The Amazing Hummingbird Nest

When deciding where to build her nest there are two important factors that the female will keep in mind: temperature and protection from the elements. The nest site must be located in a place where temperatures will stay below 96 degrees F, or the embryos will be fried. This is why higher altitudes see more hummingbirds nesting in their areas. Many hummingbird nests are also built near bodies of water. Wind can be particularly harmful to a hummingbird, so no matter what climate a hummingbird chooses to settle in, the mother must choose a location safe from the harmful effects of high winds. If a high gust of wind causes the eggs roll out of the nest, they are likely to break or be eaten.
Generally speaking, it usually takes the female hummingbird a little less than a week to construct her nest. The birds will make well over 100 trips per day, on average, working for about 4 hours. The foundation of the nest is made of spider webs, because of their sticky nature. Next a layer of soft materials are added such as moss or leaf fibers. These layers are used to shape the nest. After the basic mold of the nest is made, then more spider webs are brought in. Then a layer of camouflage is brought in. This layer will consist of things such as seeds and small twigs. The camouflage is very unique. It is darker on shaded parts of the nest and lighter where it is sunnier, walls are thicker on the windier side and, for added comfort, and the inside of the nest is shaped by the mother’s own body.
Hummingbird nest are very small and delicate, but they are built in such a way to try and ensure the protection of the birds. It isn’t often that most people have the opportunity to view a hummingbird nest firsthand, so I hope that this post offers you some interesting insight about hummingbird nests.

2 replies on “The Amazing Hummingbird Nest”

Several years ago, probably 20 or more, I was fortunate to have an Anna’s build her baby nest in a tree in my front yeard in Lewisville, Texas. I photographed everyday as the nest was built, eggs laid (3 eggs) and as they hatched and grew. It was amazing and I was so sad when they flew away that final time. I hope they were some of the same birds that came to my feeders year after year. And yes, I still have the photos – somewhere, in a box.

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