Skip to Content

Can You Use Kool-Aid in a Hummingbird Feeder?

Can You Use Kool-Aid in a Hummingbird Feeder?

Many times, you might want to break the monotony and give flavored Kool-aid to your hummers. It might feel like an excellent idea. But, is it safe for your birds? Let’s find out below! 

Is Kool-aid harmful to hummingbirds?

Kool-aid might be delicious for you. But, the same cannot be true for the birds. Hummingbirds are small with delicate bodies. So, you should not give anything to them without proper research. 

Kool-aid is harmful to hummingbirds as it contains harmful chemicals, and it is not natural food. Kool-aid is a potential substrate for fungal colonies as well as it can attract insects that can be inconvenience in the feeder.

Here’s your detailed answer! 

Harmful chemicals

Kool-aid contains many chemicals. Some of them are not good even for our health. Since hummingbirds are small creatures, they witness magnified impacts. The chemicals in Kool-aid can make your hummers sick if you put it in their feeders. So, it’s always better to avoid giving them Kool-aid.

Kool-aid contains preservatives, additives, artificial flavorings, and petroleum-based synthetic dyes. These chemicals are mild for us but lethal for hummingbirds. Their bodies might react to them, or their organs can collapse after consuming Kool-Aid. Thus, you should not give the birds Kool-aid at all in the feeders to keep the hummers protected from the harmful ingredients. 

Disinterested birds

Birds are natural. They prefer natural foods like fresh fruit juice and sugar water. Unlike us, they don’t try out new things and stick to their conventional food sources. You will see that hummingbirds have a lesser affinity for readymade flavors like Kool-aid.

Even if you put Kool-aid in the feeder. You will see lesser hummers flocking your feeder and drinking the water you gave. In short, they will be disinterested in drinking nectar from your feeder. In contrast, if you give them plain sugar water, they will become more excited to drink from your feeder and visit your home in larger flocks. 

Fungal colonies

Kool-aid is a potential substrate for fungal colonies to grow. If you keep Kool-aid for a prolonged period in your refrigerator, fungal spores start growing in them without noticing. Furthermore, if you keep Kool-aid in a hummingbird feeder, the solution might grow fungal communities during hot and humid conditions. 

Hummingbirds are highly susceptible to molds and fungus. In many cases, researchers have revived fungal spores from the body of a dead hummingbird. So, you might unintentionally give fungus to the hummingbirds by putting Kool-aid in their feeders. Thus, Kool-aid is a bad choice if you consider the delicate bodies of a hummingbird. 

Strong flavor attracts insects

Kool-aid has a strong flavor. It might get easily fermented if you leave it in the feeder on hot and humid days. Such a Kool-aid solution becomes more flavorful with a pungent odor. Although it might repel the hummingbirds, more creatures will visit your feeder looking for food. 

Insects like bees, wasps, ants, and male mosquitoes might come to the hummingbird feeders due to fermenting Kool-aid. When a hummingbird comes in contact with these intruders, the insects might bite or sting them. So, giving Kool-aid to the hummingbirds in their feeders is not an excellent idea. It’s better if you keep Kool-aid away from the hummers. 

Difficult to clean the feeder

When you give sugar water to the hummingbirds in their feeders, it doesn’t easily ferment and becomes easy to clean. However, it’s not the case with Kool-aid.

You already know that Kool-aid can ferment and become cakey. It can stick to your feeder surface and become stubborn to leave out. Besides, the insects that come to your feeder due to Kool-aid bring pollen and dirt with them. Cleaning them will become a headache for you afterward. 

So, we conclude that Kool-aid is not a healthy diet for hummingbirds. It can lead to many direct and indirect hazards for the hummingbirds in a short span. 

Moving on, let’s address some more essential questions that you might get in your mind. 

Can you put red Kool-Aid in a hummingbird feeder? 

Kool-aid is a lethal drink for hummingbirds. We have told you already. However, it might still encourage you to give Kool-aid to the hummingbirds, especially the red drinks. We all know red attract the hummers. So, you might consider adding Kool-aid to the feeder to make the food appealing to the hummingbirds. However, should you put red Kool-aid in a hummingbird feeder? 


Red Kool-aid has petroleum-based synthetic dyes and artificial flavors. You will risk their lives if you give the red Kool-aid to the hummingbirds. Since Kool-aid is unnatural, you will harm the birds in various ways by giving the drink in their feeders. 

It’s better to give the hummers natural food – something that does not harm them but attracts the birds. Let’s look into the ABCs of making healthy food for the hummingbirds. 

How to make natural food for hummingbirds? 

Hummingbirds have a huge appetite. They are hungry for energy-rich and healthy foods. So, it’s better to know the ways to make natural food that attracts the hummingbirds. You can easily give it to the birds without causing them any harm. So, let’s look at the process of making natural food for the hummers. 

The best food for hummingbirds is sugar water. You can prepare sugar solution for the hummingbirds and give them in the feeder to make them healthy. You can prepare either 1:3 or 1:4 sugar to water solutions for your hummingbirds. Be careful not to put too much sugar into the water. Finally, you can find high-quality natural food colors that do not contain artificial chemicals and mix a few drops into their food. The red food coloring is the best one for your hummers. It will attract them from long distances and make the food visually appealing. 


Kool-aid contains many chemicals that hummingbirds cannot consume. Some of the chemicals might kill the birds if you give Kool-aid to them regularly. The worst part is that Kool-aid can promote the growth of fungal colonies that kill hummingbirds if left unnoticed. So, it’s better if you don’t give them Kool-aid at all in the feeder.