1051 State Route 56 East,
Circleville, Ohio 43113

Phone: 740-474-2028

Toll Free: 800-378-8934

Why They’re So Much More Than a Pretty Bird

We often hear hummingbirds before we see them, their low, thrumming hum vibrating the air as they hover nearby. But it’s always a thrill to catch a glimpse, especially knowing their wings beat an average of 53 times per second and they can fly up to 30mph!

A visit from hummingbirds (named for the signature hum of their wings) is infrequent enough to feel special. Their miniature size (weighing in at just 5 grams) and their migration and speed make them tough to see if you’re not paying attention.

Well, we’re paying attention! Hummingbirds aren’t just beautiful and fascinating, they’re one of the primary pollinators of up to 80% of the world’s flowering plants and a third of the food we eat. So, they play an important role in food security and the survival of native plants.

OVER 330 SPECIES OF HUMMINGBIRDS

The Ruby-throated hummingbird is probably the only one you’ll see in our area, but there are technically three others that are fairly rare (Calliope, Allen’s, Anna’s and Rufous hummingbirds). Males are easiest to recognize in each species, with distinctive colors and markings.

Ruby-throated: If you’ve seen hummingbirds in Ohio, chances are this is the one. You’ll recognize the male easily by his ruby-red throat, white collar, black chin and emerald-green head and back. The female’s colors are duller overall, with a green back, tail feathers banded in white, black and a grayish green.

THEY HAVE NO SENSE OF SMELL

Hummingbirds are not sniffing out flowers and feeders but are attracted to their color. Which is why it’s so important to plant tubular annuals and perennials in bright colors.

Why tubular? Because hummingbirds’ long beaks and tongues are perfectly suited to reach the nectar at the end of the flower’s ‘tube,’ the nectar other pollinators can’t reach.

Hummingbirds also have a sweet tooth and will visit native flowers and feeders that provide consistent nectar. That’s because they need sustenance every 10-15 minutes from dawn to dusk to sustain their energy. And that translates to visiting about 2000 flowers in a day!

WHEN DO THEY ARRIVE?

Hummingbirds typically arrive in Ohio in April and May. In 2022, they reached Ohio around April 12 according to migration maps from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

HERE’S WHAT TO PLANT

Nectar-rich tubular flowers in bright colors. And to make your yard even more welcoming to hummingbirds, experts suggest including a water source nearby and allowing space between your plants for hummingbirds to hover.

Favorite Annuals:

Petunias, Salvia and Fuchsia, Lantana, Vermillionaire

Favorite Perennials:

Nepeta, Butterfly Bush, Monarda

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Have questions or want to know more about how to be a hummingbird magnet? Please stop in or give us a call at (740)474-2028.

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