Do you want to find a nest and witness the amazing birth and beginning days of a hummingbird's life?
Most of us are awe inspired at the very thought of how tiny a nest and eggs must be.
Read through all the information here to learn about them and watch the video below which demonstrates how you can find a nest using a nesting material kit!
What do they look like?
Few people have actually ever seen a nest.
Once again, we are talking about the amazing hummingbird.
So nothing can ever be dull!
There are several similarities and some differences between the species in regard to hummingbird nesting. They are not always the same size. Some species of hummingbirds build them only about half the size of a walnut shell. Other larger species build them proportionately bigger.
What are they made of?
Hummingbird nests are built with soft plant fibers and leaves. Most hummingbirds use spider silk as threads to bind their nest together.
How cute is that?
Usually they are tiny cup shapes with cozy spongy bottoms for the comfort of the babies. (Yes, they are good mommies.)
It is interesting that certain species return to the same nest in successive years to rebuild. (what a memory!) So it ends up with a layered appearance at the base.
It is fascinating that they have elastic sides that stretch as the babies grow.
Where are they?
Most are built in shrubs and trees from 10 feet to an incredible 90 feet high depending on species. Some species build them wherever they can hide them, for example, within hummingbird vines, rose and other bushes.
One of our visitors, a member of the Pennsylvania Audubon Society, had a returning Ruby-throat occupy the same nest in one of her maple trees from year to year. Maple trees are one of the preferred trees for nesting because the large leaf serves as an "umbrella/roof".
Did you know that we humans can help the hummingbirds with nest building?
We can plant trees and shrubs to provide the shelter they need. Especially helpful would be trees and shrubs with soft fibers such as Pussy Willows, American Elm, Poplar, Cottonwood, and Mulberry. Grow flowers and vines with soft foliage. Clematis and honeysuckle are very good examples.
It's probably not practical for the average hummingbird fan to stock spider webs and lichens in their yard.
But there is a man-made alternative!
"Hummer Helper" is the first commercially available nesting material product that has proven appealing to hummingbirds and endorsed by the Hummingbird Society.
The all-natural material (specially processed with oil left in) is contained in a wire frame painted red to attract a hummingbird's eye. It has the potential to help bring in more hummers close by where you can observe them, and to increase the odds that they will nest near you.
Have you ever hoped to find a nest?
The "Nesting Material Kit" may help!
Hummingbirds will return year after year and find the material from the kit to rebuild their nests. Those females that were born the year before will also return and use the material to build a new one.
Keep an eye out for them to gather the material and follow them to their nest. Once found, you can monitor it to observe their life cycle from eggs to newborns.