Last Updated on August 3, 2022 by Guillermina
Do hummingbirds eat aphids? Keep reading and find out.
Have you ever thought that pollinators are not only bees, butterflies, beetles, and bats, but also birds like hummingbirds? These amazing birds can eat their weight in a day, feasting on carbohydrates (nectar from various plants and sugar solution from feeders) as well as proteins (insects and various creepy-crawly creatures).
However, have you ever thought about it: do hummingbirds eat aphids? However, have you ever thought about “do hummingbirds eat aphids”? Let’s find out.
What Do Usually Hummingbirds Eat?
Since these flying creatures have a very high metabolism, they simply have to eat all day long just to survive. Did you know that they feed every 10-15 minutes? It is even more amazing that one hummingbird visits between 1000-2000 flowers during the day.
Furthermore, the scientists found that these birds not only survive by drinking nectar from a variety of colorful flowers and a sweet solution from feeders but also eat a variety of small living creatures such as insects, beetles, ants, mosquitoes, and wasps. However, do hummingbirds eat aphids? You will find the answer below.
Do Hummingbirds Eat Aphids?
As we have already mentioned, their fast lifestyle requires lots of protein and sweeter-tasting snacks, and aphids can deliver on both of these fronts. Namely, aphids are a type of insect that feed by sucking sap from plants and are accordingly full of protein and their characteristic diet gives them a sweet taste.
So the answer to the question “do hummingbirds eat aphids” is yes! Aphids really make up a large portion of a hummingbird’s insect diet.
This species of insect has a very small and soft body that has a variety of colors including black, green, brown, and pink, and some species are even colorless. In terms of physical appearance, aphids have a fairly long body and thin legs.
Now one interesting fact, did you know that there are about 5,000 species of aphids in the world? We believe most of you were surprised to hear this information. We sure are.
These are some of the common types of aphids that hummingbirds enjoy eating:
- Beech Blight Aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator)
- Black Bean Aphid (Aphis fabae)
- Cabbage Aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae)
- Cotton Aphid (Aphis gossypii)
- Cypress Aphid (Cinaara cupressi)
- Potato Aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae)
- Soybean Aphid (Aphis glycines)
- Sugarbeet Root Aphid (Pemphigus betae)
- Yellow Sugarcane Aphid (Sipha flava)
Which Species Hummingbirds Actually Eat Aphids?
Did you know that all types of hummingbirds will not eat aphids? This is because not all hummingbirds eat insects. However, these are the types who won’t refuse to eat one if they ever find themselves face to face with aphids:
- Rufous Hummingbird
- Black-Chinned Hummingbird
- Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Keep in mind that there are several other species of hummingbirds that will eat insects and aphids, but it has been proven that these three certainly will.
See what else science has to say about their diet.
Can You Use Hummingbirds As A Kind Of Biological Control?
Now that you know the answer to the question “do hummingbirds eat aphids,” it’s time to find out if you can benefit from it. Namely, you as a customer can get some specific types of insects from a biological control supplier, but you cannot get hummingbirds.
However, if you want to increase the number of hummingbirds in your garden to control aphid populations, there are some measures you can take. It’s very easy, all you have to do is make your garden appealing and attractive to these birds. How to achieve this? Simply add more brightly colored and tubular plants as they are a great source of nectar. In addition to nectar, hummingbirds will consume all other insects and bugs that are in their vicinity, including aphids.
What most people wonder is whether hummingbirds will eat all the aphids found in their garden. The simple answer to this is no, because, namely, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a hummingbird to come and visit your garden at all. It is something that cannot be influenced because Mother Earth decides everything.
What you need to keep in mind is that many species have limited ranges. This actually means that people living in Europe will not be as lucky as people living in the USA. Truth be told, there are people who claim to have spotted a hummingbird in Europe, however, this is almost impossible, it is very likely that it is actually a hawk moth.
In addition, if you plan to use biological control as a weapon in the fight against aphids, experts recommend using insect species such as the Asian Beetle. Finally, we must emphasize that aphids reproduce extremely quickly, and since hummingbirds are not one of their primary predators, it is very likely that these unique birds will have almost no effect on their reduction.
To Conclude: Do Hummingbirds Eat Aphids?
Although they are most commonly known to eat nectar, the fluttering hummingbird diet also extends to certain insect species. So the answer to the question “do hummingbirds eat aphids” is yes! Aphids really make up a large portion of a hummingbird’s diet.
We hope you find this article useful. If you have any questions, please let us know in the section below.
Take a look at this article as well: Can Hummingbirds Fly In The Rain? The 2 Most Fascinating Attributes That Birds Rarely Have
Is It OK To Give Hummingbirds Cold Sugar Water?
Sugary water, which is most often found in feeders intended for feeding these small birds, has a lower freezing temperature than pure water. This actually means that it will remain in a liquid state at lower temperatures than pure water. However, you should not give hummingbirds cold nectar, experts suggest bringing the feeders indoors and taking them out in the morning.
What Kind Of Fruit Do Hummingbirds Like?
These birds love juicy fruits, so you are free to feed them pears, oranges, prickly pears, and watermelons.
Do Hummingbirds Eat Insects?
Scientists have found that these birds not only survive by drinking nectar from a variety of colorful flowers and a sweet solution from feeders but also eat a variety of small living creatures such as insects, beetles, ants, mosquitoes, and wasps.
What Kind Of Bugs Do Hummingbirds Like?
Gnats, flies, mosquitoes, and spiders are nutritionally rich, that is, full of protein and very tasty, and that is why hummingbirds simply enjoy eating them.