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Hummingbirds Are Pollinators Too
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Hummingbirds Are Pollinators Too

Everyone knows that bees pollinate our gardens and flowers. They do a vital job for us and our food supply, our very existence depends on pollination occurring. Did you realize that hummingbirds are pollinators too? Hummingbirds are actually assisting bees in their task. The hummingbirds' diet consists mainly of nectar, tiny insects, tree sap and pollen.

They are very beneficial to your garden and their presence should be encouraged. When the hummingbird drinks the nectar from a flower, he sticks his head right inside to reach the most possible sweet liquid. In doing this he rubs his head on the stamen of the flower and gets pollen on his head and sides of his beak. He then travels to the next flower, drinks again and inadvertently transfers the previous flowers' pollen to the new one.

The hummingbird can eat as much as half its' body weight in a single day. They must find .05 ounces of food each day to survive. This equates to approximately 50 or 60 meals every single day.

Hummingbirds are able to hover very still and have great precision and control in flight to enable them to drink from the tiniest of flowers. They can do this because they beat their wings in a figure eight pattern at a rate that exceeds 2500 beats per minute, that's more than 40 beats per second. This can increase to 75 beats per second in rapid flight and courtship dives. That figure 8 action is what holds them very still and makes it possible for them to fly very quickly, stop and change direction on a dime and even fly backwards.

It's this rapid beating of the wings that makes the distinctive hum for which they are named and the sound that we hear when they are nearby.

Hummingbirds live for about 4 years and are very habitual. They have a route or preferred sequence of flowers that they go to. They learn where and repeat visits where the best food is. It may just be a loop around your backyard or it may be a full circuit of the neighborhood. Either way the lovely little hummingbird is assisting us greatly in helping preserve our food supply. Even if it happens as a by product of the little birds' feeding for their own survival.

They have the largest brain of all birds, at 4.2% of its' total body weight with their average whole body weight being in the range of .08-.7 ounces. They are the smallest animal to have a backbone. The benefits of having hummingbirds around are numerous. I encourage you to plant their favorite flowers in the summer and feed them in the winter with this recipe.

This will ensure greater numbers of birds, and we can have a great impact when we all do our part in helping this species survive.

I encourage everyone to learn a bit about these interesting little birds and help them as much as we can in their very busy short lives.


Street Talk

C. Hughes  

I love hummers.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Wow, interesting article. I would never have thought of a hummingbird as a pollinator! thanks!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

I was amazed too, just another thing that makes them so cool and interesting.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Great article about a great bird. I am keen on photography and have many photos of the little fellows.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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