nectar

How Much Nectar Do Hummingbirds Need?

Just how much nectar does a hummingbird require each day? Unfortunately, there is no exact or set amount. All that can be stated with certainty is that a hummingbird will require one and a half times its body weight in nectar each day to fulfill its daily energy requirements. The exact amount of nectar that a hummingbird will need to consume on any given day will very depend on many different factors. This includes the bird’s activity level, the current air temperature, the quality of available resources, and the time of year.

With this in mind, you can see why having plenty of natural food sources as well as hummingbird feeders in your yard is important. The hummingbirds will thank you for having provided such dependable sources of food and you will be able to enjoy the antics and aerial displays put on by the hummingbirds.

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Amount of Nectar vs. Smell

While it is true that both hummingbirds and butterflies like many of the same flowers, if your goal is specifically to attract hummingbirds to your yard, it is extremely important to know that hummingbirds have no sense of smell. This fact will have a great impact on the specific flowers you would choose to place in your yard.

A hummingbird is far more interested in the amount of nectar a flower will produce rather then the scent of the flower. A good choice for a hummingbird garden would be Hibiscus, which has large, open tubular shaped flowers and because it provides an abundant amount of nectar. The “Turk’s cap”, a close relative of the Hibiscus, is another popular hummingbird attractant because of its red cup like flowers.
The color red is known to help attract hummingbirds. The reason for this may be that the red is far easier to the hummingbird to see at a far off distance or that the hummingbird is able to see into the ultra violet range. Also, it is believed that red flowers tend to contain more nectar than other types of flowers, as do tubular shaped flowers.

This not to imply that all the flowers found in your hummingbird must be red. Far from it, hummingbirds like flowers of almost any color including pink, orange, yellow, purple and so many more. Any of the following suggestions would please the hummingbirds: impatiens, yellow bells, shrimp plants, and begonias are just a few flower bearing plants. Just keep in mind that the hummingbirds have no sense of smell and therefore desire plants that produce large amounts of nectar.

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How Much Sugar is In Nectar?

While I have always known that the hummingbird is highly intelligent, I recently found out something concerning the intelligence of the hummingbird which came as a great surprise to me and it may surprise you also.

Believe it or not, hummingbirds actually possess the ability the ability to know how much sugar is in nectar. The hummingbird will reject nectar that contains less then 10% sugar. A hummingbird prefers the sugar content to be about 25%. This is one reason that hummingbirds enjoy homemade nectar solution, because it is very close to the nectar concentration of many flowers which attract hummingbirds.

This post is one which I know my mom would have enjoyed because it combines her love of hummingbirds with discovering unusual facts or information. I hope all of you who read this will also enjoy it.

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About Hummingbird Territories

Today’s post is one which makes me think of my mom, because she would have enjoyed discovering that male and female hummingbirds maintain individual territories, how they select them and so much more. I cannot help but believe that you will also enjoy making these discoveries yourself as well.

Male and females do not live together. The male and female will only be together during the actual act of mating. The male and female each have their own territory or area where they live and will therefore defend. In this post you will learn how hummingbirds select their territory and more.

A hummingbird will select their territory based on the abundance of food, nectar, and water. These things must be available to help ensure the hummingbirds survival. The male hummingbirds’ territory is approximately ¼ an acre in size. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any specifics on the size of the female’s territory. The territory of the female is the area where the nesting site is built and therefore the female will fiercely defend it.

The Female hummingbird will check the strength of a prospective nest site by clinging to it or repeatedly landing on it. It is only after the site passes this test that the female will begin to construct the nest. The nest will be built on the underside of a palm leaf, on the side of a vertical plant stem, on a small branch, on top of a cactus or many other different locations are used and different species have different preferences. Hummingbirds usually build on branches, but the hermit hummingbirds build nests that hang from vegetation or from a vertical plant stem, root, or rock.

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The Starts and Stops of Hummingbird Feeding

The hummingbird seems to eat almost constantly throughout the day, but there is a time of day when this begins and ends each day. The hummingbird will feed between 6-8 times per hour, but each meal only last approximately 30-60 seconds in length. Their first meal of the day takes place about ½ hour before sunrise and their last takes place about ½ hour after dark. Within the first few hours of being awake, the hummingbird will have already consumed some 25% of its daily food intake. This is necessary because the hummingbird will be going from the inactive state of torpor, which is very similar to hibernation, to being very active.

If you want to be of help to the hummingbirds, it is important to make sure your feeders remain full with nectar during these times of day. By doing so, you may play an active role in helping to ensure the survival of the hummingbird.

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"7 Secrets of Attracting, Feeding and Identifying Hummingbirds"

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