Hummingbird Ecosystems

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

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.

Additional Resources:

1. Best Hummingbird Food Reviews: http://www.hummingbirdsplus.org/food/
2. Ecosystems Explained: http://eschooltoday.com/ecosystems/what-is-an-ecosystem.html

Interesting Calliope Hummingbird Facts

Hands-down, the smallest bird in all of the United States is the Calliope hummingbird. It weighs about as much as a standard-size ping pong ball, and its the smallest bird to make a long-distance migration in all the world. From their wintering grounds to their breeding grounds (and back again), these birds travel approximately 5,000 miles annually. Feeding largely on the nectar of plants, and with wings that beat so fast they’re a continual blur, these hummingbirds both expend and consume a tremendous amount of energy each and every day. Following are several Calliope hummingbird facts that are certain to impress.

Calliope Hummingbird

They’re Very Territorial

Their diminutive size and impressively lightweight bodies definitely don’t slow them down. More importantly, they don’t deter them from picking a fight either. These birds are incredibly territorial and are prone to picking fights when they feel as though their territory is being impinged upon. In fact, they’ve been know to chase Red-tailed hawks and other large-sized birds during their breeding season.

They Enjoy Fairly Long Lifespans

A female bird of this species was banded in Idaho in 2007. In 2014, she was recaptured and rereleased in this same state. As the result of this finding, the oldest bird of this species on record is estimated to be a minimum of eight years and one month old.

Their Breeding Territory Is Established By The Males

The males of this species are responsible for establishing their breeding territory. They do so by forcibly driving other male hummingbirds away. Then, they perform an impressive flight display for courtship that takes them 30 to 100 feet into the air. They then make a sharp, u-shaped dive that produces a distinct zinging and popping sound right at the bottom. Males will also flare out their throat feathers and hover in front of females in courtship.

They Usually Catch Their Food Within Just Inches Of The Ground

These birds eat much like other hummingbirds in that they largely subsist on insects and nectar. Calliope hummingbirds, frequently visit flowers that are situated mere inches above the ground. They feed by extending their bills into the center of flowers while hovering directly above them. If you put homemade nectar in your hummingbird feeders, however, Calliope hummingbirds will certainly visit these too.

Quick Tips To Help You Spot These Hummingbirds

Studying a few Calliope hummingbird facts won’t just teach you more about this remarkable species. If you’re a dedicated birder, you can also use this information to spot and identify any Calliope hummingbirds that are within or passing through your area. One of the best strategies for catching a glimpse of these tiny fliers is by finding their favorite breeding grounds and perches. For instance, they love resting on the bare branches of alders and willows. These are places that they habitually return to and thus, you can simply check out the very tops of these shrubs to find them.

In the summertime, listen for the distinctive zing of the Calliope hummingbird’s fast-moving wings, particularly as it dives down in forest openings and meadows in a u-shaped flight pattern. In the spring months, due to the elliptical route of migration, these birds are most often spied in coastal regions. Conversely, in the cooler months of fall, find them at higher elevations in interior locations.

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2016, in Hosting and tagged .