Can You Use Simple Syrup for Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are a beautiful sight to behold, and many people enjoy watching them flit around their gardens and feeders. While many types of hummingbird feeders are available on the market, some people wonder if they can use simple syrup as a substitute for commercial hummingbird nectar.

Yes, the simple syrup can be used to feed hummingbirds. Simple syrup is a combination of sugar and water, which can provide the necessary energy and nutrients for hummingbirds without harming them.

In this article, I will discuss the benefits of using simple syrup, how to make it, and the best methods for feeding hummingbirds.

Hummingbird Feeders Vs. Simple Syrup

Hummingbirds are charming creatures that bring joy to any backyard. Hummingbird feeders are a common way to attract them. These feeders provide the birds with a source of nectar that mimics their natural food. However, they require frequent cleaning and refilling, and commercial hummingbird feeders can be costly.

Homemade simple syrup is a popular and affordable alternative. It’s made by dissolving sugar in water and can be easily stored. Moreover, it’s free from any artificial preservatives or additives. While both hummingbird feeders and simple syrup are effective, the decision largely depends on personal preference and budget.

Whichever option you choose, make sure to clean the feeder or change the syrup every few days to prevent bacterial growth.

Benefits of Using Simple Syrups for Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are tiny, active birds that require a lot of energy to flap their wings rapidly up to 90 times per second. One way to feed them is by using simple syrup, which is cheaper and easier to make than the commercial hummingbird food available in stores.

Using simple syrup as a food source for hummingbirds can have several benefits:

Easy and Quick Energy

Hummingbirds have a high metabolic rate and need significant energy to sustain their rapid wing-beating and hovering flight. Simple syrup, essentially sugar dissolved in water, provides a quick and easily digestible energy source for hummingbirds.

The concentrated sugar solution in the syrup mimics the natural nectar found in flowers, which is the primary food source for hummingbirds.


Making your own simple syrup at home is a cost-effective way to provide food for hummingbirds. It requires only two ingredients: sugar and water, which are readily available and inexpensive.

By preparing the syrup yourself, you can ensure its quality and avoid additives or preservatives that might be present in store-bought alternatives.

Customizable Concentration

Simple syrup can be prepared with different sugar-to-water ratios, allowing you to adjust the solution’s concentration to meet hummingbirds’ needs.

A standard ratio is one part sugar to four parts water, but you can make it slightly stronger or weaker based on your observations of hummingbird feeding patterns and preferences in your area.

Convenient Feeding Method

Hummingbird feeders are commonly used to offer simple syrup to these birds. These feeders usually have small ports or tubes that mimic the shape of flowers, attracting hummingbirds to feed.

Using simple syrup in a hummingbird feeder provides a consistent and easily accessible food source for hummingbirds, allowing them to feed conveniently without expending excessive energy searching for nectar-rich flowers.

Supplement to Natural Nectar Sources

While hummingbirds primarily feed on nectar from flowers, they may encounter periods when natural sources are scarce or when flowers may not be readily available during the migration.

Offering simple syrup in feeders can supplement their diet during such times, ensuring they have access to a reliable and easily accessible food source.

Making Homemade Simple Syrup for Hummingbirds

Homemade simple syrup is a perfect way to supplement hummingbirds’ diets by providing them with the necessary energy to thrive.

Using simple syrup to feed hummingbirds is a simple and cost-effective way to attract these charming little birds to your yard. To prepare, boil equal parts water and granulated sugar until the sugar dissolves. Allow it to cool and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Fill a feeder with the syrup and hang it in a shady spot, away from windows and predators. However, make sure to use safe practices, such as cleaning the feeder regularly to prevent mold growth and disease transmission. While simple syrup is safe for hummingbirds, it should not replace their natural nectar sources.

Consider planting nectar-rich flowers or using commercial nectar mixes as another option. With these simple steps, you can enjoy the beauty and grace of hummingbirds in your own backyard.

Can Turbinado Sugar be used as an alternative to Simple Syrup for Hummingbirds?

Can turbinado sugar be used as an alternative to simple syrup for hummingbirds? using turbinado sugar for hummingbirds is a viable option. It contains molasses, adding a rich flavor that can attract hummingbirds. However, since it is less refined, it may not dissolve as easily as simple syrup. Experimentation and observation will determine if hummingbirds prefer turbinado sugar as their sweet nectar source.


After learning about hummingbirds and their dietary needs, we can conclude that simple syrup is a great alternative to store-bought nectar. It’s easy to make at home and provides the much-needed energy for hummingbirds to thrive. By following the ratio of 1 part sugar to 4 parts water, you can create a perfect nectar solution that mimics the natural nectar found in flowers.

Ensure the solution is fresh and free of additives or artificial sweeteners. Using a hummingbird feeder along with simple syrup can be a delightful way to enjoy the company of these little birds in your backyard.

By providing them with a consistent source of nectar, you’ll support their migration journeys and contribute to their well-being. Simple syrup can be a safe and effective option for feeding hummingbirds. Remember to offer it in moderation, clean your feeder regularly, and record any observations on hummingbird behavior for your enjoyment.



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