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Bananas can make your garden really a-peeling to a variety of wildlife. The familiar yellow fruit – which is, technically speaking, a berry – provides an irresistible sweet treat for many feathery visitors. Hummingbirds are famous for having an extra sweet tooth, which might make you wonder, do hummingbirds eat bananas?
Hummingbirds do not often eat bananas. But, that does not mean that they are not useful for these little creatures. They are great at attracting all kinds of insects that are perfect for a hummingbird’s diet, as well as being a nutrient-packed snack.
Why are bananas good for hummingbirds?
Aside from being easy-to-eat, tasty snacks, we humans tend to love bananas for their nutritional value, and so do hummingbirds. Bananas contain many vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, notably vitamin B6 and vitamin A, iron, magnesium, and fiber. These nutrients are beneficial for the hummingbirds’ gut health, eye health, bone density, and general well-being!
Hummingbirds tend to prefer juicy fruit, which means that bananas aren’t a hummingbird’s first choice because of their mushy consistency.
However, bananas are perfect for attracting fruit flies, gnats, mosquitoes, and more! These little insects are the perfect food source for hummers as they provide them with the protein they need to keep their little muscles strong!
How to use bananas to feed hummingbirds
To offer your feathery dinner guests a nutritionally balanced meal, all you need are some ripe bananas, a hanging dish, and a good location!
Start by chopping or mushing the bananas and spread evenly over a plate. Hang the plate outside, carefully choosing a spot your tiny birds are likely to see.
Near a flowerbed or feeder, or hanging from a tree is best as hummingbirds do not like to have to go too low or even stop to eat. Hanging your fruity offering high up means visiting hummingbirds are more likely to chow down!
It might take one or two days for the plate to attract plenty of insects, but in time the local hummingbird population should take notice of the attractive buzz around the dish.
With a few extra ingredients you could make your hummingbirds a type of banana smoothie, which when generously applied to the branches of trees will act as an edible glue for ants, mites, and other bugs hummingbirds love to nibble on.
Don’t throw away the peel just yet! Banana peels can be added to the mix to attract even more insects. Lay out the peel next to the banana mixture and the insects will swarm towards it! You can use the whole fruit to help feed your hummingbirds, and not worry about having any leftovers.
An even easier way to feed your hummingbirds on insects attracted to bananas is to invest in a hanging Humm Bug Feeder. This is a two-part feeding kit where you can place bananas inside to welcome fruit flies, fungus gnats and other insects in search of somewhere to lay eggs.
Once flies start laying eggs inside the feeder – and the bananas – your hummingbirds can expect to have a regular feast they can keep coming back to. It’s an eco-friendly way to both dispose of old bananas and exterminate local insects – and alongside planting colorful flowers, it’s ideal for attracting hummingbirds.
What fruit do hummingbirds like to eat the most?
Hummingbirds like all kinds of fruit, and the juicier the better! Watermelon, berries and oranges are all perfect choices for our brightly coloured friends. They use their long thin beaks to lap up the nourishing juices as they struggle to munch on the fruit’s meat.
Hummingbirds have also been seen to drink from more solid fruits such as apples and pears, although these are a little rarer and could be a sign that they do not have enough other food around.
You might think that the best treats for your hummingbirds are fruits, but that isn’t necessarily the case. While fruit can be a welcome treat for hummingbirds, they are not the most essential part of their diets.
Hummingbirds primarily feed on nectar, visiting up to 2,000 flowers every day! They also need plenty of sugar water to keep their hydration up. Remember that these little birds are always on the go, so they need plenty of sugar, protein, and water!
So, if you are interested in keeping your local hummingbirds well-fed, consider investing in a hummingbird feeder and planting plenty of nectar-rich flowers like lilies, snapdragons, and wisteria, which hummingbirds absolutely love!
Can bananas attract hummingbirds?
Bananas aren’t high up on the menu for hummingbirds – but don’t throw them away just yet. Keep a few on the side to serve, and plenty of protein-packed bugs will head your feathery friends’ way.