Nature at Home
Hummingbird & Bananaquit Nectar Hummingbird & Bananaquit Nectar Hummingbirds feed on flowers, at your feeders for the sugar water (nectar) and on small, soft-bodied insects in much the same manner as flycatchers. Much of their diet is made up of small arthropods such as fruit flies, gnats, mosquitoes, aphids, spiders, caterpillars and insect eggs. This enables them to live for extended periods without nectar by quickly converting fat reserves and recently ingested bugs to energy when deprived of nectar.

Besides the sugar water they get from feeders, bananaquits also eat fruit pulp or small fruit pieces, particularly bananas. They will catch spiders, beetles, wasps, caterpillars and butterflies as well.

Hummingbirds’ and bananaquits’ diet of arthropods is why we strongly recommend the minimum and highly selective use of any insecticides, even the natural ones such as Neem oil. While neither the hummingbird nor the bananaquit directly eats plants, the aphids and caterpillars do. So through the use of insecticides, both chemical and natural, you are indirectly poisoning hummingbirds and bananaquits which could lead to their death.

Hummingbird & Bananaquit Food Recipe

  • Makes 3 cups of Simple Syrup
  • 1 part Pure Cane White Granulated Sugar, e.g. 2 cups
  • 1 part Water, e.g. 2 cups
  • Combine in sauce pan & bring to boil; boil for 5 minutes; refrigerate once syrup cools

For Hummer & Sugarbird Feeders

  • 1 part Simple Syrup, e.g. 1/4 cup
  • 3 parts Water, e.g. 3/4 cup
  • Combine & pour into hummer feeder with red accents. The red will get their attention without adding any artificial colour
It is not necessary to buy ready-made nectar since birds get all the vitamins, minerals and proteins they need from the natural nectar and insects they eat. Definitely no honey; organic, natural or raw sugars; or artificial sweeteners in the feeders as they contain levels of iron that could be harmful to the birds.

Cleaning: Every 3 to 4 days flush feeders to prevent mold with hot tap water and clean with a bottle brush, rinse. Do not use soap! At least once a month, clean the feeders thoroughly with a solution of 1/4 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water, let it set in this solution for about an hour then, if necessary, clean with a bottle brush. Almost all feeders can be dismantled for easier cleaning. This can be done at night and the feeders refilled the next morning, so you don’t disrupt the birds while they’re eating.

We recommend clear glass or plastic feeders so you can keep track of the amount of sugar water and its condition.


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