DIY Hummingbird Feeder

I love Hummingbirds and have had a little success in luring them to my balcony garden. I was considering how to draw them in without adding a full-size hummingbird feeder to my balcony. I came across this idea while I was browsing Pinterest and decided to try it out. I’m delighted with the end result which only took 2 hours to complete.

I went to the local craft store and was able to purchase everything I needed for under $16. It’s about the same that you would pay for a regular feeder and won’t have the spouts and nozzles that might grow mold. The picture I saw had mason jar lids with chains attached for hanging. The local store was out of stock, and I didn’t feel like driving 40 minutes round trip to the next closest store. I substituted twine for hanging the feeders.

Two small mason jars, decorative lid inserts with holes, red paint pen, and twine

The first thing to do is swap the original lid inserts with the decorative ones. The new ones have holes that the Hummingbirds can reach the nectar through. Trying them out first means that I would be able to return them if they didn’t fit. They worked perfectly, so we’re on our way.

New lid inserts

Next, wash the jars and the lids. It’s always best to start with a clean slate. Any dirt, dust, grime, and germs are handled with some hot soapy water.

Clean and ready to go

Hummingbirds are attracted by the color red, and the feeders are currently missing that particular color. I correct that by painting the lid inserts. I chose to use a paint pen because it is less messy and dries quickly. You could easily use any kind of paint that will adhere to metal.

Rambunctious Red

While the paint dries, I make the hangers for the feeders. I’m placing the feeders around the posts at the top of my balcony railing, so I used a piece of twine and double knotted it around the jar, leaving long tails to tie it to the post. There are a lot of cool tutorials online to be more decorative about this step.

Twine is tied

This was also when I made the nectar. It’s straightforward to make, and I’ll be doing it a lot this summer because the nectar needs to be changed every day during the hottest part of the summer. The recipe is 4 parts water to 1 part sugar. I used 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar. You bring it to a boil to mix it thoroughly and allow it to cool before filling the feeders. Never use red food coloring in the nectar. Many food dyes are toxic to hummingbirds, and the red hummingbird food in stores has the same issue. If you want some coloring in the jar itself, use clean red, decorative rocks for the bottom of vases. These won’t harm the nectar and just wash them when you clean the feeders.

4:1 water and sugar, bring to a boil and let cool (Never add food coloring)

After the nectar has cooled, it’s time to hang the feeders. For me, it was as simple as tying the feeder to the railing post then filling it with nectar and popping on the lid.

All done

Now, I just have to maintain the feeders and wait for the Hummingbirds to arrive. The Hummingbird migration doesn’t usually reach Iowa until mid-April. But, I might be able to attract some of the early arrivals. Cleaning them is as easy as untying them and washing them out. I bought an extra large roll of twine so that I can replace it as need be. I had fun making these feeders, and I hope you do too.

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