Fw: Avian pollinators - Humming Birds

jonathan fatsia1234-pbs1@yahoo.com
Sun, 03 Mar 2013 13:49:29 PST
My comments pertain to the ruby-throated hummingbird, which is the only normal resident east of the Rocky Mountains, but may well pertain to those west of the Rockies as well.

1.  They eat whenever they are present, getting nectar (for energy) from flowers and protein from gnats and other small insects.  They will drink nectar from any flower they can get their bill into.  It is cold here right now (for us) with a mild frost expected tonight, and the hummingbird in my garden has been at the only currently open flowers, which are Viola tricolor (as well as numerous stops at the sugar-water feeder).  When any lilies here are flowering, the birds will visit them as well as any other flowers with nectar.

2..As in #1, they drink nectar for energy, so the pollination would occur at any time there is pollen and a receptive ovary available that their little forehead brushes against.

3. I don't know for sure, but I imagine that, since they all drink nectar, they all will pollinate lilies.

4. Refer to above.

5.  The ruby-throated makes a miraculous migration to Central America every year, flying hundreds of miles over open Gulf of Mexico waters.

Here's a good site for migration facts -- http://www.hummingbirds.net/migration.html

Jonathan Lubar
Gainesville/Alachua Florida  z9a/8b

> From: "iain@auchgourishbotanicgarden.org" <iain@auchgourishbotanicgarden.org>
>To: pbs@lists.ibiblio.org 
>Sent: Sunday, March 3, 2013 4:25 PM
>Subject: [pbs] Fw: Avian pollinators - Humming Birds
>It would be a great help if anyone on PBS could advise me on any of the following please.
>(1) what the temperature regimen is, if known, that initiates pollinating activity amongst the Nth. Am. Humming Bird species in relation to the genus Lilium ?;
>(2) do all Humming Bird species function seasonally or selectively as pollinators of native lilies or in conjungtion with other flowering plants?;
>(3) are there particular Humming Bird species which pollinate lilies, or do they all do so?;
>(3) have any lily species been noted as preferentially visited, or do they take what they need any old place ?;
>(5) are all, or any Humming Bird species migratory ?  
>I apologise for my total dumb ignorance about your fascinating wee birdies but I am working on the chapter on pollination + pollen dispersal at present and
>have become painfully aware how little information is available on this side of our beautiful Blue Planet.
>Sadly there are no Palaearctic Humming Bird species although we have several remarkable day time / evening flying analogs, which are for example
>the Humming Bird Hawkmoths  -  in the genus Macroglossum (Macroglossum stellatarum) and also the Narrowborder Bee Hawkmoth  - in the genus 
>Hemaris (Hemaris tityus).
>Many thanks + fingers crossed,   Iain
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