Lakeside Nature Center
Backyard Wildlife Habitat
Luring Hummingbirds to Your Yard
Tiny, iridescent hummingbirds can be an exciting addition to your backyard wildlife. If hummingbirds live in your area, you can attract them by planting red, tubular flowers. There are many red-flowered plants to choose from. Over 160 native North American plants depend exclusively on hummingbirds for pollination. Many of the red-flowered annuals, perennials, vines, and shrubs available from mail order sources or local garden centers have been developed from the native red-flowered plants of the western hemisphere.
There are extensive plantings of native Missouri wildflowers at Lakeside Nature Center. You will see hummingbirds feeding all summer long
· The smallest bird in the world, the Cuban bee hummingbird is 2 1/4” long – about the size of a bumble bee.
· Hummingbirds, like helicopters, can hover. They can also move ahead, sideways or backward at will.
· A ruby-throated hummingbird, (most commonly seen hummingbird in MO) weighing about one tenth of an ounce, can travel 600 miles in migration.
· Hummingbirds not only sip nectar, but also eat tiny insects and spiders. They may drink up to eight times their body weight daily in water.
· Although their normal body temperature is about 103º F (40º C) it may drop to 70º at night. They have the ability to endure temporary cool weather or cool nights by becoming dormant.
· There are 340 species of hummingbirds in the world and all are found only in the western hemisphere. Of these, only one, the ruby-throated hummingbird, is found regularly in Missouri.
List of plants for attracting hummingbirds
To learn more about ruby-throated hummingbirds
(Photo of Ruby-throated hummingbird from Missouri Dept of Conservation)