So, what are the UK’S ‘hum­ming­birds’?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Meet The Family -

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

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