Do Hummingbirds Drink Water? | How Much And How Often?

Many birders love attracting hummingbirds to their backyard or garden so they can enjoy the sightings of these little birds.  

Do hummingbirds drink water?

Yes, hummingbirds drink water to be hydrated and healthy. The water helps them to maintain their metabolism and regulate body processes. However, the hummingbirds do not visit water sources frequently for drinking as compared to other birds.

They do not need much water for drinking as they fulfill their water requirement majorly from the nectar. It is believed that a hummingbird consumes nectar of about one-half of its weight every day. Therefore, they might not worry much about finding water sources.

Hummingbirds’ water drinking habits and patterns are not quite diverse. They are not among those creatures that drink water a lot. The requirement for the liquids increases during migration and nesting season. 

These birds use their long, forked tongues to lick water instead of using bills. A hummingbird licks around 15 times per second while drinking water. 

Related Read: Why Does My Hummingbird Water Get Cloudy?

Do hummingbirds drink plain water?

Hummingbirds drink plain water but not so frequently as they get the liquids from the nectar. They majorly use plain water for bathing rather than drinking. Plain water is not something that they would prefer the most. 

Do hummingbirds drink sugar water?

Yes, Hummingbirds drink sugar water like many other insects such as bees and wasps. They are likely to drink sugar water more than plain water due to their requirement for sugar-rich substances.

Related Read: Do Hummingbirds Get Diabetes From Too Much Sugar Water?

Why do hummingbirds drink sugar water?

Hummingbirds drink sugar water because it works as sugar-rich nectar for them. The nectar is a vital part of the hummingbird’s diet but finding nectar-containing flowers is a difficult and exhausting task. Therefore, hummingbirds sometimes feed on sugar water as a substitute for nectar. 

Unlike nectar, sugar water does not provide much of the nutrients to hummingbirds but is a great source to attract these sweet lovers and quench their thirst. These birds drink sugar water and satisfy their need for simple sugars like sucrose and glucose.  

Hummingbirds can drink sugar water because they are adapted to permit a sugar-centering diet. The birds possess digestive enzymes that break down sugars. Therefore the water containing sugar does not harm the hummingbirds but works as a great duplicate of nectar.

Related Read: Can Birds Drink Milk | What Happens If A Bird Drinks Milk?

How to attract hummingbirds to water?

Hummingbirds not only use water for drinking but for bathing as well. Placing different water sources in your yard may attract the Humminbird to water as water sources can be used by birds for both drinking and bathing.

Here’s a list of effective ways that help in attracting hummingbirds to water.

Misting sprinklers

Positioning a sprinkler is fruitful as it not only provides mist to water grass in your yard but also attracts hummingbirds to water. The mister sprinklers are an effective way to provide water to hummingbirds for bathing.


Installing a birdbath Fountain can be a great way to attract hummingbirds to water for bathing. The fountain is an attractive water source for hummingbirds as it provides plenty of space for the birds to access the water. 


When water from drippers splashes on the leaves or the ground, it attracts hummingbirds and provides a fun bathing session. The noise of splashing attracts the birds and clean water dripping slowly becomes irresistible for them, especially in hot summers.


Adding a mister to your garden can create a water source and attract hummingbirds. These birds get attracted when they listen to the noise of the mister and see tiny water drops in the air. The birds may rub off their feather against glistening leaves to bathe.

How do you give hummingbirds water?

You can give hummingbirds water by placing water feeders in your yard. The best way to give hummingbirds water is by adding sugar to it. These birds enjoy feeding on sugar water as it duplicates their favorite, sugar-rich nectar perfectly. 

Placing hummingbird feeders is an effective way to give them water for drinking. However, it is important to prepare the sugar water by using the right ratio of sugar and water. The standard ratio is 1 part table sugar and 4 parts of water.

The important things to keep in mind while giving water to hummingbirds through water feeders are:

  • Clean the feeders regularly to maintain hygiene and prevent diseases. Uncleaned feeders do not attract hummingbirds. Mold and bacteria grow quickly and thus spoil the fluid.
  • Change the sugar water in the feeders frequently as it soon gets contaminated, especially in the summers. The contaminated fluid can make hummingbirds severely ill. 
  • Position feeders at such places where they get easily detected by hummingbirds but do not receive direct sunlight. This will help in reducing the rate of spoilage. 
  • Place the feeders especially during spring and fall because hummingbirds visit many of the countries especially during this period. 
  • Do not add other ingredients to sugar water like red color and sweeteners. These unnecessary ingredients may harm hummingbirds’ health. 
  • Keep off bees, wasps, ants, and other insects that feed on sugar water as they create a nuisance. These insects may frustrate hummingbirds because they not only feed on their water but also contaminate it.

Related Read: Can You Keep Hummingbirds As Pets? | Why Pet Hummingbird!


Hummingbirds drink water and are attracted to it. The water keeps them healthy and alive. Providing sugar water helps the bird in completing their requirement for sugar. Birders can enjoy the sight of these little birds by providing water to them.

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