• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Bad Nectar Water (1 Viewer)


New member

Research chemist here !! Having the problem with cloudy hummingbird nectar. Using well water in southwest Colorado...no treatment except for filtration. Always boil water first and add sugar with gentle stirring with a metal spoon...not a wooden spoon...to dissolve crystals. Heat will kill many of the mold spores in the sugar itself...slow down mold formation in feeder. Cool and store in bottle in refrigerator. Warm "nectar" up to room temperature before filling feeder.

Cloudiness caused by water problems...too "hard" or contains contaminants...chlorine ?? I used the same bag of sugar which produced cloudy nectar with my usual procedure, but employed distilled water in place of well tap water. Result: crystal clear nectar !

If you have had luck with your water in the past and it is now producing cloudy nectar, your water has changed in some way. Buy distilled water at the grocery store.

Good luck !!

The Bird Nuts

Birding Duo
Oh, strange.. I just posted on another thread about this. I read it's not good to feed hummingbirds distilled water because it contains none of the necessary minerals that hummers need.

The last few years I have been using spring water for my hummingbird nectar. I used to use tap water and I don't remember having this problem with that, but I switched because our water is softened. Anyway, I heat the spring water up in a pot on the stove (because the sugar will not dissolve in cold water), take it off the heat, then add the granulated sugar and stir with a metal spoon. SOMETIMES it turns out totally clear, but other times it has turned out very cloudy even after sitting at room temperature for hours. I can't tell whether it's contamination from the new water or the utensils, the water's too hot when I add the sugar, or what, but it's driving me crazy and I've thrown out so much sugar water. Do you think the cloudy stuff is dangerous to give to the hummers?

Users who are viewing this thread