The Life Cycle of a Hummingbird

Life Cycle of a Hummingbird


return of a hummingbird

Hummingbirds are among the species that migrate to the south during winter.

Their reproduction process begins when they return to their breeding grounds throughout North America.

Return migration usually begins in late March, with the males about a week earlier than the females.




hummingbird mating

The male put on-air shows to attract the female’s attention, going as high as 49 feet before going into top-speed dives and patterns in the air.

Their wings hum and they chirp their interest. The female picks her mate among those putting on the displays.

Male hummingbirds may mate with several females.




hummingbird nesting

The female begins to weave her cup-shaped nest with no assistance from the male bird.

The nest is most often built in the branches of trees and shrubs, with spider webs wrapped around the outside of the nest.

The nest is often camouflaged with bits of moss and lined with plants. The finished nest is about the size of a ping-pong ball.




hummingbird eggs

Females lay two white eggs, which are the smallest eggs laid by any bird.

Occasionally, they lay only one egg and rarely lay more than two. Eggs of most hummingbird species are about the size of peas or jellybeans.

The female incubates her eggs from 18-19 days, leaving for only about 5 minutes every hour.




hummingbird babies

Females feed their young with nectar and insects by inserting her bill into their bills, placing the food into their gullets.

On the 8th day, the babies begin to produce their first feathers, remaining in the nest with their mother for about 3 weeks after hatching.

They leave the nest when they are completely able to take care of themselves.




hummingbird adult

The adult hummingbird spends the majority of its life eating, about every 10 minutes throughout the day.

They must eat half to two-thirds of their body weight in food every day.

They have the highest metabolism of any animal and use their long beaks to suck nectar and fruit juices, along with catching small insects.




1 comment

  • They don’t “suck” up nectar. Their ends of their long tongues are split into two pieces, each with a slight depression and fringed edges for holding nectar. The hummingbirds lap up nectar, their tongues slipping in and out at a high rate of speed. Not like sucking soda through a straw, but like a cat lapping up milk.


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