So, what are the UK’S ‘hummingbirds’?
So, do any British birds (or ‘British’ birds) fill that hummingbird niche, for example? Well, studies have shown that Whitethroats, and other common warblers, drink flower nectar while on their migration to and from the UK, using it almost as an energy drink. They’re not anything like as well adapted to do so as a hummingbird or sunbird, but they can get enough sustenance to make it worth their while. Both Blackcaps and Blue Tits have been recorded engaging in this activity in the UK – the latter are known to be particularly attracted to Mahonia flowers. It would be interesting to know, however, of any reports of other species doing so. Certainly we get a few photos each year, at Bird Watching, of familiar garden birds discoloured by flower pollen, suggesting to us that some of them might have been attempting to get nectar from flowers.
OPPORTUNIST FEEDER Blackcaps are known to use nectar as an ‘energy drink’ while migrating
ADAPTABLE BIRD Whitethroat have also been seen acting rather like hummingbirds