Do Hummingbirds Eat Seeds? (The Answer Will Definitely Shock You)

 The hummingbird family is one of nature’s most talented flyers and is described as a true omnivore. A hummingbird has a big appetite and needs a lot of food to survive. They are largely known to drink nectar and are nature’s sugar addicts.

However, they do not live on nectar alone. To get adequate nutrition, hummingbirds eat food other than nectar, including insects, fruits, pollen, ashes, and sand.

But, do hummingbirds eat seeds as well?

No, hummingbirds don’t eat seeds, because they simply can’t. Because, they don’t have a gallbladder and their bills are not designed for cracking and consuming seeds. So they can’t digest seeds.

Do hummingbirds eat seeds

What is the Favorite Snack of A Hummingbird?

Hummingbirds have a voracious appetite and require a lot of energy, which they obtain from sugary liquids. Hummingbirds, being sugar lovers, enjoy drinking nectar, making it their preferred food.

They drink nectar from flowers with their lengthy tongue, which coils up within the bird’s head from around the skull and eyes.

What is the Favorite Snack OF A HUMMINGBIRD?

Hummingbirds prefer nectar because it is delicious and has the energy they require. Although they drink nectar from various flowers, hummers also depend on humans to fill the hummingbird feeders with artificial nectar.

Do Hummingbirds Eat Seeds?

No. Hummingbirds do not eat seeds. They cannot crack open seeds due to the structure of their bills and lack a gallbladder, which is essential in breaking down fats from their food. These are the two primary reasons which restrict hummers from eating seeds.

That’s why it is common knowledge that nectar is their primary food source.

Hummingbirds, the smallest species of birds in the avian world, continue to draw attention to themselves. There are a lot of features of hummers that tend to fascinate several birders; for instance, the shiny metallic coloration of their plumage, the sound of their flapping wings, and various other aspects.

However, another very interesting aspect of the hummers is their diet.

Apart From Nectar, What Do Hummingbirds Eat?

Besides nectar, hummingbirds take various foods to ensure optimum nourishment.

Apart From Nectar, What DO Hummingbirds Eat?


Larvae, insect eggs, small insects, and spiders are some of the critical food sources for hummingbirds. They provide the bird with various salts, proteins, and fat that can not be derived from the nectar of a plant. The supplement of plenty of these insects supports the hummers’ frenetic activity.

Like nectar, they are also said to eat insects all day long. They are estimated to eat from several dozens to hundreds per day. Hummers use several methods like gleaning and hawking to capture and prey on insects. The hummers’ favorite insects may include bugs, flying ants, Small Beatles, mosquitoes, spiders, and harvestmen.


Fruit is an opportunistic meal for hummers. It does not matter if the fruit is curved and overripe or already pecked open by another bird; the hummingbird will take this opportunity to feed on the fruit’s sugary juices.

Since hummingbirds can not eat chunks of the fruit’s flesh due to the structure of their beaks, which are not designed for chewing, they drink the fruit’s sweet, sugary juices. Therefore, hummingbirds prefer juicy fruits like watermelons, oranges, ripe berries, and many other fruits from which they can easily sip the juices.


 Hummingbird nectar and tree sap both contain the same amount of sugar. As a result, when nectar is scarce, they drink tree sap from woodpecker-drilled wells. Sapsuckers, a type of woodpecker, produce sap that several hummingbird species feed on. Hummers commonly nest at Sapsucker notched sap wells.

Hummingbirds follow these woodpeckers as they fly from one forest to the other. Although tree sap might not taste as good as nectar, it provides the bird with just enough energy. Hummers cannot ingest the solidified sap along the tree’s bark; instead, they may pick insects clinging to the gooey substance.

What is The Healthiest Food For A Hummingbird Feeder?

Artificial nectar is the safest item to include in a hummingbird feeder. Since nectar is a hummingbird’s favorite food, producing artificial honey for a hummingbird and placing it in a feeder is the healthiest option.

This homemade artificial nectar should be prepared by adding 1 part of the sugar to 4 parts of water, which means that ¼ cup of sugar must be added to 1 cup of water.

Do Hummingbirds Eat Seeds

After the sugar water solution is ready, it is to be brought to a boil and then kept to cool down before it is transferred to the feeder. While making the nectar, one should not use red dye, honey, artificial sweetener, or chili powder, as they can harm hummingbirds.

What Food Kills Hummingbirds?

Most birders know what and how to feed a hummingbird; however, few people know that the simplest things may kill them. There are various food that may seem harmless but are lethal to hummers.

Out of all the food that can kill a hummingbird, one of them is honey. Honey quickly gets fermented and develops a deadly bacterium which becomes toxic to the birds. Other food items which kill hummingbirds are red dye, artificial sweeteners, chili powder, and brown or raw sugars.

Apart from these, there are also various myths about feeding hummingbirds. One of them is, using an ant moat filled with axel grease, turpentine, or vegetable oil to deter ants and bees from a hummingbird’s feeder.

However, the truth is that if the ant moats are filled with anything, water can spill, contaminating the water. Therefore, as axel grease, turpentine, and vegetable oil are harmful to hummingbirds, if the feeder gets contaminated, it will result in the hummer’s death.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do hummingbirds like peanut butter?

Peanut butter is said to be a good high protein for birds. Although there is no evidence whether peanut butter is good for hummingbirds or not, they will certainly eat it if offered.

What seeds attract hummingbirds?

 Hummingbirds, as we know, do not eat seeds as they cannot crack opening them due to the structure of their beaks. However, they do like to perch on horizontal seedpods.

Will hummingbirds eat bananas?

Bananas being high in fiber, are very good for hummingbirds. They act as a source of essential nutrients needed by hummers to maintain proper health. Being nature’s sugar addicts, hummingbirds will eat bananas in any way, whether chopped, smashed, or blended.

Is it OK to feed hummingbirds sugar water?

There is no scientific evidence that feeding plain white sugar water harms hummingbirds. They love sweet things like sugar and sugar water. However, too much sugar water harms the hummers, so it is important to keep a perfect balance.

How often should you change hummingbird sugar water?

In hot weather, it should be changed after every 2 days and in cold weather once a week would be fine. Cleaning the feeder every time the sugar water is changed is also necessary. However, if it finishes more frequently, it is to be cleaned with hot water or vinegar every time the feeder is empty.

Do hummingbirds eat mosquitoes?

Hummingbirds eat hundreds of insects every day, which include mosquitoes as well. Due to the small size of mosquitoes, it makes eating them from spider webs, still water, and the air; way easier.


The hummingbirds are omnivorous and have a voracious appetite. A hummingbird eats a variety of foods, with nectar being its favorite. Although they are the most recognized for consuming nectar, they also feast on insects, fruits, sap, and other foods.

Given their beaks’ anatomy, hummingbirds are incapable of cracking opening seeds and therefore do not consume seeds. They do, however, prefer to perch on horizontal seedpods. Various food products may appear harmless but harm the little hummers.

Be cautious, and gift your little hummies, a great daily feast!

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