Hummingbirds have many competitors for nectar sources. This includes bees, butterflies and moths. With this in mind, you may be wondering how the hummingbird fares when it comes to gaining access to nectar sources. Well, the hummingbird actually has advantages over some of its competitors when it comes to gaining nectar. This post will explain what gives the hummingbird this advantage over it competitors.
A Hummingbird has the ability to see into into the ultra violet range and they are attracted to red. Bees do not have the ability to see red and therefore they do not compete with the hummingbirds for red flowers.
Also, a lot of the various flowers that are known to attract hummingbirds have no scent. This does not matter to a hummingbird because the hummingbird has no known sense of smell and they are therefore not relying on their sense of smell to attract them to the flowers they choose to visit. When it comes to selecting a food source, what is most important is the quantity and quality of the nectar which is available. Whenever choosing a flower, the hummingbird will select the flower with the highest nectar output and the richest concentration of sugars, regardless of the shape or color of the flower. Also more important than the color of the flower is how the nectar taste.
Butterflies and moths are known to rely and scent a great deal to help them locate their nectar sources. If the flowers do not have a scent then a hummingbird will not have to compete with the butterflies or moths for their food sources.