Do you wish to find a nearby hummingbird nest and witness what nature has to offer? The very thought of how tiny the nest and eggs must be will make me aww.
Not only are hummingbirds nests very tiny, but often they are well hidden because it’s covered with moss, grass, and bark. Even more, to protect the nest and baby hummingbirds from predators, then sometimes hide the nest under leaves.
Few of us have ever seen a hummingbird nest, but I will teach you how to spot one.
What kind of trees do hummingbirds like to nest in?
Hummingbirds choose safe, sheltered locations for their nests, ensuring that their hatchlings are protected from sun, wind, rain, or predators.
Hummingbird nests can usually be found in shrubs and maple trees. Maple trees are hummingbirds’ favorite nesting trees because of the large leaf that serves as an umbrella.
Depending on the species, most nests are built on trees from 10-90 feet high. Some species prefer to build their nests to places that offer shelter like vines, rose, and other bushes.
Thicket-like areas or thorny bushes are especially preferred for the extra protection they provide.
What does a hummingbird nest look like?
Hummingbirds are not cavity-nesters and they will not use birdhouses or hummingbird-houses, but they do build sturdy cup-shaped nests that can protect their tiny hatchlings.
Hummingbird nests are built entirely by the female bird. The hummingbird nest size and materials are different between species. Some species of hummingbirds build them only about half the size of a walnut shell. Other larger species build them proportionately bigger.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds attach their nests with spider silk to a small twig or branch that slants downward and covers the outside with greenish-gray lichens. They may lay eggs in a second nest while still feeding the young in the first.
Hummingbirds build velvety, compact cups with spongy floors and elastic sides that stretch as the young grow. They weave together twigs, plant fibers, and bits of leaves, and use spider silk as threads to bind their nests together and anchor them to the foundation.
The shape of the hummingbird nest is usually designed as a tiny cup with cozy spongy bottoms for the comfort of the eggs.
What to do if you find a hummingbird nest?
If you are fortunate enough to find a hummingbird nest, then please respect the nest. It can be tempting to enjoy the magical growth of the baby hummingbirds closely.
But like all nesting birds, female hummingbirds can be shy and skittish and may abandon nests if they do not feel secure.
Always keep your distance from a nest and enjoy it from afar rather than risk harming the nest or chicks by being too eager to see them. A great option is to use a proper pair of birding binoculars.
If you do find a hummingbird nest, then this is a good time to put out some hummingbird feeders to your backyard. This is a safer and more enjoyable way to enjoy those beautiful creatures.
Also read our guide on how to attract hummingbirds.
What to do if you find a baby hummingbird on the ground?
Sometimes, the chicks may fall out of the nest, but that doesn’t mean that they have been abandoned.
First, make sure that the baby hummingbird is not injured. If possible, gently check for blood and broken limbs. The chick should be able to pull them back into proper position, and if not, they may be broken.
Second, do not worry about touching the hummingbird chicks. Controversially to the public belief, the mother won’t abandon them because of the human smell, which has been an old wives’ tale that has long been proven wrong.
Feathered-but-flightless hummingbird nestlings often jump out of the nest if orphaned. Therefore, make sure the mother returns within a couple of hours, and if not, then call a wildlife rehabilitator and let them know what is going on.
If the chick is fully feathered, place it on an interior branch of a shrub, where it is hidden and, therefore, somewhat protected from predators. Its mother will be able to locate it by its calls.
There are other reasons why the chick may have fallen out of the nest. For example, if the nest is too small to accommodate all chicks. If this is the case, construct a make-shift nest and place all chicks into it. If you have trouble attaching the new nest, you may need to tie or tape it to the branch.
Put out the feeders
One option is to go look for hummingbird nests, but more rewarding is to invite them into your backyard. Just put out nectar feeders and you can enjoy those little miracles in the comfort of your own couch.