What do hummingbirds eat in the winter?

Most birds during winter are migrating in warm places, however, a hummingbird can stay in the winter season as long as they are well fed. You will be surprised on how hummingbirds can survive on very low temperatures. Thanks to their fast metabolism and their deep sleep called “torpor”, they can conserve energy. Meaning, you can succeed in attracting as well as feeding Hummingbirds during winter. Indeed, just a recent discovery that it is good for the hummingbird to bear winter in the U.S. These birds will go back to the same feeding ground every year.

Tips for feeding Hummingbirds during the winter

Keep the mix ratio in 1:4 sugar to water

The concentration of Nectar varies greatly among a variety of plants hummingbirds visit, but usually, they are low in sugar. Formula with too much sugar does not need aid hummingbirds. They will have problems traveling to the grooves of their tongue easily. Higher sugar levels may help to prevent freezing, but experts recommend staying with a 1:4 mix of white sugar and water only.

make hummingbird nectar without boiling

Have two feeders and rotate them

It is better to have two feeders and have them rotate so that it will not freeze throughout the day. During the night the hummingbirds do not feed, so you may bring the feeders indoors. But, at dawn, they start to feed so bring the feeder back out as early as possible. Anna Hummingbird can be very territorial and may not want to share a feeder. So with multiple feeders can help break up the fighting and competition for a single feeder.

Don’t enjoy setting your alarm at 5 am

With Christmas light, it is better to have it near the feeding station o from the bottom of the feeder. Depending on the watts, it can put out enough heat on that especially cold night to keep the nectar from freezing.

Duct tape a hand warmer to the feeder

The handwarmer a pouch with chemicals in them that gets activated once out of their packaging. They eliminate heat for approximately 7 hours.

Don’t stress yourself about the welfare of the hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are skillful in reducing their body temperature at night and conserving their energy. They nest in trees and shrubs and do not use nest boxes or birdhouses. They need so much nectar during the day to keep them going, especially in the cold. Likewise, hummingbirds eat insects to meet the protein they need and other nutrients requirements.

The best Choices to Feed Hummingbirds in the Winter

Here are some choices that we can provide to the Hummingbirds so that they will stay in our surroundings. They are all ready to serve and easy to keep.

1) Hummingbird Market Hummingbird Nectar

Scientifically formulated with natural sugar, it is the best hummingbird nutrition, they sense it and keep coming back. No need to boil, just dissolve in warm water. The resealable bag helps you to keep it easily without transferring to other containers. Keep safe by putting it in the refrigerator.


  • Hydrates the hummingbirds


2) Humbard Nectar RTU 1.5l

Sweet-Seed Sweet-Nectar Hummingbird Nectar Sucrose 50.7 oz.
49 Reviews
Sweet-Seed Sweet-Nectar Hummingbird Nectar Sucrose 50.7 oz.
  • NATURALLY INFUSED WITH WHAT HUMMINGIRDS CRAVE: Infused with chemical free, steam-distilled wildflower waters, naturally made from the most desirable food sources that hummingbirds actively seek out in nature.
  • EVERYTHING YOUR HUMMINGBIRDS NEED: All of our nectars are made with pure cane sugar and carefully fortified with calcium and electrolytes to help aid healthy eggshell growth and eliminate dehydration.

Pure Infused with free from chemical, distilled wildflower water. It’s organically crafted using the best food sources which hummingbirds usually look for in the wild. This is purely made of sugar from cane, not to mention that it’s calcium-fortified. As well as, the electrolytes that help the growth of eggshell and keep them hydrated.


  • Hydrates Hummingbirds
  • Natural sugar
  • Easy to prepare


  • Expensive

Other choices to Feed Hummingbirds in the Winter

1) Kaytee 100506148 Electro Hummingbird Nectar

Kaytee 100508147 Ready to Use Hummingbird ElectroNectar, 64 Ounces, Clear
14,418 Reviews
Kaytee 100508147 Ready to Use Hummingbird ElectroNectar, 64 Ounces, Clear
  • Hummingbirds are attracted to the color of your feeder, not the color of the food
  • Naturally clear hummingbird nectar formula not only attract hummingbirds, but also nourish & hydrate

Purely clear Hummingbird nectar formula no need to add sugar and water it is ready to use. Before using better to clean Hummingbird feeder for best results. Naturally made with electrolytes and no added coloring. Before use, shake well and put in the refrigerator after opening.


  • Easy to use
  • Natural ingredients


  • Very sticky

3) Audubon Park 1661 Hummingbird Food Nectar Powder

Audubon Park 1661 Hummingbird Food Nectar Powder, Contains (3) 3-Ounce Packets
387 Reviews
Audubon Park 1661 Hummingbird Food Nectar Powder, Contains (3) 3-Ounce Packets
  • No preservatives, all-natural coloring
  • Attracts hummingbirds, orioles and the occasional warbler, woodpecker or chickadee

It help attracts hummingbirds, occasional warbler, and orioles. It’s also appealing to woodpeckers and chickadees. With no chemicals, naturally no preservatives and coloring. It’s with the inclusion of three ready-to-feed bird food.

make hummingbird nectar without boiling


  • Just add water
  • Affordable price with 3ounce packs
  • Helps Hummingbird to come back


  • Expensive

4) Perky-Pet Hummingbird Original Instant Nectar

No products found.

An instant concentrate nectar feed for Hummingbirds helps your feeder up and running fast. They will like the benefit of having one place to feed, and hummingbird lovers appreciate watching the radiant of the birds humming about and dining at the feeder.


  • Easy to make
  • Can keep in the refrigerator the liquid form
  • No artificial flavoring


  • Expensive


Hummingbirds bring joy to us in the times of cold day, with the feeding you gave to make them go on for the whole day. Keeping them with food makes them stay in our surroundings. Even other birds without proper feed will eventually die that is why we need to feed them though they also have ways to find their food. Though the smallest birds in the earth they have a unique way to protect themselves.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you feed hummingbirds in the winter?
Better to clean your feeder once a week during cold weather, and repeat every 2 to 3 days during warmer weather. Thus, do not adjust the mix of sugar and water, always use 1:4 mix of sugar to water. Basically with high sugar helps to prevent freezing, an expert is recommended staying in the consistent mixture.
How do hummingbirds survive in the winter?
Hummingbirds are the smallest bird on earth though they may seem frail, they are tough as diamonds. During winter, the bird’s bodies enter into an energy-conservation mode called torpor.
What do hummingbirds do in the winter?
It depends on the breeds of the hummingbirds stay in winter. Others migrate to other warmer places. With their ability to change their body temperature able to handle the cold as long as they have enough food to eat. Thus, they do not stay in nests or bird houses they stay on the trees.

Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at Ballachy.com .

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