I recently saw a female eastern spinebill doing the best hummingbird impression on the neighbour’s white roses. There are about six large flowers and it hovered at each one about four times. How common would roses be on their menu?
Eastern spinebills are seldom seen visiting roses.
In most cases, roses do not supply nectar to birds or insects, so these visits to roses are out of character and might be an indication of the shortage of suitable flowering plants for them at present.
Spinebills normally feed from short or long tubular flowers. Native heaths and correas are favourites.
They are not purists as far as plants are concerned – exotic sages of many flower colours also attract them, as do many fuchsias.
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