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Hummingbird Nectar Freshness

Maintaining the Freshness: Changing your Hummingbird Nectar Regularly

How often should you change your hummingbird nectar?

Hello birding friends, I wanted to share some important insights on a common question we often grapple with: how often should you change your hummingbird nectar?

Our collective love for hummingbirds extends to ensuring their safety and well-being, and keeping their nectar fresh is crucial to that end. So, let's explore this topic in a little more detail:

The Golden Rule: Every 2 to 4 Days!

Believe it or not, the nectar in your hummingbird feeders should ideally be changed every 2 to 4 days with warmer or humid climates being closer to every 1-2 days. You might ask, "Why such regularity, Pop's?" It's all about ensuring freshness. Heat, sunlight, and outside factors can cause nectar to spoil and develop bacteria or mold, which isn't good at all for our feathered friends. So, maintaining that freshness in a timely manner is key.

Factors Influencing Nectar Freshness

Though the 2 to 4-day rule is a good standard, several factors may influence how long your nectar remains fresh:

1. Temperature:
If it gets warm, fermentation and bacterial growth in the nectar can speed up, necessitating more frequent changes.
2. Sunlight:
Direct sunlight also promotes spoilage. It may be beneficial to place your feeder in a shaded area.
3. Feeder Design:
Some feeders design can better maintain the nectar's freshness. Consider feeders that limit nectar's exposure to sunlight and are easy to clean.

Nectar Recipe:

A simple 1 part sugar to 4 parts water formula is usually best. Avoid dyes and mixes that may contain preservatives. Pop's Nectarade is a great ready to use hummingbird nectar with no dyes or preservatives with added electrolytes for dehydration and fortifies with calcium for healthy eggshell gowth.
To avoid waste, we recommend filling your feeders only as full - so as they are being emptied by your hummingbirds at the appropriate time interval to change out.

Clean Feeders Regularily:

Feeders should be cleaned thoroughly every time before refilling with fresh nectar. Be sure to clean feeders with water and vinegar or mild soap and rinse thoroughly. You can see our complete guide to cleaning your feeders here for more tips!  

Nectar Temperature Guidelines

Here are some guidelines to help determine how often to change the nectar in your feeder, according the the temperatures in your area:

  • 60-70 degrees change weekly
  • 71-80 degrees change every 3-4 days
  • 81-85 degrees change every 2-3 days
  • 86 degrees & up change everyday to every other day

Keep an Eye out for Spoiled Nectar

Pro tip: Always check for telltale signs of spoiled nectar before replacing it. Is your nectar cloudy or discolored? Does it have a strange odor? Is there any mold on the feeder ports or on the surface of the nectar? These are signs that it's time for a refresh.

So, what do you say, fellow hummingbird devotees? Let's keep our pint-sized pals healthy and thriving by refreshing their nectar regularly. We're in this together, fellow birders!

Now go out there, fill up those feeders, and bask in the wonder of having the mesmerizing company of your hummingbird friends. And, as always, happy birding!


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