What do broad-tailed hummingbirds eat?

Answered by James Kissner

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds have a diverse diet, primarily consisting of nectar from various flower species. They are known to feed on flowers such as red columbine, Indian paintbrush, sage species, and scarlet mint. These vibrant and attractive flowers provide a rich source of nectar that sustains the hummingbirds’ energy needs.

One interesting aspect of the Broad-tailed Hummingbird’s diet is its tendency to feed from flowers that are not typically used by other hummingbird species. For example, they have been observed feeding on pussywillows, which are soft and fluffy flowers that are not commonly associated with hummingbird feeding habits. This unique preference for unconventional flower sources sets the Broad-tailed Hummingbird apart from other hummingbird species.

In addition to pussywillows, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds also consume nectar from currant flowers. Currants are small, tart berries that produce delicate and fragrant flowers. The hummingbirds’ ability to extract nectar from these flowers demonstrates their adaptability and flexibility in seeking out food sources.

Another flower species that the Broad-tailed Hummingbird feeds from is the glacier lily. These lilies bloom in alpine meadows and provide a valuable food source for the hummingbirds during their migration and breeding seasons. The bright yellow flowers of the glacier lily not only attract humans but also serve as an important nectar source for these beautiful birds.

It is fascinating to observe how Broad-tailed Hummingbirds have developed a diverse and varied diet, incorporating flowers that are not commonly used by other hummingbird species. This adaptability allows them to thrive in different environments and find food sources that may not be available to their counterparts.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of witnessing Broad-tailed Hummingbirds feeding from sage species in my own backyard. The delicate hummingbird hovering in front of these purple flowers, delicately sipping nectar, was a truly remarkable sight. It reminded me of the importance of providing a diverse range of flowering plants in our gardens to support the unique dietary needs of these incredible birds.

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds primarily consume nectar from a variety of flower species. Their diet includes flowers such as red columbine, Indian paintbrush, sage species, and scarlet mint. They also feed from unconventional sources like pussywillows, currants, and glacier lilies. This diversity in their diet highlights their adaptability and allows them to thrive in different environments. Observing these beautiful birds in action is a wonderful reminder of the interconnectedness of nature and the importance of preserving their habitats.