Red Dye: Stories From The Field

Red Dye: Stories From The Field

Hummingbirds are some of nature’s most exquisite and delicate creatures. As caretakers of these tiny jewels, it’s our responsibility to ensure their health and well-being. Unfortunately, many commercial hummingbird nectars contain red dye, which can be harmful to these beautiful birds. Linda Lindsay, a California-based licensed Hummingbird Rehabber, friend of Hummingbird Momma, and member of The Hummingbird Whisperer Facebook community, has shared some harrowing evidence of the damage red dye can cause.

Stories from the Field

Linda has provided us with heartbreaking images that vividly show the effects of red dye on hummingbirds. These images are not for the faint of heart, but they are crucial in understanding the severity of this issue. Linda has shared the stories behind them on her Facebook page over the years, bringing to light the devastating impact of red dye. Here are some of her experiences (links in photos):


“This little girl Hummer did not make it!!! 😔 She hurt her shoulder and was eating food that had the red dye in it. 😭 Only use sugar water in your feeders, 1 part sugar to 4 parts water. ❤️👍”

“When you feed mom Hummingbirds, this is what happens to the nestling babies. (Don’t feed them the Red stuff) please use only one part sugar to four parts water. 💧” 

"SAVE THIS: The next time someone says there is no proof that red dye is harmful to these tiny jewels you can show them these pictures. See what it does to their tiny skin and the red on the Kleenex is stained red pee! Imagine how their tiny organs are affected by this crap!!!! (Photos provided by Linda Lindsay, one of our rehabbers who is constantly saving these tiny birds because of this!)"

Understanding the Impact

The photos show the red stains on tissues, which are actually red-stained urine. This staining is a clear indicator of the red dye passing through their tiny systems, affecting their organs and overall health. Linda, who is constantly saving these birds, emphasizes the severe internal damage caused by the dye.

The Safe Alternative

The safest and healthiest nectar you can provide for hummingbirds is a simple homemade solution: one part sugar to four parts water. This mixture closely mimics the natural nectar found in flowers and ensures that no harmful chemicals enter their systems.

Additionally, Hummingbird Momma’s Premium USDA Organic Nectar has gone through the rigorous USDA certification process, ensuring the purest of Nectar concentrates. This product provides a safe, organic option free from harmful dyes and additives.

Final Thoughts

Next time someone tells you there’s no proof that red dye is harmful to hummingbirds, show them these pictures and share Linda’s stories. As caretakers of these delicate creatures, it’s our duty to ensure their health and survival. Let’s spread the word and make sure every hummingbird feeder is filled with safe, dye-free nectar.

- Hummingbird Momma

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