Florida Hummingbirds

Rufous hummingbird feeding on a flower

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.

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