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Baby Hummingbirds

TasteyG

By TasteyG

37 comments


A few weeks ago a friend from work told me that she had a hummingbird nest in her tree and that there were two eggs in it. She knows that I like to take photos and that I would love to photograph them. I kept forgetting to stop by and photograph the eggs/nest. Last week she told me that they had already hatched a few days prior. I rushed over after work and photographed them.
Here are the first set of photos:

Nestlings

On 4/27/09 I took a second series of photos.

Fledglings

4/30/09
Today I went back to my friend’s place to photograph the babies. I climbed up on my ladder and started to take a couple of shots. I repositioned myself for a better shot and as I was focusing the lens I heard tweeting and saw a blur come towards the lens. I thought that it was mom, trying to scare me off , because I was too close or something. As I brought the camera down from my face to see what was going on I was horrified to see both of the baby hummingbirds were gone from the nest!!! OMG, I felt like such a jerk! I must have scared them and they jumped/ tried to fly…I’m not sure. I looked on the ground below and there they were a couple of inches apart, just sitting there. Poor things! I couldn’t leave them there…I had to pick them up one by one and gently return them to their nest. They screeched at me a little and opened their beaks as I so very gingerly cupped them in my hands and returned them to their nest. They sat very still and didn’t flap around at all when I picked them up. They looked okay, like they didn’t get injured. What a freight for them though. I know that I said that I wanted to pet them so badly (on one of my photos), but not like that! It was incredible to hold them in my hands, but the experience was completey ruined by the guilt I had about possibly causing them any harm. I hope that the mom still looks after them… Here’s the 3rd and most likely the last set of photos of the twins :) After todays experience I don’t want to disturb them any further, but I’m also a little worried about them. I will check on them tomorrow, but not get close to them.

Fledglings

05/01/09

I stopped by my friend’s place this morning before work to check on the twins and they looked good. I told my friend to keep an eye out to see if mom is feeding them. I couldn’t just leave them there to be cat food and lesson learned…DON’T GET TOO CLOSE!

I did some research on the “if you touch a baby bird, the mom will abandon it” thing and from what I’ve read so far, it sounds like it may be an old wives tale. I also read that most bird’s sense of smell is poor and that they couldn’t smell you on the fledglings.

05/04/09
I stopped by to check on the twins today before work and they had flown the coop! I aked my friend about them today and she said that the mom kept feeding :))) them and that she saw them practicing flying yesterday (by holding on to the nest and flapping their wings like mad). Then she saw them flying around the nest, practicing before they flew off. I almost went over yesterday to see them one last time… and didn’t. Good to know that they were fine and flew off to become grown up hummingbirds :)

The twins have flown the coop!

This is an article that I found online. I thought that it was informative and that maybe you guys would like to read it :)
Found article at:
( http://www.worldofhummingbirds.com/baby.php)

Baby Hummingbirds

Watching a baby hummingbird grow up can be a very rewarding experience. Knowing what to look for will help you understand what the hummingbirds are doing and why they are doing it.
Baby hummingbirds are hatched out of hummingbird eggs. When a mother hummingbird is laying an egg, she can be seen sitting on her nest with some shaking alternated by wiggling every few seconds. Mother hummingbirds will usually have two eggs laid on different days. The little eggs will be about the size of a pea or small jellybean. Even though the eggs will be laid on different days, both the eggs will usually hatch on the same day. The mother hummingbird can do this by not completely starting the incubation process until the second egg is laid.
The female hummingbird is the only one who will care for these little eggs. A male hummingbird does not assist with any of the childcare. In fact, if a male hummingbird comes around, the female hummingbird will consider his bright colors a threat that will attract predators and will chase him away.
The hummingbird eggs will remain in the nest incubating for approximately 16-18 days before they hatch. If the weather is cooler it may cause them to hatch a few days later. While the eggs are incubating in the nest, the mother hummingbird will sit on eggs to keep them at a constant temperature of 96 degrees.
Baby hummingbirds still inside the egg has very strong neck muscles and a little hook on its short bill that will help them peck their way out. These features disappear soon after the baby is born. The mother hummingbird will dispose of the broken egg shells after the baby hummingbirds are hatched.
When the baby hummingbirds hatch, they have no feathers and dark skin. Baby hummingbirds are hatched with their eyes are closed. Depending on the type or species of hummingbird, the little babies will weigh approximately 0.62 grams. That’s one-third (1/3) the weight of a United States Dime. They are about one (1) inch long and cannot regulate their own body heat. Their beaks are short, stubby, and yellow.
When the baby hummingbirds are first born, the mother hummingbird will spend most of her time sitting on the nest, keeping the baby hummingbirds warm. As the baby hummingbirds grow more feathers, they are better able to keep themselves warm and the mother hummingbird can spend more time catching bugs and drinking nectar to feed them.
The mother hummingbird will eat nectar and bugs and then regurgitate it into a slurry substance the baby hummingbirds can digest. She will feed this mixture to the baby hummingbirds approximately every twenty (20) minutes. A baby hummingbird needs the mother hummingbird to feed them. Baby hummingbirds can not drink hummingbird nectar like adults do because there is not enough protein in the regular hummingbird nectar. If a baby hummingbird had only regular hummingbird nectar, the baby hummingbird would become severally crippled, or would die. If you find a sick, injured, or abandoned hummingbird, please read our First-Aid for Baby Hummingbirds section first, before attempting to rescue them.
When a mother hummingbird comes to feed the baby hummingbirds, the baby hummingbirds will feel the wind from the wing of their mother and lift their little heads up and open their mouths. The mother hummingbird will insert her beak all the way down into the mouths of the baby hummingbirds while dropping a little of the regurgitated insects and nectar inside. When the mother hummingbird does this, you can see her throat swell as she pumps the baby food out of her beak in an up and down motion, kind of like a sewing needle on a sewing machine.
Toilet training of baby hummingbirds comes built in. (a benefit of being a hummingbird mom.) The baby hummingbirds will do everything they can to dispose of waste over the side of the nest.
Within a couple of days, the size of the baby hummingbirds will almost double. Their beaks will darken slightly and they will start to grow little fuzzy pinfeathers.
After one week, the baby hummingbirds will be covered in tiny little fuzzy feathers making them look like a miniature prickly balls. Baby hummingbirds will usually have enough feathers to regulate their own body heat by about nine (9) days after hatching. The mother hummingbird will no longer need to sit on the nest all the time, and the baby hummingbirds are too big for the mother hummingbird to fit.
The baby hummingbirds will start stretching their wings by gripping the floor of the nest with their feet and flapping away. By hanging on to the nest, the baby hummingbirds will not have to worry about accidentally flying away too soon. They will not really fly for another twelve (12) days or so.
By two weeks, the baby hummingbirds are completely covered in pin feathers and are starting to grow real feathers. Their beaks are much longer and are starting to look much darker. They are beginning to look like real birds.
At three weeks of age, the little baby hummingbirds are now looking more like a real hummingbirds. They are testing out their wings more and more in preparation for flight. In the next few days, these little baby hummingbirds will fly away as real adult hummingbirds, never to return back to the nest.
The mother hummingbirds will still feed their fledging for two to three days after leaving the nest. During this time, she will show them all the good places to catch bugs and get nectar. Then she will chase them off to live on their own.
Mother hummingbirds have been known to start to feed an abandoned baby hummingbird that had been placed in her nest or in a nest right next to hers. The space issue seems to work out much better when the nests are placed side by side when the babies are older and no longer need incubation. We always have to wonder what the mother hummingbird thinks when this happens. She went away with two (2) chicks and came back with three (3).
Mother hummingbirds can have more than one brood of baby hummingbirds per season. If a mother hummingbird is going to have two nests per season, it is not uncommon for the mother hummingbird to construct another nest while still feeding her soon to fly away brood. Also, mother hummingbirds have no problem re-using another hummingbird’s nest. Sometimes the new mother will move in before the nest has had a chance to cool off from the previous brood.
One last photo for size reference:

Also…if you’d like to see the whole process in motion, here’s an excellent link :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG59PaCiiDg

More blog posts by TasteyG

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Comments

 

oh thank you I love humming birds as well and this was so good your are just so kind thanks I love this

29 Apr, 2009

 

Great blog Tastey.....Thanks for posting this. Your photos are amazing.
The nest is so delicate. Did you know they are made of spider webs and lichen. The spiderwebs make the nest elastic so it stretches as the babies grow and helps keep them from falling out.

29 Apr, 2009

 

Love This Blog Trace thanx 4 Posting it :)

29 Apr, 2009

 

wonderful photos of the baby hummers and nest, great closeups, all very interesting, thanks for sharing. I'd love to have the chance to get some hummer nest pics like those.

29 Apr, 2009

 

Great blog! Loved the article & your photos are, as usual, fantastic. Thanks Tasteyg!

29 Apr, 2009

 

Really interesting

29 Apr, 2009

 

fantastic photos, bet the nest is tiny, thanks for the informative blog

29 Apr, 2009

amy
Amy
 

Your photo's are amazing Tracy , it was lovely to read all about the Hummimgbird.. have you looked into other jobs with photography in mind yet ? .... :o)

29 Apr, 2009

 

Lujean, Jacque, Grammazoo, Marann & Sewingkilla thanks so much for your sweet comments and I'm thrilled to shared this experience with you all :)

Glad that you like the blog Gilli :) I recently read about their nests and how they use spiderwebs to make them. Ingenius, huh?

Thanks Alandrapal. I hope that someday you get your chance to photograph these sweeties. I feel very privileged to have been able to witness this and share it with you guys :) You know that they sell something called a 'hummingbird house'. It's a platform that is used to encourage hummers to nest, so that you can watch :) Here's a link:

http://www.hummingbird-house.com/hummhouse.html

Thanks Amy, I'm glad that you liked the blog :) Thanks for asking, but I have not looked into jobs having to to with photography yet... I'm not very good at promoting myself :)

29 Apr, 2009

amy
Amy
 

Shame Tracy , all that talent I,m sure it could be used , do they have any photographic competitions that you could enter ? .......

30 Apr, 2009

 

oh my goodness!! i knew they were small but i didn't expect that small!!

30 Apr, 2009

 

great blog, I love the way you threw in the curve ball at the end re: size :o)

30 Apr, 2009

 

Amy- I left you a PM :)
I thought that you would like to see the size Sewingkilla :)
Thanks Fleurdemai :) I had that photo posted in with my reg GoY photos, but I think some people missed it so I included it here as well, as an after-thought :)

1 May, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

Oh WOW - that is just SO amazing! Brillient photography! And thank you for the final picture that shows the tiny scale of the nest. They look so snug in there! I do hope mum doesn't take offence that you handled her babies - but I think the bond is strong by the time young birds are close to fledging, so I don't think shell give up on them :-)

1 May, 2009

 

Thanks a lot Sid :) I did some research on the "if you touch a baby bird, the mom will abandon it" thing and from what I've read so far, it sounds like it may be an old wives tale. I also read that most bird's sense of smell is poor and that they couldn't smell you on the fledglings.

1 May, 2009

 

Your photos are brilliant and your blog most informative, liked the idea with the key.....it is hard to believe that the whole nest is only a few cm small.

2 May, 2009

 

WOW.....need I say any more those pics. are amazing
Ian

3 May, 2009

 

Thank you Dottyd2, the nest was very tiny and want to show that :)
Thanks :) Ian and welcome to GoY.

3 May, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

So glad about that Tastey :-)

3 May, 2009

 

Sorry late to this fantastic blog Tasteyg.Wonderful photos,and glad the babies made it.Always worrying when having to handle the young,but obviously no harm done !

5 May, 2009

 

Me too Sid :)
BB thanks and glad that you made it :) I was so worried and feeling guilty about these little guys...so relieved that they were okay :)

6 May, 2009

 

Tastey.....this has been the most incredible blog. Thank you so much for posting it. It is wonderful to be able to follow the progress of these lovely little birds. I'm so glad no hard was done to the babies. They were probably almost at flight stage anyway and just "fluttered" to the ground. So glad to hear Momma bird didn't seem to mind. :o)

6 May, 2009

 

Tastey.....this has been the most incredible blog. Thank you so much for posting it. It is wonderful to be able to follow the progress of these lovely little birds. I'm so glad no hard was done to the babies. They were probably almost at flight stage anyway and just "fluttered" to the ground. So glad to hear Momma bird didn't seem to mind. :o)

6 May, 2009

 

Tastey, this blog is one of the best I've read! (sorry everyone else) you have had me enthralled from the first word. I love the details and all the research you've done on these wonderful little birds, thank you for such an enlightening blog.
BIG hugs and kisses......Ian

6 May, 2009

amy
Amy
 

I,m so pleased the twins didn,t come to any harm Tracy , what a wonderful blog , fantastic photos and an insite into the world of Humming birds .
They may come back next year with their own young , more photos next year please :o)

6 May, 2009

 

yes I agree with Amy! I think we should make you official GoY photographer......LOL

All the usual H&K's.......Ian

6 May, 2009

 

im so glad your babies fledged. fantastic blog

6 May, 2009

Sid
Sid
 

Oh wonderful, thank you for this. Just look at that wonderful little nest all lined with down - and those down feathers must be so minute!

6 May, 2009

 

Thanks for the update! Great to see them grow up and do well! I love the 'key' comparison; it really shows how tiny the wee ones are!! Thanks Tracy!

9 May, 2009

 

fantastic blog T. your photos are excellent

14 May, 2009

 

Another interesting Blog, Tastey. Keep up the good work.

24 May, 2009

 

Great blog Tastey, also came in late to comment, but when something is great, you will keep on getting comments. i find that some blogs stay for 1 day on site others for a week, I do not why???

19 Jul, 2009

 

Thanks everybody for your comments :)

19 Jul, 2009

 

Wonderful blog! cheered me up on a freezing cold wintry day! so glad you put the last photo in for size reference, it's always such a surprise to see just how tiny these lovely creatures are! Thanks

31 Jan, 2010

 

Karen, glad that enjoyed the blog...thought you might :)

3 Feb, 2010

 

We have a humming bird nest in our tree, my husband and I were going out periodically to see if she is there still. She was there all day off and on yesterday- I have only seen her once today and theres a baby in the nest- did we scare her off? Are they easily frightened?

15 Jul, 2014

 

I've had the great pleasure of watching a pair of twins of my own! And today, head held in guilt as I write this, I made them fly from their nest just because of my selfishness. I had to have my most "current" picture of them and I frightened them off.
But they flew!! And it was beautiful. I think they must have been getting ready to fly anyway, but I had no business being out there so close.
I searched the yard without luck - no babies. They must be up in the tree with mom.
I pray they are.
I pray for their safety.
I pray for forgiveness.
Nancy.
Independence Day 2016

5 Jul, 2016

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