Wisconsin Bird Pollinators — Welcome!
The Baltimore Oriole frequents
fruit trees in search of nectar,
fruit and insects.
Ornithophily or bird pollination is the pollination of flowering plants by birds. This co-evolutionary
association is derived from insect pollination, entomophily, and is particularly well developed in
some parts of the world, especially in the tropics and on some island chains.
The association involves several distinctive plant adaptations
forming a pollination syndrome. Birds involved in
ornithophily tend to be specialist nectarivores with brushy tongues, long bills, capable of
hovering flight or are light enough to perch on the flower structures.
Since birds do not have a strong response to scent, they tend to be odorless. Perching birds need a
substantial landing platform, so larger birds are less associated with tubular flowers. Birds
may obtain nectar either by perching or by hovering.
Tubular and have petals that are recurved to be out of the way
Have tubes, funnels, cups
Strong supports for perching
Brightly colored: red, yellow, or orange
Odorless (birds have a poor sense of smell)
Prolific nectar producers with nectar deeply hidden
Modest pollen producers are designed to dust the head or back with pollen as the bird forages
Bird pollination is considered as a costly strategy for plants and it evolves only where there are
particular benefits for the plant. The flowers that are visited by birds are typically:
It’s nesting time! Birds are master builders, putting together intricately made weavings of twig
and leaf, stem and fluff, hair and moss
Take this quick quiz and see how much you know about hummingbirds. This quiz is intended for
fun, in a random-facts-can-be-cool kind of way.
This guide features regional native plants for the Great Lakes that are highly
attractive to bird pollinators.