We've seen our fair share of creative hummingbird feeders, but Mississippi local Bryan Chapman is taking us back to basics. By standing in his yard with a red solo cup filled with sugar water, Chapman was able to draw quite the hummingbird crowd.  

Though you usually see hummingbird feeders in red (and the hummers in the video also appear to be drawn to the red cup), it’s actually a common misconception that hummingbirds only dine at crimson blooms. They do have heightened sensitivity to colours in the red-to-yellow range, but it’s actually the nectar content that draws them in. 

“By varying the nectar content of flowers, researchers were quickly able to switch hummers from a preference for red to a preference for the most nectar-rich flowers, regardless of colour,” explains the Audubon Society. “It’s the nectar, not the colour that makes the most difference. The little sprites are fast learners and will go to where the nourishment is.”

If you’re eager to try this at home, the recipe Chapman used is one cup of sugar to four cups of water. And while a sugar-filled red solo cup might seem like the prefect way to host a party for your avian neighbours, there are better ways of setting up a hummingbird-friendly backyard.


Top header image © Lee Jaffe, Flickr