Pollinator Week: Hummingbirds

My last post for this week (I have no photos of pollinating bats, unfortunately), is of hummingbirds.

Hummers are another favorite subject of mine. They are so earnest as they go zipping about their business.

Male broadtailed hummingbird at musk thistle.

I have come to the conclusion that although musk thistles are considered a noxious, invasive weed in the west because the leaves and stem cannot be eaten, they are a boon for pollinators. Every pollinator I’ve looked at this week has loved them. Just goes to show that nothing is all good, or all bad, I guess.

Female calliope hummingbird at my rosemary plant.

This is one of my all time favorites — this girl was totally unconcerned that I was just 2 feet away snapping pictures as fast as I could. Rosemary comes from the Mediterranean, and so isn’t particularly adapted to being pollinated by hummingbirds, but it still offers enough nectar to make it worth our girl’s while.

Female broadtailed hummingbird with yellow pollen on her beak.

Although this female is getting an easy meal from our feeder, she obviously varies where she’s feeding. Eventually, she’ll take that pollen on her beak to other flowers in the area. Once again, the pollinator gives back by moving pollen around for the plant.

Published by Amy Law

Amy Law is a science geek. She feels about science the way some people feel about music, or art, or sports – a total and complete emotional connection. She thinks in science. For Amy, there’s nothing better than helping people see the beauty of science as she does. She loves to untangle a complicated subject into its parts, explaining it so that anybody can understand what’s happening. Let her show you her world...

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