Most hummingbird feeders on the market have enough color on them (red or otherwise) to attract hummingbirds without the need for red dye in the nectar. If there is no red on your feeder, simply tie a piece of red flagging, rope, or fabric to it. The dye is petroleum based The dye in colored nectar is red dye #40. Red dye #40 is now made mostly from petroleum, which is not good for any animal to ingest! Nectar from flowers is clear — not red Nectar made with white table sugar and warm water at a 1:4 ratio most closely approximates the naturally clear nectar found in flowers. The red dye passes though the hummingbird The dye stains their excretions red. These indicators mean the red dye is “not metabolized, but passes through the kidneys, where it might cause problems.” (see photo on right) You can make clear nectar more simply No more trips to the store to buy nectar. Make it at home. It will attract and feed all the hummingbirds you can handle!
Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
1. Combine 1:4 ratio of plain white table sugar to warm water.
2. Allow the sugar to dissolve.
3. Fill feeders and store remaining nectar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Your feeder should be emptied and cleaned twice per week in hot weather; cooler weather, once per week.