Hummingbirds are a gift of nature. In addition, they have a unique metabolism that requires them to eat very specific foods. To stay healthy and gain sufficient energy for their daily activities, birds require nutrients like protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
In addition, their proactive lifestyle and elevated heart rates make it compulsory for them to consume food constantly. Hence, they turn to nectar as one of their major food sources.
As an ornithophile, you can help these little jewels by providing homemade nectar and enjoy watching them in your backyard. This nectar, however, is easily spoiled and may even turn birds away! Some might not be able to make nectar every day, but you can store hummingbird food in the fridge for at least two to four weeks.
So, you have made hummingbird food in bulk, and you are wondering if you could store them in your fridge? Well, you surely can. If you have a lot of feeders that require refilling frequently, storing hummingbird food such as nectar might be a great idea. However, it is important to ensure that the food is highly nutritious and fresh. You should also avoid hoarding hummingbird food for a long time, as it tends to spoil, and a lot can go to waste.
If you have a lot of hummingbird food that you fear may spoil, we have a three-step process that will help you store nectar in the refrigerator.
- Use a small container that can easily fit inside your fridge. Pour the nectar solution into the container and seal it tightly.
- Make sure you place the container on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. It is a great way to keep food fresh for a longer time.
Hummingbird food, unlike any other, has an expiration date. Hence, planning to store hummingbird nectar in the fridge for a long time may not be an eternal solution. In addition, if it is not sealed properly, or if it gets contaminated in any way, it can spoil faster.
Spoilage is common for hummingbird food. Moreover, when the food sits in the feeders or your refrigerator for a long period, it may ferment. Hummingbirds are quite picky when it comes to food, hence, bad nectar will only drive them away.
During summers, especially in areas where the temperature exceeds 75 degrees, you may wonder, can hummingbird nectar get too hot? Well, the answer is yes. It is one of the main reasons that cause your hummingbird food to go bad. However, we recommend changing the nectar every day to avoid molding and fermentation. Besides, you can protect the hummingbird nectar from going bad by placing it in a position where it can receive an equal amount of shade as well as sunlight throughout the day. The nectar may spoil even faster if exposed to intense sunlight.
You might’ve heard how hummingbirds are attracted to bright colors. Well, it isn’t all true. Hummingbirds have been seen to visit non-coloring flowers for nectar. It might be unnecessary and even harmful to apply dye to hummingbird food. Apart from zero nutritional value, these contain harmful chemicals which can affect a hummingbird, since nectar is one of the primary sources of food for a hummingbird. Artificial red coloring or Red Dye #40 is one of the most common dyes used for hummingbird nectar. It is derived from petrochemicals such as coal tar and is known to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. It also results in reduced reproductive rates as well.
The answer is yes! If the refrigerator has lower temperatures set, it may freeze your hummingbird nectar. Besides, if you live in a location where the winters are extreme or the temperature falls low during the nights, your hummingbird food in the feeder will most likely freeze.
Hummingbirds have a high metabolism, which requires them to stay warm constantly. However, at night they enter torpor to save energy. However, these birds may starve, since nectar tends to freeze at cold temperatures. Besides, frozen hummingbird food may also damage the feeders.
But, there are a lot of ways to keep your hummingbird food from freezing. Originally, the hummingbird nectar is usually prepared with one-part sugar to four-parts water. But, this solution starts to freeze at 27 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.78 °C). Hence, adding more sugar to the solution is one of the best ways to keep it from freezing and provide a much higher source of energy for the hummers.
While sweetening the nectar might be a great solution, using excessive sugar may be harmful to the birds. A rich syrup may be difficult for the hummers to consume and digest.
Hummingbirds are very sensitive to cold weather. Since they spend the night in torpor to conserve energy, some even stop breathing for some time to amplify their energy conservation. Similarly, providing frozen directly from your fridge might not be the best choice for those precious jewels. Instead, make sure to thaw it before pouring the nectar into the feeders.
In addition, if the nectar is frozen due to cold temperatures, you can warm the solution and pour it back, or even use snow baffles to prevent it from freezing. Insulating the feeder or using a solution with high sugar content are some common ways to feed your hummers during the cold.
While there are a lot of options, it is important to know how frozen nectar can affect our fluttery friends. Cold nectar lowers their body temperature and results in serious issues like hypothermia. In addition, frozen nectar may even prove to be fatal for hummingbirds, as it can cold-stun them.
However, make sure your frozen nectar is at room temperature, since very hot nectar may damage the feeder causing chemicals from it to dissolve in the nectar which can be harmful to the hummingbirds in your yard.