|Anna's Humming Bird - picture from Wikipedia|
|'Stritz' in our yard - the plant is Calliandra haematocephala|
Humming birds feed primarily on nectar with some insects and spiders for protein. In order to maintain their high rate of metabolism, they have to consume the equivalent of their own body weight in nectar each day so they have a strong work ethic! Humming birds have no sense of smell so they are attracted to plants with highly coloured flowers. Red is often quoted as the key colour but any colourful flowers will usually attract them. In our yard they feed on the Lanatana, Hibiscus, Abutilon, Bougainvillea, Podranea and Caliandra. We also attract them with a feeder which is filled with red sugar solution.They generally hover to feed using their long tongue to collect nectar although they will perch too. Occasionally with large flowers, like the trumpets on Hibiscus, they will puncture the petals from the outside to get easy access to the nectaries near the centre of the flowers.
|Our feeding station with the most unusual situation of two humming birds feeding at the same time.|
The last two springs we had a hummingbird nests, the first year in our grapefruit tree in the small yard and last spring on a very thin and precarious bougainvillea shoot. The nests are about the size of an egg cup and the eggs no bigger then a small pea. One or two fledglings usually hatch. Click this link to go to a short Flickr video of our 'babies' last year. This year - no nest or at least we haven't found one yet!
|Humming Bird nest - again courtesy of Wikipedia|