Interesting Facts
About the Creator



"Social Circle"  


Picture courtesy of Full Free Stuff



     The Ruby-throated Hummingbird is not a very social bird, however, it interacts with a number of different species.  It is involved in three main types of relationships with other organisms in its niche:


1) Mutualism - a relationship between two organisms where both benefit

                                               Ruby-throats & Flowering Plants

      Ruby-throats depend on the nectar from flowering plants for most of their    daily nutrients.  Flowering plants in turn get pollinated every time the birds feed on them and move to another plant.  The Ruby-throat alone pollinates 31 plant species!

2) Commensalism - a relationship between two organisms where one benefits and  the other is neither helped nor harmedYellow-bellied Sapsucker, Picture courtesy of Wikipedia

                                     Ruby-throats & Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers

      In times when nectar-producing plants are not as abundant, these hummingbirds eat sap out of holes in trees that were made by Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.  Ruby-throats that migrate into Canada probably wouldn't be able to survive without being able to feed from these holes.  Some experts even think that they time their springtime arrival so that they arrive during peak sapsucker activity.

3) Competition - a relationship between two organisms where they compete with each other for things such as water, food, and mates

                                                Ruby-throat vs. Ruby throat

     Ruby-throats are constantly competing against each other for flower nectar.  They will often claim a territory and defend "their" flowers against other hummingbirds.

Praying manits preying on a Ruby-throat, Picture courtesy of Richard Walkup

Despite their quick flying ability, they still manage to be preyed on by a few animals, though none of them depend on the Ruby-throat as a primary food source.  Some of the hummingbird's predators include hawks, blue jays, house cats, crows, fish, dragonflies and praying mantises.