Why you shouldn’t feed hummingbirds?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t feed hummingbirds, and I’ve learned this from personal experience and research. One of the main reasons is that feeding hummingbirds with unclean nectar can lead to an infection called candidiasis. This infection is caused by a fungus that can develop quickly in nectar made with honey.

Candidiasis is the same yeast that causes vaginal infections and the disease thrush in humans. It can be quite harmful to hummingbirds and cause them discomfort and health issues. The fungus can grow in their digestive system, leading to digestive problems and even death in severe cases.

I made the mistake of using honey to make hummingbird nectar once, thinking it would be a natural and healthy option for them. However, I soon realized my error when I noticed some of the hummingbirds showing signs of illness. They were lethargic, had discolored feathers, and were not visiting the nectar feeders as often.

Concerned about their health, I did some research and discovered that honey can be a breeding ground for the candida fungus, which is harmful to hummingbirds. The high sugar content in honey creates an environment where the fungus can thrive, leading to infections when consumed by the birds.

Since then, I have switched to using a simple homemade nectar recipe that consists of just sugar and water. This solution provides the necessary energy for the hummingbirds without posing any health risks. It’s important to note that the nectar should be made with a ratio of four parts water to one part sugar to mimic the natural nectar they find in flowers.

In addition to avoiding honey, it’s crucial to keep the nectar feeders clean and change the nectar regularly. Hummingbirds are attracted to the sweet nectar, but if it becomes contaminated with mold or bacteria, it can also cause health issues for them.

To avoid contamination, I clean my hummingbird feeders with hot soapy water every few days and rinse them thoroughly before refilling them with fresh nectar. This helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria or fungi that could harm the hummingbirds.

It is important not to feed hummingbirds honey or use it in homemade nectar recipes. The candida fungus present in honey can cause candidiasis, an infection that can be harmful to these beautiful birds. By using a simple sugar and water solution and keeping the feeders clean, we can provide a safe and healthy environment for hummingbirds to enjoy their nectar.