Rufous hummingbirds Selasphorous rufus preferentially use feeders containing higher concentrations of sucrose and hung higher in pine forests in Montana, USA

  • Published source details Blem C.R., Blem L.B. & Cosgrove C.C. (1997) Field studies of rufous hummingbird sucrose preference: does source height affect test results? Journal of Field Ornithology, 68, 245-252


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food for hummingbirds to increase adult survival

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food for hummingbirds to increase adult survival

    A replicated study in a coniferous forest in Montana, USA, in summer 1995 (Blem et al. 1997) found that rufous hummingbirds Selasphorous rufus preferentially visited feeders containing higher concentrations of sucrose, until 50% sucrose by weight, above which they did not show a preference. They also appeared to preferentially use more highly elevated feeders (approximately 80% of the maximum sucrose consumed was taken from feeders 3 m from the ground vs. a maximum of 55% from feeders hung 2.75 m or less from the ground). Food was supplied at seven stations, each with 12 feeders hung at between 0.25 and 3.00 m from the ground.


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