Everyone loves a Hummingbird. Florida is home to 3 species of Hummingbird. The diminutive feather-weight but spectacular Ruby-throated Hummingbird is the most common of Florida’s three Hummingbird species. It usually leaves Florida for the winter and heads south, although some individuals stay in FL all year.

The other two species you will see during winter: these are the Black-chinned Hummingbird and the Rufous Hummingbird.

Rufous Hummingbird feeding on a flower. Photo credit: USFWS Mountain-Prairie

From April you might be lucky enough to see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds nesting in Florida. Nests are tiny, and usually near or overhanging water.

Providing artificial feeders for hummingbirds is one of the most widespread and widely loved backyard bird feeding activities. Hummingbird-specific feeders are easy and cheap to purchase, or even make yourself.

It is however important that other natural food sources are available to your backyard hummers – like native plants. Artificial feeding does not provide the extensive nutrition that these birds need, and should be considered as a treat rather than a substantial part of the diet for the birds.

More and more people are finding it highly satisfying to create a garden with hummingbirds in mind. You can do this regardless of the size of your space – even if you are going to be limited to just a patio area. Hummingbirds will go for bright nectar rich flowers, including both native and non native species. What you decide to plant will depend where in Florida you live and which species are recommended or available in your area.

Red and orange colored flowers are very attractive to the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. A hummingbird’s long, often curved beak has evolved to reach into tube like flowers to reach the nectar within.

The Mourning Warbler (Geothlypis philadelphia) could easily go unnoticed if you aren’t paying attention; or don’t know where to look for them.

Mourning Warbler

Their small size can make them easy to overlook, but adult males with their dark black chest patch do stand out once you’re lucky enough to have one in good view.

These are wonderful birds to get in or near your garden if you’re lucky enough.

Mourning Warblers hang about in low shrubs as well as on the ground. They can be wren-like in behavior and even catching a glimpse of them can be a challenge as they do move quickly.

Despite that, if you catch a male in the right mood where he’s found a suitable high perch on top of a bush or shrub, you’ll get fantastic views as well as put a face to that sweet song.

In the wild, Mourning Warblers are insect eaters. Their ideal garden is one with plenty of shrubs and dense places to hide and forage for insects. They are not considered to be a species that takes to bird feeders.

However, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on these wonderful birds in your backyard. When migrating, Mourning Warblers (along with other warblers) can appreciate a low down bird bath near ground level; just make sure it’s not going to put the birds at risk of predators such as cats.


Image credits:
tombenson76