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Can You Attract Hummingbirds with Honey?

A hummingbird feeds at a feeder.

With summer nearly here, you’re likely spending more time outside, and you might want to do a bit of bird-watching. If hummingbirds are on your nature wish list, you might be tempted to reach into your pantry for sugary materials to attract them, but you should avoid the honey.

While sugar might bring hummingbirds to your garden, honey, unfortunately, contains too much iron for them. If you use it in a feeder or even set it out on its own, you could inadvertently harm these little birds.

Instead, just stick with simple, plain white sugar and water. Plus, making the feed is exceptionally easy.

You’ll essentially make simple syrup. Combine one cup of boiling water with one-fourth cup of sugar. Stir until cloudy or completely clear. Allow it to cool and then place it in your feeder.

Joliyoou Hummingbird Feeder

Red feeders could help bring more hummingbirds to your garden.

While you might have heard you should add red food coloring to hummingbird food, this is another no-go. The coloring can also harm hummingbirds’ delicate digestive system. Instead, opt for a red feeder as the creatures are attracted to the color.

So, if you want to attract hummingbirds without harming them, a simple sugar and water recipe is best. You can also try this red ribbon trick to grab their attention.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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