About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nectar: Pure and Simple

Hummingbird facts - the average hummingbird found in North America tips the scales at around three grams and its brain only makes up about 4% of its body weight.

That means that their BB sized brain weighs in at a very minuscule 0.12 grams!

So, with such a tiny amount of brain power, just how do they remember a thousand mile migration route that ends up at the same exact nectar feeder they used last year?

It's a truly amazing feat! Especially when you consider that the human brain weighs in at a whopping 1350 grams and some of us (who will remain nameless) always seem to have trouble remembering even the simplest things…like the recipe for hummingbird nectar!

It's important to remember that the simple recipe for hummingbird nectar is the 4:1 ratio - 4 parts water to 1 part white table sugar. This concentration has proven safe and attractive to hummingbirds for decades and closely mimics the average concentration (20%) of the natural flower nectar on which hummingbirds feed.

Hummingbird nectar should always be made from simple table sugar (sucrose) as it is the closest possible duplicate of natural flower nectar. Sugar alternatives such as honey, artificial sweeteners, raw sugar, organic sugar, brown sugar or additives such as preservatives and red dyes should not be used as they can potentially be harmful to hummingbirds. 
Original Article: WBU Nature News April 2012

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