Bird & Hummingbird Pollination
Pollination of flowering plants by birds is referred to as Ornithophily. The most common birds that help pollinate are hummingbirds, spiderhunters, sunbirds (Old-World tropics), honeycreepers (Hawaii) and honeyeaters (Australia).
There are 2,000 bird species globally that feed on nectar, the insects, and the spiders associated with nectar bearing flowers.
Flowering Plants Typically Visited by Birds and Hummingbirds Are:
- Tubular and have petals that are recurved to be out of the way
- Have tubes, funnels, cups
- Strong supports for perching
- Brightly colored: red, yellow, or orange
- Odorless (birds have a poor sense of smell)
- Open during the day
- Prolific nectar producers with nectar deeply hidden
- Modest pollen producers that are designed to dust the bird’s head/back with pollen as the bird forages for nectar
Hummingbirds have very good eyes and are very attracted to red. They only weigh between two and eight grams, but they must eat frequently in order to power their heart that pumps 1,200 times a minute. Their wings beat seventy times each second! In order for them to survive they must eat several times their weight in nectar everyday.
There are sixteen different species of hummingbirds breed in North America. Hummingbirds feed on their migratory routes. It is very important to provide them with nectar from a hummingbird feeder and to plant a hummingbird garden for them.
Do not use pesticides in the areas that they feed because they are carnivores but rely on sugar for energy pesticides kill their food and can sicken the birds themselves.
Give them good perch opportunities around food sources, they spend 80% of their time perched.
Always leave at least one feeder a week or two after the last hummer of the season has been seen for any who are late. Make sure to clean the feeder every 3-4 days.
CLICK HERE to Read More About Native Pollinator Plants For Hummingbirds
Webmaster. “Bird Pollination.” Bird Pollination. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2017.