(noun) A sweet liquid produced by some flowers to attract pollinators such as insects, bats and birds. The quantity and composition of nectar varies for each flower species, but generally contains mostly water and sugar with trace amounts of proteins, salts and amino acids. The sugar content ranges from 3-80 percent depending on the type of flower and the soil quality.
Hummingbirds, honeyeaters and sunbirds frequently drink nectar, and nectar-eating birds are called nectivorous. Artificial nectar can be purchased in powder, concentrate and ready-to-drink forms, or a simple nectar recipe of four parts water to one part sugar can be easily made to supplement flowers. This recipe contains a sugar concentration of 20-25 percent, which most closely mimics the sugar concentration in natural nectar that birds prefer. Planting nectar-bearing flowers is another great way to attract birds with a natural, renewable food source.
Photo – Rufous Hummingbird © Minette Layne