Plants for Hummingbirds
Author: Kevin Jinn, 2018
There are two species of Hummingbirds native to B.C. Anna's hummingbirds (Calypte anna) may stay here all year, while the smaller Rufous hummingbirds (Selasphorus rufus) migrate south during winter and join us at the time of the first Salmonberrys blooming in Spring. Though not a natural occurence, human interaction through feeders have caused some Anna's to stay the winter in BC.
Hummingbirds prefer native species to nest and makes homes in, particularily Sambucus, Arctostaphylos. They are found in open forest, thicket and meadows; preferring habitat that they can get a good vantagepoint to watch for predators. They prefer residential areas because of the abundance of flowers and open areas. Anna's nest in deciduous trees and shrubs in residential areas. Rufous hummingbirds choose coniferous trees, deciduous trees and vine tangles. Diet is often nectar, tree sap, and a large portion of insects and spiders. Anna's Hummingbirds prefer a diet more balanced with insects than other species, so it's important to have native shrubs to support them. Willow species in particular are great for supporting your hummingbirds. Avoiding pesticides and other harmful chemicals will help keep your fliers safe. Studies show your yard needs between 400 and 1000 flowers to support one bird, so get planting! They drink from each flower 2-3 times per day and make beween 1000 to 2000 visits per flower every day! Hummingbirds see red best, but nectar content is more important.
Spring flowers Camas spp.- Camassia quamash, C. leitchtlinii Columbine - Aquilegia formosa Western Bleeding heart- Dicentra formosa
Summer flowers Bee Balm - Monarda fistulosa Coral bells - Heuchera micrantha Farewell-to-spring - Clarkia amoena Oregon Iris - Iris tenax Menzie's Delphinium - Delphinium menziesii Nodding Onion - Allium cerrnuum Lupin - Lupinus polyphyllus Paintbrush - Catillejia hispidula, C. miniata. Penstemon - Penstemon spp. Spreading phlox - Phlox diffusa. Honeysuckle - Lonicera ciliosa
Fall flowers Fireweed - Epilobium angustifolium Goatsbeard - Aruncus diocusa Goldenrod - Solidago lepida Henderson's checkermallow - Sidelcea hendersonii Monkeyflower - Mimulus guttatus, M. lewisii Try to plant so that you always have at least one native in bloom at any given time throughout the growing season. This will ensure there is always food available for your hummingbirds.
Trees Madrone - Arbutus menziesii Pacific Dogwood - Cornus Nuttallii Black Hawthorne - Crataegus douglasii Pacific crabapple- Malus fusca Bitter Cherry Prunus emarginata Chokecherry - Prusus viginiana Willows - Salix spp.
Also try to have at least a couple of shrubs to attract insects for your birds to feast on. Or in the case of spiders, to use the silk for nest construction.
Spring Flowering shrubs Indian Plum - Oemleria cerasiformis Oregon grape - Mahonia aquilifolium Red Flowering Currant - Ribes sanguineum Salmonberry - Rubus spectabilis Evergreen Huckleberry - Vacinnium ovatum Blue Elderberry - Sambucus cerulea
Summer Flowering shrubs Evergreen Huckleberry - Vacinnium ovatum Manzanita - Arctostaphylos columbiana Oceanspray - Holodiscus discolor Pacific Rhododendron - Rhododendron macrophyllum Red Huckleberry - Vaccinium parvifolium Red-twig dogwood - Cornus stolonifera Serviceberry - Amelanchior alnifolia Sitka Mountain ash - Sorbus sitchensis Snowberry - Symphoricarpos albus Spirea - Spirea douglasii Wild Azalea - Rhododendron occidentale
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