Hummingbirds as Pollinators

At Luckey Bee Farms we recognize all the wonderful pollinators that help grow our food. Today we would like to draw a little attention to a little creature that doesn’t buzz, but hums.

The Hummingbird.

When hovering, a hummingbird’s wings may flap 15-20 times per second. They can fly backward. No other bird can do that! Their heart pulses at 1000 beats per second. The must consume double their weight in nectar daily. That spreads lots of pollen around.

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Hummingbirds have a poor sense of smell, so color is important. They are drawn to bright red, yellow, or orange.

Purple-throated Carib feeding at a flower

Hummingbirds have a long beak and long tongues.

Hummingbirds specialize in extracting nectar deeply hidden inside plants. Simply disrupting the pollen in a plant may lead to pollination.  Pollen is sticky stuff and adheres to a humming bill. Plants with long stamens and tall anthers will brush onto the hummingbirds head. These three actions lead to the hummingbird’s effortless transfer of pollen to the next plant it visits.

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