"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Avoid organic sugar when making hummingbird nectar

Photo courtesy of Marjorie's Garden.

I've had many people ask if they can use brown sugar or organic sugar to make hummingbird nectar. The answer is: No!

The following questions and answers were taken from Sheri Williamson's blog: Life, Birds, and Everything.  Williamson is an ornithologist, naturalist and author of A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America, a Peterson's Field Guide.

Can you make hummingbird food with brown sugar?”

Please don’t. Brown sugar contains molasses, which is rich in iron, and excess iron can be deadly to hummingbirds.

“Can you make hummingbird nectar out of organic cane sugar?”

 Again, the light beige color of semi-refined sugars, including organic sugar and “evaporated cane juice,” indicates the presence of molasses and therefore potentially toxic iron (though at a lower concentration than in brown sugar). Until some company comes out with a fully refined white organic sugar, it’s safest to stick with non-organic white sugar. 

There you have it!
Happy Birding!

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