Hummingbird Nectar Recipe
The recipe is very simple to make by combining 1 part cane sugar and 4 parts water.
1 Cup Recipe
1/4 cup pure cane sugar
1 cup water
Bring the water to a rolling boil and remove from heat. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, add 1/4 cup of pure cane sugar for every 1 cup of water. Stir into the water, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature before filling the feeders.
Now that I have given you the proper recipe, I'll tell you that I sometimes take shortcuts. There are times when I don't get to the feeders until they are all completely empty and the hummingbirds are swarming around impatiently.
When I'm in a hurry to accommodate the hungry swarm of hummers (sometimes even dive-bombing my head), I've been known to take quick measures. At these times, I boil half of the water, add it to the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the remainder from cold filtered water from the refrigerator door, or straight from the faucet. The hummingbirds are just as happy.
You know your water, so just use your best judgment here. If it's safe for you to drink, chances are it will be okay for the hummingbirds.
I've never heard of anyone who lost hummingbirds by feeding them water straight from the tap, but I do know of many people who do it this way.
It's more important to keep the feeders clean and free of mold. A good bottle brush will take care of this.
I have several brushes that I use and I especially like the ones with fuzzy cotton heads that can get in the hard-to-reach crevices at the top and bottom of the bottle. It's also good to have a smaller brush to get in and around the feeding holes.