Birds & Blooms|June/July 2020
Everyone knows of male hummingbirds and their dazzling iridescent hues. But the females wow us in a more practical way: They are among the best mothers in the bird world. Male hummingbirds take no part in raising the young, so these miniature moms do the big job all by themselves.
A Perfect Cradle
To shelter her cherished eggs, a female hummingbird builds an exquisite nest that is equally as precious as it is practical. She fashions a tiny cup from the finest plant materials, like the wispy down from dandelions or thistles, and places it on top of a branch, tying them together with sticky spiderwebs. She covers the outside of the nest with tiny flakes of lichen to camouflage her masterpiece.
The build time is anywhere from a week to 10 days, and the resulting nest looks like a bump on a branch— almost impossible to spot.
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