Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are indispensable pollinators for many types of flowers. One of the ways to contribute to this activity is to have a garden designed for them.
Flowers that attract hummingbirds

Hummingbirds or hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world and are brightly colored – especially males. Valuing them and taking care of their habitat is one of the reasons for having a good garden: find out in the following lines their pollinating function and the various flowers that attract hummingbirds.

To date, about 330-340 species of hummingbirds native to America alone have been recorded. They are found from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. The countries with the greatest diversity of these birds are Colombia, Peru and Ecuador.

Hummingbird Characteristics

These small birds can be found in all climates, but they are the main pollinators of higher and colder areas, in the absence of insects and bats in these ecosystems. There are even a large number of Andean plants that can only be pollinated by hummingbirds, according to biologist Vladimir Carvajal.

The energy these animals expend flying is incredible, as they can flap their wings up to 70 times a second. Therefore, their diet is based on the consumption of sugar found in the nectar of flowers and the protein stored by small insects, in an amount equal to half their weight, according to a publication by Kuxulkab.

A hummingbird bathes in a fountain.

Indispensable Pollinators

Hummingbirds, according to doctor in Ecology María del Coro Arizmendi, are pollinators of a large number of plants in tropical forests and in flower crops destined for export. They are known to pollinate over 1000 species of flowers.

Pollination is a basic process for maintaining diversity. If stopped, around 200 000 flowering species will disappear. Without going into too much detail, about 85% of plants need pollination to live, according to the book. Gardens for pollinators (Gardens for pollinators).

Currently, many species of pollinators and plants have been affected by urbanization. The reduction of flowers in urban areas, the absence of places for rest or reproduction, night light and ambient noise are some of the characteristics that affect them.

So one of the ways to help hummingbirds is to plant flowers in gardens. According to Carvajal, in order to contribute to this process, it is also important not to use pesticides – because insects are a great source of protein for the reproduction and rearing of the young – in order to diversify crops and favor spaces for their shelter.

How are the flowers that attract hummingbirds?

Processes of evolution and adaptation between hummingbirds and the plants they feed on and which they pollinate at the same time have been demonstrated. Therefore, the beak of hummingbirds changes according to the species, as each structure represents the shape of a particular flower to, thus, occupy an ecological niche and avoid conflicts with other species.

If you want to contribute to the conservation of hummingbirds and at the same time enjoy their company, a garden is the best option, instead of installing some artificial drinking fountains.

The recommendation – by hummingbird specialist María del Coro Arizmendi – is to plant species whose flowers have the shape of tubes, and are drooping, long and brightly colored, contrasting with the environment. They can attract not only hummingbirds, but also butterflies and larks.

The best flower species to attract hummingbirds

Here are some specific species for you to fill your garden with flowers that attract hummingbirds:

  • Salvia species (Sage).
  • Plants of the Penstemon genus .
  • princess earrings (Fuchsia).
  • Trees belonging to the Erythrina genus .
  • bottle brushes (Callistemon Citrinus).
  • Species of Heliconia, guarana’s beak or false-bird-of-paradise (Heliconiaceae).

Other species you may want to consider are the flowers of the genus Opuntia cactus , the flowers of Passiflora mixta , the species Cortaderia selloana , bromeliads ( Bromeliaceae ) and bignoias ( Bignoniaceae ). Just find a garden store near you and find out which of these flower families you can find.

Example of the flowers that attract hummingbirds.

The hobby of observing hummingbirds – or birds in general – is an activity that has become very popular in recent years. This trend is very positive for the species, as it helps to generate knowledge for the conservation of hummingbirds through gardens.

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