Hummingbirds are such interesting birds to observe. There are many dedicated hummingbird enthusiasts out there who like to try to attract them to their yards.
You might count yourself among them. Perhaps you’ve planted specific plants that are known to attract hummingbirds so that you can see them on your property more often.
You’ve likely even placed feeders at specific points throughout your yard. Hummingbirds really rely on plants and bird feeders to ensure that they get enough to eat.
The hummingbirds are so fast and they have such high metabolism rates that they will eat a lot of nectar in a short period of time. You might even be shocked by how fast the local hummingbirds will empty your bird feeders.
Is there a way to make hummingbird food last longer? Read on to explore this topic further.
You Can Simply Make More Nectar
The only practical solution that you have available to you is to make more nectar. Hummingbirds are going to consume quite a bit of nectar in a day, and this means that the nectar in your bird feeders will likely go fast.
This is especially true if the bird feeders that you’re using aren’t particularly large. You might not want to have to go back and forth refilling the bird feeders multiple times per day.
Even if you’re dedicated to helping out the hummingbirds, this is going to get to be a bit much after a while. Some enthusiasts will choose to install larger hummingbird feeders so that they can fit more nectar at once.
This can potentially be a practical solution because it means that the hummingbirds won’t be able to finish all of the nectar quite so fast. If you have many hummingbirds stopping by your property to find nectar, then this is going to be a good idea.
However, there are some things that should be considered before moving forward. The most important thing to think about is whether the hummingbirds will be able to eat all of the nectar while it’s still fresh.
Nectar that isn’t fresh could present a danger to the hummingbirds in the area. Harming the hummingbirds is the last thing that you would want to do.
This means that you will have to be somewhat proactive even when you’re putting larger amounts of nectar in the feeders. You’ll have to keep an eye on whether the nectar is staying fresh or not.
Hummingbird Nectar Will Become Contaminated Over Time
Hummingbird nectar that you keep in your bird feeders will become contaminated over time. This can happen simply because the nectar was exposed to bacteria due to being used as intended.
For example, a hummingbird might expose the nectar to bacteria while it’s trying to feed. Sometimes some dirt might get inside and touch the nectar.
There are many things that can happen, and as soon as the nectar becomes contaminated, a clock starts a countdown until the nectar can’t be considered fresh any longer.
This doesn’t mean that the nectar is going to become spoiled right away. The more hummingbirds that use the bird feeder, the more contaminated the nectar will become.
How long it will take the nectar to become completely contaminated will depend on various factors. The size of the bird feeder will play a role and so will the local weather patterns.
During hot summer days, you can only expect nectar to stay good for some time between two and three days. If the hummingbirds aren’t using up all of the nectar before that, then it’s going to go bad and could harm them.
This won’t be a danger if many hummingbirds are coming by to use the feeder. Lots of hummingbirds will be able to drink the nectar up and you’ll be forced to refill the feeder before the nectar has a chance to go bad.
When only one or two birds are using the large feeder, it’s going to be a bigger problem. Only two birds might not be able to finish the large amount of nectar that you placed in the feeder.
This means that it’s likely only practical to make more nectar if you’re seeing many hummingbirds in your yard. If you only see two or three, then it might be best to stick with smaller feeders and change them out more often.
You Can Store Extra Nectar in Your Refrigerator
If you’re committed to caring for the hummingbirds that stop by, you might simply want to be able to give the hummingbirds enough food. If you’re concerned about being able to refill the feeders in time, it might be wise to keep extra nectar around.
You can store this extra nectar in your refrigerator instead of putting it in a larger feeder. When the nectar is stored in a refrigerator it can stay good for at least 10 days and it might stay fresh for up to 14 days.
Simply check for any signs of contamination before you decide to use the nectar to refill the bird feeders. This will ensure that you get the best results.
It’s also noteworthy that you can freeze the nectar if you want to store it for longer periods of time. Freezing nectar for up to 30 days is fine, but you’ll have to thaw it out before you’ll be able to put it in the bird feeders for the hummingbirds.
Advice for Keeping Nectar Fresh
Trying to keep the nectar as fresh as possible should make a difference. It’ll help if you’re trying to use larger bird feeders so that you won’t have to refill the feeders as often.
Take the time to wash the bird feeders to the best of your abilities. If you’re able to sterilize the feeders, then it’ll prevent cross-contamination.
Don’t forget to wipe out the insect guards as well as the little corners that are hard to reach. Putting in the extra effort can make a difference.
Pick the spots where you hang the bird feeders carefully as well. If you hang the feeders in spots that are properly shaded during the heat of the afternoon, then the nectar will likely stay fresh for longer.
Making hummingbird nectar last longer is more about coming up with better ways to manage your bird feeders. If you’re able to use larger bird feeders, you’ll be able to put more nectar in the feeders at once.
This is only practical if you have many hummingbirds coming to your yard, though. If you only have two or three hummingbirds, they won’t be able to drink all of the nectar before it goes bad.
In some cases, it’s better to keep using small bird feeders while keeping extra nectar in your refrigerator. This will make it easy to refill the feeders when necessary.
You can try to make the nectar last longer by keeping the bird feeders clean as well. Doing so helps you to keep contamination to a minimum, but you still can’t prolong the life of the nectar indefinitely.
So long as you keep this information in mind, it’s going to be easy to keep caring for the hummingbirds. Enjoy watching them in your yard and try to do your best to keep the bird feeders stocked with fresh nectar.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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