Ruby-throated hummingbirds are the only variety of hummingbird native to the eastern United States. Occasionally, other species of hummingbirds may visit the area during migration. They are illustrious wildflower pollinators and a joy to see and hear as they fly rapidly from flower to flower and hover above blossoms with inimitable aerodynamic skills.

Other birds help spread pollen as they move between flowering trees and shrubs. Dwindling bird counts are a major cause for concern among environmentalists and bird watchers. Direct exposure to pesticides; ingestion of pesticide residue on insects, berries and seeds; reduced insect populations as food sources, and loss of habitat are clear threats.

Planting natives is the best way to attract hummingbirds to your yard. Feeders should never be sweetened with honey or colored with artificial dyes. They are prone to mildew and bacterial growth if not properly and regularly cleaned. Wild columbine, butterfly milkweed, turtlehead, and purple coneflower are just a few of the native perennials that hummingbirds frequently visit. Learn more about birds from the Connecticut Audubon Society.