(adjective) Describes a diet that includes a high percentage of nectar, though other food sources such as fruit, insects and sap may also be consumed in small quantities. Nectivorous birds get their food primarily from nectar-producing flowers, though nectar feeders are a prominent food source in urban and suburban areas.
Depending on the species, nectivorous birds may have specialized bills to most efficiently forage for nectar. Many species have long, thin bills that can reach deep into flowers, while other birds may have specialized bill shapes that allow them to pierce the base of flowers to access nectar wells. Hummingbirds are the most familiar nectivores, though other nectivorous bird species include the bananaquit, sunbirds, honeycreepers and orioles. Woodpeckers also have a partially nectivorous diet. Outside the avian world, many insects and bats also feed primarily on nectar.
To attract nectivorous birds, plant nectar-bearing flowers with repeated blooming cycles or staggered bloom stages so there is always a ready food source available. Supplementing the flowers with nectar feeders and a simple nectar recipe is ideal for attracting even more birds. Because many nectivorous birds also eat insects, it is also important to avoid harsh insecticides that would eliminate that food source.
Photo – Black-Chinned Hummingbird © Steve Berardi
Nectarivorous, Nectar-Eating, Nectivore (noun), Nectarivore (noun)