So why is it the Hummingbirds typically demonstrate a preference for red blooms?
The answer is the product of generations of natural selection. You see, a hummingbird must expend a great deal of energy flapping those wings as it forages for nectar. The more successful those foraging efforts–measured as volume of nectar collected/energy expended—the more likely that particular hummingbird will live to maturity in order to mate and reproduce offspring. So, innate habits that lead to more successful foraging give a bird an advantage for passing its genetic code to subsequent generations. Those habits that lead to unsuccessful foraging, will not have the opportunity to be passed to subsequent generations because the hummingbird will not be strong enough to reproduce, thereby selecting that line of genes for extinction.
HuHHh Scientists believe that the innate habit of choosing red blossoms over other colored blooms results in more successful foraging because as it turns out, ants are averted by the color red. And in the natural world ants are stiff competition for sweet nectar. If the ants avoid red blossoms, then it stands to reason that those blossoms will have nectar when the Hummingbird arrives, wings flapping burning energy. Hummingbirds that don’t innately select red flowers, will be competing directly with the efficient machine of an ant colony, and we all know who will win THAT race!