A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America, Hummingbirds are among the few birds capable of inspiring equal fascination among birders and non-birders alike. Their jewel-like colors, astounding powers of flight, and fearless nature have captured the imagination of people around the world, many of whom have never come into direct contact with these uniquely New World birds.
A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America
These charismatic creatures are also an increasingly conspicuous part of both rural and urban landscapes in the continental United States and southern Canada as feeding and gardening for hummingbirds grow in popularity.
But hummingbirds are more than just pretty faces. As migratory birds, they are part of the Earth’s circulatory system, transporting energy and other resources between tropical and temperate ecosystems thousands of miles apart. As pollinators, they shape the landscapes they visit in these travels. Plants, from wildflowers to trees, benefit from the pollination services of hummingbirds; many are so specialized as to be unable to reproduce without the birds’ assistance.
The shape and color of familiar flowers such as trumpet creeper, cardinal flower, fuchsia, and even Christmas cactus are due in large part to their relationships with hummingbirds. These inter dependencies between the birds and the plants they pollinate have contributed significantly to the structure and composition of the forests, “voodlands, deserts, and alpine meadows of the Americas and to the diversity of animals and plants that share these habitats.
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