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by Jefferson
(Chambersburg, PA)

Down in a green forest with a lovely sparkling brook there is a big tree with a little knob, not very much bigger than a quarter, on the fork of a branch. The knob is a cup-shaped nest that is held together with sticky spider silk and lined with soft feathers, plants, and hair. A small Ruby-throated Hummingbird zips in to camouflage the nest with dead leaves, bark, paint chips and lichen, so it looks like a natural-forming knob on a branch.

Once the nest is finished, the courtship process begins. Then the male leaves and in a few days the female hummingbird laid two white bean-shaped eggs. In the next 16 days she guards and protects the eggs from predators, rain, and extreme heat from the sun. Sometimes she covers them with green leaves to hide them while she is not at the nest.
Finally, after 16 days, the two baby hummingbirds hatch... one male and one female. Which the male we will call Ruby-throat.
At first Ruby-throat and his sister are sort of ugly. Their eyes closed and their skin is bare without any feathers. But in about 5 days Ruby-throat and his sister’s eyes opened and feathers started to grow. Their mother only left the nest to forage and get food such as pollen, nectar, and small insects for her nestlings. In about 20 days after hatching Ruby-throat and his sister are old enough to leave their nest. For about two weeks they depend mostly on their mother and come back to the nest for the night. But then Ruby-throat and his sister fly off on their own.

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