Hummingbird Feeding Question

Yumbo, Colombia

I have already heard that the additive in brown sugar is not good for hummingbirds and that white refined sugar should be used but my question is what about natural unrefined sugar?

Mesquite, TX

Honestly not trying to be snarky but I guess my first question would be why change what has worked quite well and safely for ages and for perhaps millions of hummingbird feeders, that is... using plain white refined sugar in a four to one ratio with plain tap water or... if you don't have decent tap water, using perhaps distilled or filtered water.
As I recall, both brown and unrefined sugars contain some amount of naturally occurring ingredients that hummers don't necessarily need nor require and in some cases could cause possible harm to their internal systems if taken in high doses.
Invariably, questions regarding the substitution of alternate sugar sources that I have read over many years lead to the same standard answer by those in the know. That is, use plain white refined sugar in the aforementioned ratio of 4 to 1.
It may also help to remember that feeding sugar water to hummingbirds does not in itself provide any viable nutritional value. It does however provide an immediate energy source to help keep up with the hummer's intense caloric usage.

Hope this helps...

This message was edited Jul 25, 2018 6:07 PM

Yumbo, Colombia

Thank you for that. The question wasn't for me as I've always used plain white sugar but some neighbors who are into organic everything asked me if natural sugar is ok. I didn't know the answer and told them I'd ask about and will now tell them the answer is no.

Yumbo, Colombia

By the way my hummingbirds let me get away with 4 cups of sugar in 5 liters of water.

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