The only hummingbird’s natural habitat the America – as far south as Chile and as far north as Alaska. But South America has the highest number of hummingbirds. With over 320 hummingbird species, these birds make the second largest bird species in the world, specifically in the West. Ecuador is the leading in the types of hummingbird species in the Western Hemisphere. Mexico has over 50 types of this bird breeding within the country, while the U.S. and Canada has more than 15 and 3 types respectively. Many hummingbirds love inhabiting forested and wooded areas with numerous flowers. They also love places that are covered in meadows and grasslands. However, a good number of hummingbirds are also living well in large cities, warm areas, cool places, desert environments, and places frequented by snow.
Hummingbird ecosystems feature a variety of altitudes, from sea level to 14, 000 feet ASL (above sea level). But most of these species of birds love to live in South and Central America, and will be seen living in these places all year long. However, a few will be traveling north every year. While Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds love the east of River Mississippi, Allen Hummingbirds love the west coast (California), Anna’s will fly into Canada, and Rufous will go as far north as Alaska.
Most people think of a hummingbird habitat as a mere garden, but such a garden is just a microhabitat for hummingbirds because the type of feeder you use and the nectar you make depend on the garden you intend to make. In addition, you must also consider having a place for hummingbirds to perch when they want to eat bugs and rest under a shade. Mother hummingbirds need a sheltered location to make their nest and take care of a few baby hummingbirds. Lastly, these hummingbirds will also need a space to fly around while in your garden.
Hummingbird ecosystems are important for the entire ecological system because approximately 75 percent of the world’s flowers rely on insects, bats and birds for pollination. In fact, 150 of the 200 nectar-producing plant species in North America depend on the hummers for their seed dissemination, regeneration, and dispersal of pollen grains. Failure to pollinate, fertilize or reproduce, these plants will eventually die. This means that without hummingbirds some of the nectar-producing flower species would die or eventually become extinct.
However, nature has its own clever ways and means of ensuring the continuity of a plant species. Since hummingbirds cannot smell, nature encourages the mutualism between a large number of plants and hummingbirds through the exceptional vision possessed by hummers. They will easily spot flower-producing plants that have the following characteristics:
– Has conspicuous colors that also happen to be hammer’s favorite, including red, yellow, purple, pinks, and orange
– With blossoms projected toward the open to allow easy access, with shapes that favor the hummers’ long beak
– Plants with more than 25% concentration of sugary nectar that can be life-sustaining (customized by nature specifically for the hummingbird)
– And more
Regardless, hummingbird ecosystems provide a conducive environment for these bird species to thrive and reproduce. With continual commitment towards creating an ample breeding environment for these small animals, the world will soon have a large number of them.
1. Best Hummingbird Food Reviews: http://www.hummingbirdsplus.org/food/
2. Ecosystems Explained: http://eschooltoday.com/ecosystems/what-is-an-ecosystem.html