Some myths develop a life of there own, and it is difficult, if not entirely impossible, to dispel these myths. This blog post will provide you with the truth about some of the more common myths that still exist today.
One very common myth is that keeping hummingbird feeders up too long will stop hummingbirds from migrating. A hummingbird has an instinctive urge to migrate and this is not based on whether feeders are up or not. It is quite common for hummingbirds to begin their migration journey when there are still plenty of flowers and feeders available. Male hummingbirds often begin their migration journey two weeks before the female does so. It will depend on the species as to when they choose to begin their migration. Regardless of the species of hummingbird, whenever it is time for them to begin their migration, the hummingbirds are most likely responding to light level changes rather than to food level changes.
Another common hummingbird myth is that they only feed on red tubular flowers. If you have ever spent any time watching hummingbirds, then you know that this is just not true. Hummingbirds visit all colors, sizes, and shapes of flowers. These birds will visit flowers that are primarily visited by bees, or they will visit flowers are specifically adapted to hummingbirds–the red tubular ones. Generally speaking, hummingbirds will get nectar wherever they possibly can.
I am amazed that so many people still believe this next myth. The myth is that hummingbirds only eat nectar. Yes, nectar is the primary food source of hummingbirds, but it is definitely not their only food source. Hummingbirds also eat a variety of insects, as well as also eating tree sap from the holes drilled into trees by sapsuckers.
Another common myth is that hummingbirds have as many taste buds as humans. This is not true. There is a vast difference in the number of taste buds that a hummingbird and a human possess. Hummingbirds have between 40 and 60 taste buds, but humans possess about 10,000.
This is just a few of the common myths that still exist today about hummingbirds. If you have heard something and wondered if it is myth or fact, let us know by leaving a comment. We want to hear from you!