Hummingbirds – Facts and Plants
Let’s start with some facts about hummingbirds.
10 Hummingbird facts
If you grew up in Austin or Central Texas, you may take hummingbirds for granted, but interestingly there are no native species in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia or Antarctica.
You think you have a high heart rate? The little hearts in hummingbirds can beat around 1200 BPM. That’s 20 beats a second. Try to make that noise out loud for fun.
The average ruby-throated hummingbird weighs about 4 grams (a nickel weighs ~5 grams)
Their eggs are smaller than jelly beans. They probably taste worse (not verified).
They can fly roughly 30 mph.
They can’t walk…only shuffle sideways.
They don’t suck nectar. They lick it. 15-20 licks per second. Try to lick a tootsie pop this fast.
Their wings can beat over 50 times…per second…and some have been measured well above 50 times.
They take an average of 250 breaths per minute…
You thing you like flowers? They can visit over 1,000 flowers per day.
Most common Central Texas Varieties include: Ruby Throated Hummingbird, Black Chinned Hummingbirds. You may also see Broad-tailed, Magnificent or Rufous hummingbirds.
Plants for hummingbirds in Texas
So now that we have established that hummingbirds are fascinating little creatures, how do we get them in our yards? You can use a feeder, but the best long term solution (and the best for the environment) is to establish hummingbird friendly plants in your yard.
Hummingbirds love all kinds of flowers, but here are several plants that we have seen succeed in Austin and the surrounding area.
Hummingbird Friendly Plants
- Turkscap – We have some of this plant at our office and we have seen several hummingbirds this week. Turkscap has the additional advantage of being an excellent plant for the shade.
- Vitex – These are a beautiful small tree that have nice purple blooms throughout the spring and summer.
- Salvia Greggii – This is a nice leafy perennial with unique blooms.
- Honeysuckle – If you are looking for a vine option, try the classic honeysuckle.
- Red Yucca – This is a xeric plant that is native to the Central Texas area. It survives well on little water and has a great read bloom that hummingbirds love.
For more info on plants that hummingbirds love, we recommend you visit this site.