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Flower-Powered Migratory Species
Flowers that Fuel Migration

During migration, both monarchs and ruby-throated hummingbirds feed on high-energy flower nectar. As they move from flower to flower, they track pollen with them, enabling the plant to produce seeds. Look at the photos of flowers that each species likes. Next, follow these directions:

  • List at least 3 things you notice about these flowers. (Consider color, shape, and other qualities.)
  • List at least 2 adaptations that you think makes each animal a good "fit" for the flowers. (Adaptations include body parts and behaviors.)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird Flowers
ruby female nectaring on flowers hummer flower flower nectar
Monarch Butterfly Flowers
milkweed nectar flower
Ruby-throated Hummer Flowers Monarch Butterfly Flowers
  • Brilliant red to orange-red color*
  • Long, deep tubular shape
  • Hanging blossoms (often)
  • No fragrance
  • Dilute nectar

* If the flower shape and nectar is right, they will also be attracted to pink, orange, purple, blue, and yellow flowers.

  • Orange, yellow, white, pink, and lavender colors; rarely red
  • Flowers in the milkweed family
  • Medium-long, narrow floral tubes
  • Plants with flower clusters or flat tops (platforms)
  • Fragrance
  • Dilute nectar
Journal Question
Why does each creature choose the flower types it does? (Hint: Think about their bodies and behaviors.)
Think, write, then Link...