What Do Hummingbirds Eat? 6 Foods They Love

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The hummingbird is one of the most accomplished fliers in the world. The hummingbird is one of nature’s most talented flyers. They can fly up, down, backward, and even upside down! The hummingbird’s wings flap so fast that they create a humming noise. They can flap their wings up to 80 times per second! That is amazing! So, what do hummingbirds eat?

The hummingbird is one of the smallest birds in the world. They weigh less than a penny! The majority of their diet is nectar from flowers. Nectar is a sugary liquid that provides the hummingbird with energy. They also eat small insects for protein. The hummingbird has a long tongue to lap up nectar from flowers.

To execute these amazing flying feats, the hummingbird needs to consume energy. They eat about half their body weight in nectar every day! To find enough food, they visit hundreds of flowers each day. The hummer is constantly on the move in search of food.

What Do Hummingbirds Eat?

Hummingbirds are the perfect example of a creature that can live on just about anything! Some hummers will feed on flowers, but others hunt insects and small animals.

Hummingbirds can eat a wide variety of things, including apples and nectar. They have long bills which they use to reach into flowers for Food sources inside the flower are usually smaller than those outside, such as insects.

The hummingbird diet usually consists mainly of insects and nectar, but they will also eat other things if they can find them. Hummingbirds have been known to eat lizards, frogs, and even small snakes. Here is a detailed list of their foods:


Hummingbirds need a healthy diet of insects to grow up strong and fast. These little bugs provide the fat, protein, and salt that hummingbird hatchlings cannot get from nectar alone–and these nutrients are crucial for rapidly developing birds!

what do hummingbirds eat
Hummingbirds often have insects.

Hummingbirds may hunt insects in several ways:

  • Gleaning them off leaves and branches
  • Chasing them in mid-air
  • Swooping down on them from a perch

The most common insects eaten by hummingbirds are beetles, ants, wasps, grasshoppers, moths, and spiders.


Hummingbirds feed on nectar, the primary heating source for these tiny birds. Nectar is a sugary liquid produced by flowers to attract pollinators like bees, flies, and hummingbirds! When a hummingbird sips nectar from a flower, they are helping the plant to spread its pollen and create more flowers.

Hummingbirds consume large quantities of nectar every day–sometimes up to eight times their body weight! The sugar in nectar provides the hummingbird with quick energy, while the protein and fat help them grow and maintain their metabolism.


Hummingbirds are always on the lookout for new sources of sap. They love drinking from well-drilled holes in trees that woodpeckers create with their beaks! Tree sap, like floral nectar, provides the hummingbird with essential minerals such as calcium and amino acids. Hummingbirds also love to eat sap that has fallen on fruits or flowers.


Pollen is another food that hummingbirds consume, although it is not as common as nectar or sap. Pollen is a powdery substance produced by flowers to fertilize other plants. Pollen collects on a hummingbird’s feathers when it brushes against pollinated blooms. The hummingbird then transfers the pollen to other flowers as they feed, helping the plant reproduce.


Hummingbirds will also eat small fruits when they are available. Fruits that have dripped down onto leaves or branches are beautiful to hummingbirds. Some of the fruits that hummingbirds enjoy include grapes, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.

what do hummingbirds eat
Grapefruits are their favorite.

6.Ashes and Sand:

You may not think of ashes and sand as food, but hummingbirds consume these substances occasionally. While feeding, hummingbirds will sometimes accidentally swallow small amounts of dirt or ash. These substances help hummingbirds to digest their food correctly. Sand is also known to provide minerals essential for a hummingbird’s health.

As you can see, hummingbirds have a very diverse diet! This variety of food helps them stay healthy and provides the nutrients they need to grow and reproduce.

What do Hummingbirds Eat in the Winter?

When food is scarce in the winter, hummingbirds may turn to eat tree sap or even insects that are frozen in place. Hummingbirds have also been known to eat berries and fruits that the cold weather has frozen. When food is very scarce, hummingbirds may even starve to death in extreme cases.

Some hummingbird species migrate south in the winter. There is not enough food available in the north to sustain them through the winter months. These migrating hummingbirds will often congregate in areas with an abundance of flowers blooming. This allows them to have a steady supply of nectar to eat.

Non-migrating hummingbirds may go into a state of torpor to survive the winter. Torpor is a state of reduced activity and lowered body temperature. By going into torpor, hummingbirds can reduce their energy needs by 95%. This allows them to survive on much less food than they typically need.

So, if you see a hummingbird in your yard in the winter, be sure to give it a little extra food! A sugar-water solution is a great way to help these little birds through the winter months.

How Can I Attract Hummingbirds to My Yard?

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, you can do a few things. First, plant flowers that hummingbirds like. The best flowers for attracting hummingbirds include columbine, bee balm, trumpet creeper, and red hot poker. You can follow these tips:

  • Plant native flowers and flowering shrubs. Native plants are the best choice for attracting hummingbirds because they are adapted to the local climate and provide the food that hummingbirds need.
  • Choose a variety of flowers that bloom at different times of the year. This will give the hummingbirds a continuous food supply from spring through fall.
  • Plant flowers in clusters. Hummingbirds are attracted to areas where there are a lot of flowers blooming. You will be more likely to attract these birds by planting flowers in groups.
  • Avoid using pesticides. Pesticides can be harmful to hummingbirds and other wildlife. If you must use pesticides, choose those specifically designed for use around birds and apply them according to the directions on the label.
  • You can also put out a hummingbird feeder. Be sure to use a sugar-water solution that is four parts water to one part sugar. Boil the water first to help prevent the growth of bacteria. Change the answer every few days and clean the feeder regularly to prevent the spread of disease.

By following these tips, you can attract hummingbirds to your yard and enjoy watching these beautiful birds up close!

what do hummingbirds eat
A hummingbird is eating nectar from flower.

How Do Hummingbirds Eat?

Hummingbirds eat by using long beaks to reach into flowers and drink nectar. They also eat insects, which they catch in mid-air. Hummingbirds consume a lot of food – up to 12 times their body weight each day! – so they are always on the lookout for a meal. While feeding, hummingbirds will often perch on a branch or leaf. They will also hover in the air while they feed, flapping their wings up to 80 times per second. This allows them to stay in one spot while they eat.

When eating nectar, hummingbirds use their long tongues to lap the sweet liquid. The tongue is forked and has brush-like structures that help the bird collect nectar from deep inside the flower. Hummingbirds can also drink nectar from hummingbird feeders. If you have a feeder, keep it clean and filled with fresh sugar water.

Hummingbirds have evolved a highly dependent relationship with the local flowers in their ecosystem. The flowers need the hummingbirds to spread their pollen, and the hummingbirds need the flowers for food. This mutual relationship is called coevolution. By understanding this meaningful relationship, we can help protect both hummingbirds and the local plants they depend on.

Wrapping Up:

In conclusion, torpor helps hummingbirds survive the winter by reducing their energy needs. Suppose you want to attract hummingbirds to your yard, plant flowers that they like, and put out a hummingbird feeder. These birds are important pollinators and have a fascinating relationship with the local plants in their ecosystem. By understanding this relationship, we can help protect both hummingbirds and the plants they depend on. Thanks for reading!

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