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Plant and Pollinator

A Visual Guide to Hummingbirds


Plant and Pollinator
Photo © Richard C. Bennett / Shutterstock.

Plant and Pollinator

Plants produce nectar to attract pollinators and since nectar is a food source rich in energy, it provides just the power hummingbirds require. When hummingbirds feed on nectar at a flower, their bills and feathers become covered in pollen. When they visit the next flower of the same species, they then deposit the pollen. In such a relationship, the plant benefits from the hummingbird because it gets pollinated while the hummingbird benefits by obtaining an energy-rich energy source.

Finding Flowers

Hummingbirds have no sense of smell so they are reliant on their keen eyesight to locate the flowers that offer them the food they need. Hummingbirds often feed at red flowers, since they stand out so well against a backdrop of green leaves. Young hummingbirds must learning the visual clues, such as flower color (often red is preferred) and size, that identify nectar-bearing flowers.


For a list of sources used in the creation of this visual guide, please see the Recommended Reading page.

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