All About Hummingbird Nests

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Hummingbird Nests

Hummingbird nests are incredible architectural creations that protect and nurture some of the most delicate birds in the world. It may take only five to eight weeks from the time nest construction begins until the mature birds leave the house, but observing hummingbird nests can be a rewarding and delightful experience for bird watchers.

Finding Nests

Hummingbirds choose sheltered and sheltered locations for their nests, making sure their chicks are protected from the sun, wind, rain, or predators. The most common nesting sites are on the forked branch of a tree, along thin branches of plants, or sheltered in dense bushes.

Shrub-like or thorny shrub-like areas are especially preferred for the added protection they provide. However, hummingbirds are resourceful and can build nests in unique locations, including quirky nesting spots like:

  • Balanced on thin ropes or clotheslines, even on Christmas light ropes
  • Indoor porch lamps or above outdoor security camera lamps or fixtures
  • On wind chimes, statues, or other garden decorations
  • Within a game network, such as a basketball or soccer net
  • On a cactus where the nest is protected by thorns
  • On small pipes, ceiling sprinklers, or other external structures

When choosing a nest site, the female may perch on it repeatedly to test the stability of the perch which, if chosen, should support the weight of the nest, as well as the weight of the nest and its growing chicks. Because hummingbirds weigh so little, almost any perch can serve as a nesting site.

Nest height varies greatly depending on the species of hummingbird and the suitable nesting sites available. Hummingbirds typically build their nests 3-60 feet above the ground, and the nest can be located up to a half-mile away from preferred food sources if there is no closer location that is suitable.


Hummingbird nests are built entirely by the female of the bird. After mating, male hummingbirds have no role in choosing the nesting site, collecting nesting materials, or raising the young.

The female, however, will spend several hours a day, for five to seven days, collecting materials to build her nest. The most common nesting materials found in hummingbird nests include:

  • Bits of moss and lichen
  • Plant down from thistles, dandelions, or cattails
  • Spider silk
  • Cotton fibers
  • Small bits of bark or leaves
  • Feathers
  • Fuzz, fur, or hairs from leaves

These materials intertwine into a dense canopy that is often decorated with moss, lichens, or other camouflage materials. The rim of the cup is slightly curved inward to prevent the eggs from tipping over in high winds, and the spider silk used to hold the nest together gives it elasticity to increase as the chicks grow.

The exact dimensions of the nest will vary depending on the species of hummingbird, the materials used to create the nest, and how the nest should be constructed to fit its location.

Most hummingbird nests are 1.5 inches in diameter, about the size of a large walnut, ping pong ball, or golf ball.


After laying the eggs, the nest must be stretched to accommodate the growth of the chicks. Hummingbirds typically lay two eggs about half an inch long, but once hatched, the birds grow quickly.

The nest must adapt to its change in size, as young hummingbirds will not leave the nest until they are almost the size of an adult bird and can fly on their own. This is unlike many other songbirds, who leave the nest several days earlier as they learn to fly and continue to grow and gain weight.

The spider silk used in the construction of a hummingbird nest imparts an elastic quality to expand with the growth and movement of the birds. Also, the mother often repairs and repairs the nest, even after the chicks hatch, to make sure it remains. .Durable as long as needed.

Most hummingbird nests only last for a single hatchling or a season if multiple hatchlings are laid. However, if the site remains suitable, the female or her offspring may return year after year to rebuild the nest near or even on top of the remains of the previous nest.

Old nesting material can be recycled into new construction, and birds often steal nesting material from other hummingbirds as well.

Respect the Nest

If you are lucky enough to find a hummingbird nest, it can be tempting to take a closer look to see the magical growth of the little family. However, like all nesting birds, female hummingbirds can be shy and scared and may leave their nests if they do not feel safe.

It is always better to stay away from a nest and enjoy it from afar, rather than risk damaging the nest or the chicks by being too eager to see them.

Hummingbirds do not nest in cavities and do not use cages, but they do build sturdy cup-shaped nests that can protect their young chicks.

By understanding what hummingbird nests are made of and how they are built, bird watchers can more easily recognize one of these unique homes and relish the opportunity to carefully observe a young family of hummingbirds.

Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Hummingbird Nesting, Breeding, Feeding, And First-time Flying

Source: WH Amazing Animals

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