Apr 8, 2009

Here You Go: A Baby Hummingbird

Hummingbirds are among my favorite creatures. They bring nothing but happiness with each feverish beat of their wings. But, like most of you, I've never seen a baby one (like baby pigeons, which I don't believe exist).

So here you go: a baby hummingbird. I know most of you will balk at this little one being posted on Ugly Overload, but come on. Only the endearing, expectant opening of the beak mitigates the image of what is otherwise a featherless bird. And birds were meant to be feathered. This is fledgling 'A' of a set of twins ('B' has yet to hatch). Any tale involving twins is doubly dear to me (pun intended), since I have twin daughters. This pair grew to adulthood and went about their way, lapping at nectar and performing aerial feats that defy comprehension. I hope for similar success for my twins, save for the nectar and flying bit.





















And just to put this all into perspective: this is the size of the nest. Makes the whole thing even cuter.





















Thanks for the link, Theodosia.

16 comments:

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

awww it's so freakin' tiny. and I've never seen a baby pigeon either...

morgan said...

Indeed, you have failed in your trust of bringing uglies and uglets to the people. That itsy bitsy bill is nothing short of precious. Adorable would be an apt description. Friggin' cute as heck would be acceptable. Ugly, unfortunately, would not.

Theodosia said...

Oh, I think the plucked, shiny skin aspect counts towards the ugly.

Did you know that hummer nests are lined with cobwebs?

Raging Wombat said...

Ah, that's what that white material is. I thought maybe it was fluff from a cottonwood or a pussywillow or something like that . That's fascinating.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that hummingbird nests were lined with pennies and striped toothpicks?

JAS said...

Beak - adorable. Body - ewwww! The spiderweb liner is really cool - ya gotta wonder how they collect it and get it off their beaks given how sticky webs are.

morkus said...

I scienced up some baby pigeon images for you!

http://images.google.com/images?q=baby+pigeon

Kit said...

Baby birds are one of those things that are so hideous, they become adorble! I wonder how old they are before their beaks start growing into long pointy needles...

Raging Wombat said...

I don't believe it morkus. You can science all you want, and Google can collude with you. But I won't believe it.

The Gravekeeper said...

I don't care how adorable their little beaks are, baby birds just aren't cute until they can open their eyes and have that layer of down.

Zoe Ann Hinds said...

Chances are you will never find a hummingbird nest, even if it is in your own back yard. Most nests are made of lichens, moss and fragments of bark, bound together with strands of spider web and lined with soft downy plant material like cottonwood fluff. Nests are usually located in the droopy branches of a large spruce tree about 8 to 12 feet above the ground. In Southeast Alaska they have been known to build nests in ferns and vines overhanging embankments. So, if you can’t find a nest, how do we know where they are breeding? The best way is to watch for them at your flower garden or hummingbird feeder and look for young birds. Soon after they leave the nest, the parents will take the youngsters to their favorite feeding areas and teach them how to find nectar. The parents will collect some nectar while the fledglings are watching near by. Then you will see the parents go over and regurgitate the nectar to the young birds. So if you have hummingbirds in your yard, pay special attention in the end of June and early July to see if there are any young birds that do not fly very well. This is a sign that there is a hummingbird nest in your area.

Another thing to consider when trying to find a hummingbird nest is that it is important to look near a water source. Humidity is important to ensure the development of the embryo inside the egg. It is because of this that hummingbirds prefer to build near rivers, streams, ponds and lakes. Many species also choose to nest near a reliable food supply, so the birds are looking for there to be abundant blossoms in the area. At the same time, the nest will be protected from rainfall and direct sunlight, thus making it likely to be tucked away and difficult to spot.

Female hummingbirds check the strength of a prospective nest site by clinging to it or repeatedly landing on it. If the site passes the test, a female will begin to build. The nest will be built on the underside of a palm leaf, on the side of a vertical plant stem, on a small branch, on top of a cactus or many other different locations are used and different species have different preferences. Tipically, hummingbirds usually build on branches, but the hermit hummingbirds build nests that hang from vegetation or from a vertical plant stem, root, or rock.

Most typical hummingbirds build cup-shaped nests like the bird’s nests most of us are familiar with. Hermits build cone-shaped nests which hang vertically, attached to something strong enough to support the weight of nest and birds for the breeding season. Hummingbird nests are built with pieces of plants and often cobwebs, and females frequently need to repair the nest as the chicks grow.

A hummingbird usually lays two white eggs, which are no bigger than peanuts, which hatch within 12 to 14 days after being laid. The young fledge in 18 to 20 days. Hungry nestlings may be seen reaching for the food teir mother has brought; the chicks open their mouths in response to air currents created by the beating of her wings. Between three and four weeks after hatching, the young leave the nest and are on their own.

If you would like much more information about hummingbirds, please click the links below. The sites contain many articles about hummingbirds, video clips about hummingbirds, an informative tips booklet on hummingbirds, and much more.

Click Here To Visit About Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds For Mom

Vanessa said...

I love the nest stuffing!
I have seen baby pigeons, they very quickly get the same size as their parents. I had to save a couple and took them to a wildlife rehab person until they were old enough to be on their own.

Theodosia said...

Thanks, Zoe! I hadn't realized they used sticky cobwebs to hold the nest together! I sit corrected.

And hummingbirds nest in ALASKA? I didn't know they migrated that far, let alone set up summer housekeeping!

Raging Wombat said...

Fantastic details. Thanks, Zoe.

albert said...

They're so tiny! What type of hummingbird feeders do you use? I'm looking for one and came across the Perky-Pet Magnolia Top Fill feeder. They look like they’d be really easy to fill and clean since they open from the top. What do you think of these?

Anonymous said...

I live in kentucky and I have 4 baby pigeons! They grow VERY fast and they are also very ugly when young....however, they do grow into pretty birds!