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Audubon Report Stories

Rhode Island’s Little Feathered Pollinator

Rhode Island’s Little Feathered Pollinator

Often when we think of pollinators, we conjure images of bees and butterflies. But there is another, often over-looked pollinator darting around Rhode Island: the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. These small, amazing birds help disperse flower pollen when they feed. Native blueberries are one of the plants that attract Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Next time you sprinkle those delicious berries on your cereal, you might like to give a shout out to these little feathered friends!

If you want to attract hummingbirds to your garden each year, I highly recommend using native plants like I do. It’s amazing how their arrival seems to coincide with the blooms each spring.

Hummingbirds like tubular flowers. They are particularly attracted to red blossoms, but will also go to a variety of other colors. Some native plants to use are wild columbine, cardinal flower, wild phlox, and bee balm. If you have room for a vine, try trumpet vines. Beware of honeysuckles as they can be invasive. Viburnum bushes also make a great addition if you have the space. If you just have a small plot and can’t have a large perennial bed, try petunias, geraniums or fuchsia. These are all great in hanging baskets or pots on your porch.

Like all birds, hummingbirds love to take a bath. So any type of water feature is useful. I often see these birds
diving through the sprinkler on a hot summer day. Hummingbird feeders can also attract these birds, but I suggest bringing a splash of color to your yard with native flowers. So while trying to make your garden look beautiful this summer, don’t forget to add a few plants for those special feathered pollinators!

Happy Birding!