by Morrigan DeVito
What backyard is complete without a hummingbird or two? In Las Vegas, Anna’s hummingbirds are common visitors to gardens and feeders. They spend their lives chasing water, zipping from flower to flower as they drink sweet nectar and snatch tiny insects. In the sunlight, males have dazzling reddish-pink feathers that rest like little petals around their head and throat. They’re delightful to watch as they dart, dive, and dance through the air.
In this drought, more and more hummingbirds come to backyard feeders for a reliable source of nectar. Because there is less water, many flowers don’t produce enough nectar to drink. Anna’s hummingbirds are one of the many drought-threatened birds and are particularly vulnerable because they need to drink 50% of their weight in nectar each day.
Luckily, we can be hummingbird heroes! There are many ways to help Anna’s hummingbirds and other local species like Costa’s and black-chinned hummingbirds. One easy way is setting up a hummingbird feeder in your backyard. Check out National Audubon’s hummingbird feeder FAQ’s for tips.
Another great way to help both Anna’s hummingbirds and other local birds is to plant native desert flowers in your yard. Not only will this give hummingbirds the nectar and insects they need, but your yard will look beautiful and cost less money to water. Let your imagination zip and fly with Anna’s hummingbirds and see what bright flowers you can add to your garden. Check out this RRA article to connect to more native plant resources. Help hummingbirds, conserve water, and let your garden bloom with your creativity!