Hummingbirds 'Kiss' Flowers and Our Lives

Hummingbirds inadvertantly gather pollen on their beaks and feathers. They carry it from one blossom to another, which causes the pollination that plants need to bloom. In Brazil, the word for hummingbird is "beija-flor." Translated literally from Portuguese, it is "kiss flower" -- a romantic but logical name for a group of birds that help create floral beauty by getting intimate with tubular blossoms.

Communication is similar to pollination, because it spreads ideas from one person to another and helps understanding to flower. That's what we try to do at Salvia Guru and the Flowers by the Sea Everything Salvias Blog. We share as much information as possible about the worldwide Salvia genus and companion plants.

We've learned a lot from Louisiana hummingbird master bander and wildlife gardener Nancy L. Newfield. Sage Experts is a series of profiles about gardening experts that we publish at Everything Salvias. The link here leads you to the first article in a three-part series about Newfield's research and findings in her garden as well as those of friends. One discovery she emphasizes is the necessity of growing nectar-rich flowers to attract and sustain hummingbirds.

All of the links in this issue concern hummingbirds in various ways, including the last one about a spectacular mural at Cornell University's School of Ornithology, which documents birds of the world from largest to tiniest, including Beija-Flor -- a dominant force in horticulture.

Subscriptions are growing. We greatly appreciate your help -- via emails to friends, sharing on social media and word of mouth -- in helping us to bloom. You can visit @Salvia_Guru and @FBTScom on Twitter. On Facebook, FBTS posts lots of photographs of plants grown on its Northern California farm (

Photo Credit: Casa Beija-Flor (Hummingbird House) photographed by our Twitter friend @MataAtlantica in the village of Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.

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