Hummingbird Nest

While we were camping at Illinois State Beach, we noticed a hummingbird  coming and going into the tree above our camper. After a lot of searching, we finally noticed the nest above our camper, with one baby in it. The nest was well hidden and mom was smart and used two cones of the Scots pine for the base.

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Male hummingbirds don’t help the female build the nest (or helps at all, really) and she will spend several hours a day for week collecting materials to build her nest. The most common nesting materials found in hummingbird nests include:

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

These materials are intertwined into a dense cup that is decorated with moss, lichen and other local materials for camouflage. The edge of the cup is curved inward to protect the eggs and the spider silk gives the nest it elasticity to enlarge as the babies grow.

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Help hummers build heir nests by planting clematis, honeysuckle, milkweed (Asclepia) and blanket flower (Gaillardia). Pasque flowers offer both soft foliage with silken hairs and mid-spring flowers followed by fuzzy seedpods.

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Hummingbird eggs are no bigger than navy beans. Most females lay two eggs, which they will incubate for about 15 – 18 days. Juvenile hummingbirds will leave the nest about 18 to 27 days after hatching.

A neighbor of the hummingbird was a chipping sparrow, with one egg.

 


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

34 thoughts on “Hummingbird Nest

  1. So interesting. That was a great find. Are they not the most precious birds? Hard to believe that a creature so tiny flies 500 miles across the Gulf Of Mexico. I’m not certain that all hummers use that route but I have read about it in my bird books.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you! Camerones are great for those macro shots, but once something is farther than 10 feet away, all the detail is lost. My Nikon Coolpix arrives in a few days. I hope I don’t get the bug for a better camera for a bit. 😉

    Like

  3. Pingback: Ruby-throated Hummingbird ~ Archilochus colubris | Midwestern Plants

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