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Will hummingbirds reject GMO sugar?

Can hummingbirds tell the difference between GMO and Pure Cane Sugar?

Can hummingbirds tell the difference between GMO and Pure Cane Sugar?

My son’s third grade class has been gearing up for the Science Fair. For Bruce, this meant experimenting with conventionally grown versus organically grown potatoes.

The organic potato sprouted.

The organic potato sprouted.

The conventional potato did not.

The conventional potato did not.

My son was having so much fun, that I decided moms should get to do a science experiment too. So I headed to Fred Myer and bought two brand new hummingbird feeders. I also purchased Pure Cane C&H sugar, as well as the store brand.

 It didn't say explicitly on the package, but I'm guessing that the store brand is GMO sugar from beets.

It didn’t explicitly say so on the package, but I’m assuming that the uber-cheap store brand is GMO sugar from beets.

I mixed up the hummingbird food with the ratio of 1/3 cup sugar to 1 cup water. I also added a few drops of red food dye, which I normally don’t do. Since I was “launching” two new feeders, I wanted to make sure and get the birds’ attention.

Then I set the feeders in my tree and waited. The GMO feeder was on the left, and the Pure Cane C&H sugar feeder was on the right. After one week, this is what I saw:

The birds don't like the GMO feeder!

The birds don’t like the GMO feeder!

Okay, I know what you’re thinking. That feeder on the left is half empty. So maybe the hummingbirds like the GMO sugar, but just not as much as the other one.

WRONG!

It is now three weeks later. I have emptied, bleached out, and refilled the feeders three times. The birds refuse to eat from the feeder they know to be GMO.

I’ve tried filling up the “bad” feeder with “good” sugar, and the birds still avoid it like the plague. They won’t go near it at all.

That, my friends, really freaks me out. If hummingbirds won’t eat the stuff, then why would I feed it to my kids?