you or not.

Red Or Clear?

Pennington electro hummingbird nectar
This hummingbird nectar is clear, just like flower nectar.Amazon

This factor has been cussed and discussed until people on both sides of the "argument" have become unreasonable about it. Those who prefer clear nectar say it is the bright, colored feeder that attracts the birds to your porch, not the nectar. And, they argue, flower nectar is clear, so why add artificial color when it's not needed. Those who prefer to use red nectar believe it helps attract birds to their feeder and that the red coloring isn't dangerous to the birds, anyway. Both points have merit, and the decision is purely a personal one. One thing is certain, though: With red nectar, it's easier to tell the level of nectar remaining in your feeders in order to know when it's time to refill them.

Type Of Feeder?

Hummingbird flower feeder
This simple hummingbird feeder will accommodate several hummers at a time.Amazon

Of course, all the hummingbird nectar in the world won't do you any good if you don't have a quality feeder to put it in. Hummingbird feeders are available from very simple models to quite extravagant ones. Most have a lot of red on them to attract birds, and many have yellows and other bright colors. They can have as few as two or three feeding stations, or as many as a dozen or more. Be aware that hummingbirds are very territorial around feeders. If you have a lot of hummingbirds in your area, you'll likely need two or more feeders spread out in different areas around your house to avoid the constant dive-bombing you'll get when birds jockey over a single feeder.