Ever wonder how big the tiny hummingbird's babies are? Take a look at these two nestlings that are currently in the clinic. We've lined a bottle cap with a bit of paper towel and they both fit in there!
Mother hummingbirds will usually have two eggs laid on different days. The little eggs will be about the size of a pea or small jellybean. Even though the eggs will be laid on different days, both the eggs will usually hatch on the same day. The mother hummingbird can do this by not completely starting the incubation process until the second egg is laid.
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.
Baby hummingbirds still inside the egg has very strong neck muscles and a little hook on its short bill that will help them peck their way out. These features disappear soon after the baby is born. The mother will dispose of the broken egg shells after the babies are hatched.
When the baby hummingbirds hatch, they have no feathers and dark skin. Depending on the type or species of hummingbird, the babies will weigh approximately 0.62 grams. That's one-third (1/3) the weight of a United States Dime. They are about one (1) inch long and cannot regulate their own body heat. Their beaks are short, stubby, and yellow.
When the baby hummingbirds are first born, the mother hummingbird will spend most of her time sitting on the nest, keeping the baby hummingbirds warm. As the babies grow more feathers, they are better able to keep themselves warm and the mother hummingbird can spend more time catching bugs and drinking nectar to feed them.
By two weeks, the baby hummingbirds are completely covered in pin feathers and are starting to grow real feathers. Their beaks are much longer and are starting to look much darker. They are beginning to look like real birds.