Baby Animal Season: Hummingbird Nestlings Are Here
Nesting season is in full swing for the delicate Anna’s Hummingbird. These brightly colored birds make their cup-like nests in branches, shrubs, vines and under eaves. Breeding season runs December through May or June annually. Males arrive early to establish a territory with ample food sources. Females arrive a few weeks after the males and establish separate territories.
The typical habitat for breeding is in wooded areas or in mountain meadows. The male and female Anna’s Hummingbird associate only long enough for mating, with the female Anna’s Hummingbird running the show on nest construction and rearing of the young.
Nests are made from plant down and spider webs, and are covered in lichen. Once the nest is partially built, the male Anna’s Hummingbird begins to perform courtship displays.
Anna’s Hummingbird eggs incubate for about two weeks before hatching. The young spend three weeks in the nest, then start to wander away although they still depend on their mother for food for a handful of days.
It’s important to remember that mothers will frequently leave the nest to look for food.
The mother will feed her young often, but it will only take a few seconds each time so it’s easy to miss seeing her. If you think you’ve come upon abandoned baby hummers, make sure you watch the nest without looking away for about an hour. When you do look at the nest, if the babies are hunkered down and silent, they are being cared for by their mother and do not need help. Babies should only be brought into our hospital if there truly is no mother coming to the nest.
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