Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Zeiss - Always on the lookout for something special – Shop now

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Sterility of Nectar

Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old Tuesday 14th May 2019, 21:33   #1
Beach Bum
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Missouri
Posts: 70
Sterility of Nectar

How sterile is the nectar hummers get from various flowers versus what they get from our feeders? Has any university ever studied this?
Beach Bum is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Wednesday 15th May 2019, 18:17   #2
Speak softly and carry a long lens
nartreb's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 1,301
Neither is sterile. I would guess that most flowers are a bit "cleaner" than an average feeder, since most plants that hummingbirds visit only produce nectar for a few days in each flower, whereas a feeder might get a haphazard cleaning every couple of weeks.

When nectar goes bad, hummingbirds won't drink it. That can take a little while: the sheer concentration of sugar makes it a difficult environment for many bacteria/fungi/etc. But sooner or later you'll see and/or smell some changes.
My bird photos
nartreb is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Monday 3rd June 2019, 01:08   #3
Registered User
SoCalHummerLady's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Coastal Southern California
Posts: 35
I'd guess flower nectar is a bit cleaner, simply because hummers will drain a flower of its juice and then it will produce new nectar. And, as Nartreb pointed out, flowers only exist for a short time.
With feeders, every bird that visits is injecting a little of its own mouth bacteria into the nectar: which is why it's so important to keep the feeders clean and refill frequently.
To avoid wasting nectar in my feeders, I monitor how much they are going through in a maximum 3-day period and only put in that amount of nectar. In summer and fall, I put in a lot more because there are so many more birds and they go through it much faster. Sometimes they will empty a full feeder in a single day in summer/fall.
SoCalHummerLady is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Regarding the nectar. keithdog Hummingbirds 3 Thursday 30th August 2018 10:05
Blackcaps and nectar dcweather Information Wanted 4 Friday 11th February 2011 16:43
Nectar Backyard Sanctuary Hummingbirds 2 Thursday 11th March 2010 20:14
Instant nectar mix ? Cris Hummingbirds 68 Tuesday 21st August 2007 13:24
Sugar or Nectar? Miamiflash Food and Feeders 3 Friday 16th June 2006 19:23


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.18509889 seconds with 17 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 12:55.