Nearly 10% of hummingbirds worldwide are threatened with extinction, with the most endangered eight facing extinction in less than 10 years, the Hummingbird Society reports. The hummingbirds of North America could soon follow if action is not taken soon.
According to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report, released in September 2014, nearly half of all North American birds could be at risk thanks to climate change, and species of hummingbirds are among them. The southern ranges of the Black-chinned Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, and Ruby-throated Hummingbird have already been destroyed by drought, wildfire, and rising temperatures.
Climate change creates imbalances in temperature and migratory bird timing, Audubon reports. Hummingbirds are important wildflower pollinators in North America and food pollinators in tropical regions. A warming climate can alter when flowers bloom. This earlier blooming can create a mismatch between hummingbird arrival and flowers, which they suck nectar from throughout the day to stay alive.
Even greater than climate change the biggest enemy and hummingbird danger are humans.
As We Are The Hummingbirds reports, by erecting buildings, towers and other construction in the migratory paths of hummingbirds, human beings have created extremely dangerous situations. The use of nearly invisible glass in patio doors and windows have killed many an unwary hummer and open garage doors have become death traps to some.
Added to that, the simple act of feeding hummingbirds can become hazardous if sugar water is mixed in the wrong concentration and allowed to ferment or develop bacteria.
Vehicles and ATVs have further killed tens of thousands of hummingbirds in accidents. Pesticides, herbicides and insecticides have also proven harmful and reduced the populations of these tiny birds, Thebirdnature reports.
Poaching of illegal colorful tropical birds has also made an impact on our hummingbirds in the tropics, but organizations like the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) strictly regulates trade only to dedicated bird-keepers for captive breeding purposes.
A hummingbird is listed as a Migratory Bird under the United States Code of Federal Regulations, Title 50, Chapter 1, Part 10, Subpart 13 – List of Migratory Birds. As such, hummingbirds are a protected species under the Migratory Bird Act, but this designation does not go far enough to right the species current decline.
Unfortunately, the birds are not threatened enough to be considered “endangered” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Help Rescue Animals
Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free! →