Do Hummingbirds Like Sunflowers?

Updated: Feb. 08, 2023

If you think sunflowers only attract seed-eating birds, the answer might surprise you. We asked the experts why hummingbirds like sunflowers.

Will Hummingbirds Visit Sunflowers?

14 Johnyinger Bnbas17Courtesy John Yinger
Hummingbirds will visit sunflowers for nectar.

“I’ve had these flowers in my garden for a couple of years now, but I’ve never seen a hummingbird at them before. What lures hummingbirds to sunflowers?” asks John Yinger of Columbus, Ohio.

Kenn and Kimberly: Sunflowers look very different from the red tubular flowers famous for attracting hummingbirds. Sunflowers, daisies and related plants have composite flowers—that is, each “bloom” is actually a cluster of many small flowers. The center of a sunflower is made up of dozens or hundreds of tiny florets, each one a complete flower in miniature.

Each floret contains only a small drop of nectar, but because so many florets are crowded close together, a hummingbird taps many in a short time, making a visit to a sunflower worth the effort.

Want to grow a hummingbird garden? Start with the top 15 colorful hummingbird flowers.

Pictures of Hummingbirds and Sunflowers

Bnbugc Lori R Bramble 9Courtesy Lori R Bramble

“While I was taking photos of my sunflowers, this little ruby-throated hummingbird (above) flew up and perched on a leaf,” says Lori R. Bramble of Cambridge, Maryland.

Check out the top 10 annuals that attract hummingbirds.

247371229 1 Martha Tully Bnbhc20Courtesy Martha Tully

“While on my farm, I captured a beautiful ruby-throated hummingbird (above) dancing among the sunflowers as it sipped the sweet nectar. Sunflowers and hummingbirds always bring a smile to my face,” says Martha Tully of Glen Spey, New York.

do hummingbirds like sunflowersCourtesy Andy Raupp

“This is a photo I took of a ruby-throated hummingbird (above) stopping by a sunflower in our yard. I planted lots of sunflowers in the spring to attract birds, butterflies, and bees. However I was surprised to see that hummingbirds were frequently visiting the sunflowers in the summer months. I later read that sunflower heads contain lots of nectar that hummingbirds enjoy drinking from!” says Andy Raupp.

Psst—discover flowering plants that hummingbirds don’t like.

Other Birds That Love Sunflowers

253011772 1 Robert Trout Bnb Bypc2020Courtesy Robert Trout
Indigo bunting perched on a sunflower

Grow sunflowers and leave their seed heads up for late-season snacking. Each bloom becomes a living bird feeder — it doesn’t get much easier than that!

Next, learn how to choose sunflower seeds and sunflower seed bird feeders.