Creating A Habitat For Wildlife

Starting late last month,  the ruby-throated hummingbird has migrated back into our area.  The hummingbird needs our help.  Like so many species of wildlife, the hummingbird is plagued by the loss of habitat.  However, we can plant a haven to support our hummingbirds.  As pollinators, the ruby-throated hummingbird, which is a joy to see, are keen on the nectar of tubular-shaped flowers, but they will also use a few other flower types selectively.
Just a few Hummingbird facts to share with you:

  1.  The Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only hummingbird known to nest in our area.
  2. Females lay 2 eggs, each smaller than a jellybean.
  3. Hummingbirds are our smallest bird.
  4. Hummingbirds are named for the “humming” sound made by their wings.  Hummingbirds flap their wings so fast – about 80 times per second – that they make a humming noise.
  5. The average lifespan is 3 to 5 years.

A successful haven for hummingbirds contains a variety of flowering plants including tall and medium trees, shrubs, vines, perennials and annual flowers.  Flowering plants provide hummers with nectar for energy and insects for protein.  Trees and shrubs provide vertical structure for nesting, perching, and shelter.  Applying the principles of good vegetative structure and horizontal layering as we add plants to the landscape will provide wildlife with beneficial food sources as well as much needed cover from predators, winter winds, and summer sun. No matter what size garden, try to select a variety of plants to ensure flowering from spring through fall.

Now to the fun part…here is a list of plants to consider planting to help support our beloved hummers:

PERENNIALS                                  SHRUBS &TREES                               VINES

  1.  Bee Balm                                    1.  Abelia                                              1.  Coral Honeysuckle
  2. Columbine                                  2.  Rose of Sharon                             2.  Morning Glory
  3. Cardinal Flower                         3.  Weigela                                          3.  Trumpet Vine
  4. Coral Bells                                  4.  Tulip Poplar                                  4.  Crossvine
  5. Foxglove                                      5.  Azalea                                             5.  Carolina jasmine
  6. Penstemon
  7. Verbena

Now is the time to start planting native plants or other plants that support our wildlife.  We all need to be more aware of the need to help our pollinator population.  Our mission should be to dedicate ourselves to preserving our natural areas for generations to come.


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