Bird Watcher's General Store

Response to PBS Hummingbird Nectar Formula

On a different topic: Iíve been getting lots of calls about a new hummingbird special thatís been airing on PBS. I have not seen the special myself, but Iíve seen some of the mind-blowing clips on YouTube. It looks like a great show, but thereís a problem. In the course of the special, according to the callers, the filmmaker suggests that the best mixture for hummers is two parts water to one part sugar, or even stronger. People want to know why I suggest a weaker mixture of four parts water to one sugar. Okay, hereís the deal. Four-to-one is best for the birds; it is close to the nectar they get from flowers. Itís the formula recommended by the National Audubon Society, Cornellís Lab of Ornithology and the Tucson Desert Museum, where they have a hummingbird aviary. Thatís why I recommend four-to-one. Come on! Do you think I make this stuff up? Well, sure, sometimes I do, but not this time. Stick with four-to-one, and donate the money you save on sugar to PBS. Theyíre about due to have a fundraiser. They havenít had one in almost two days.

Artwork by Catherine Clark

Back to Article Index


Bird Watcher's General Store * 36 Rt. 6A, Orleans, MA 02653
toll-free: 1-800-562-1512