Do Hummingbirds Like Begonias? All You Need To know

by Victor
Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures that capture our attention with their vibrant colors, incredible speed, and unique ability to hover in mid-air. These tiny birds are also known for their love of nectar-rich flowers, which provide them with a valuable source of energy for their high metabolism. Among the flowering plants that attract hummingbirds are begonias, a diverse genus of plants with over 1,500 species and an array of colors and shapes. In this article, we will examine whether hummingbirds like begonias and explore the factors that influence their floral preferences.

What Attracts Hummingbirds to Flowers?

Before diving into the specific relationship between hummingbirds and begonias, it’s important to understand what attracts these birds to flowers in general. The primary factor that draws hummingbirds to flowers is the presence of nectar, a sweet liquid produced by specialized glands in the flower’s base. Nectar provides hummingbirds with a rich source of carbohydrates, which they need to fuel their active lifestyle. Along with nectar, hummingbirds are also attracted to bright colors and strong scents, which help them locate flowers from a distance.

Do Hummingbirds Like Begonias?

The answer to whether hummingbirds like begonias is not straightforward since different types of begonias may appeal to hummingbirds differently. Some begonias are more attractive to hummingbirds than others due to their shape, color, or nectar production. For example, tubular begonias with red, orange, or pink flowers tend to be more appealing to hummingbirds than non-tubular begonias with white or yellow flowers. This is because the elongated shape of tubular flowers is ideal for accommodating the long beaks of hummingbirds, while the bright colors act as visual signals that the flower contains nectar.

Factors that Influence Hummingbirds’ Floral Preferences

Aside from the shape and color of flowers, several other factors can influence hummingbirds’ preferences for specific plant species. These include:

Nectar Production: As mentioned earlier, nectar is a crucial component of a hummingbird’s diet. Therefore, plants that produce more nectar are likely to be more attractive to hummingbirds.

Flowering Period: Hummingbirds rely on a consistent supply of nectar throughout the year, so they tend to prefer plants that bloom over an extended period rather than those that flower only once a year.

Location: Hummingbirds are found across the Americas, with different species occupying distinct regions. Therefore, the availability of specific plant species will vary depending on the location, and hummingbirds may adapt their feeding habits accordingly.

Cultural Significance: In some cultures, certain plants are highly valued or have symbolic meanings, which could influence whether hummingbirds are allowed to feed on them.

What Colors Attract Hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds are highly attracted to vibrant and bright colors, particularly shades of red, orange, and pink. These colors are known to catch the attention of hummingbirds due to their visual contrast against green foliage. However, it is important to note that hummingbirds are not exclusively attracted to these colors and may also visit flowers of other hues.

Here are some key points to consider regarding colors that attract hummingbirds:

1. Red: Red is widely recognized as one of the most attractive colors for hummingbirds. Flowers with deep red petals, such as red salvias, cardinal flowers, and bee balm, can be particularly enticing to these birds. The intensity and saturation of the red color play a role in attracting hummingbirds.

2. Orange: Like red, orange is highly appealing to hummingbirds. Flowers with shades of orange, such as trumpet vines, orange honeysuckle, and orange cosmos, can attract these birds with their bright and eye-catching blooms.

3. Pink: Hummingbirds are also attracted to flowers with shades of pink. Flowers like petunias, impatiens, and fuchsias, which display various shades of pink, can entice hummingbirds to visit your garden.

4. Other Colors: While red, orange, and pink are the most effective colors for attracting hummingbirds, these birds may also be drawn to flowers of other colors. They are known to visit flowers with hues of purple, blue, and even yellow. Some hummingbird species, such as the Black-chinned Hummingbird, have been observed visiting flowers with white or pale-colored blooms.

5. Color Combinations: Combining multiple colors can increase the attractiveness of flowers to hummingbirds. For example, flowers that exhibit a mix of red and orange or red and pink can create an even more appealing display. The presence of contrasting colors can make the flowers stand out and catch the attention of hummingbirds.

In addition to color, the shape of the flower is also significant. Hummingbirds are particularly drawn to tubular or trumpet-shaped flowers, which allow them to access nectar with their long, slender beaks.

More Fun Facts About Hummingbirds

1. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards.

2. They have very fast heartbeats, with some species’ hearts beating up to 1,260 times per minute!

3. Hummingbirds have excellent memories and can remember every flower they have visited, how long it will take a flower to refill with nectar, and what time of day each flower gets the most nectar.

4. Some hummingbirds migrate incredibly long distances each year; for example, the ruby-throated hummingbird migrates from Canada all the way to Central America!

5. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world, with some species measuring as little as 6.1 cm (2.4 inches) in length and weighing less than 1 g (0.04 oz).

6. Hummingbirds have very long tongues that can reach deep into flowers to extract nectar. Some species have tongues that are longer than their beaks.

7. They can also hover in place for extended periods of time, thanks to their unique flight abilities.

8. Male hummingbirds often perform elaborate courtship displays to attract mates, including flying in large loops or diving at high speeds.

Conclusion

Begonias can indeed be a source of fascination for hummingbirds, offering them nectar-rich blooms and vibrant visual appeal. By including begonias in your garden or as hanging baskets, you can create an inviting habitat for these tiny avian visitors. However, it is crucial to select begonia species known for their nectar production and characteristics that attract hummingbirds. Pairing begonias with other suitable nectar-producing flowers will ensure a continuous food supply, enhancing the chances of attracting and delighting hummingbirds in your outdoor space.

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