Chart for Raising Hummingbirds:
Duties for Males and Females
Even though it's not written down anywhere, male and female hummingbirds know what
their duties are when it comes to raising young. Before you begin, you may want to
read helpful background information about hummingbird reproduction:
In this activity, students fill out a chart to show how hummingbird parents divide
each of the following responsibiliites in raising their babies:
- select territory
- defend territory against other hummingbirds
- select nest site
- gather nesting materials
- build or repair nest
- chase away predators
- lay eggs
- incubate eggs
- turn eggs
- fill crop with nectar and insects
- regurgitate food to young at nest
- sit on nest to brood young
- encourage young to fly
- lead fledglings to good flowers
- keep feeding fledglings until they are independent
Record each duty from the list above in the appropriate column of
the Chore Chart below. Then compare the work-load of the male and
female hummingbird with the discussion
questions below the chart. (You may wish to create a large wall chart
in the classroom with the headings below.)
This! Journaling/Discussion Questions
1. The female
hummingbird has many more nesting chores than the male has. But
adult male hummingbirds die at a faster rate than females. Is
this evidence that
the jobs of both are of similar importance? Explain your thinking.
2. Would you rather be a male or female hummingbird? Why?
3. Compare how male
and female hummers divide the tasks of raising young with how robins
and eagles divide their chores. (See the robin's "Chore
Chart," and the Bald Eagle's Chore
- What do you
think are some of the reasons for these differences?
- Which species
has the most shared responsibilities?
- Which species
has the most similar male and female plumage?
- Do you think
how the male and female
is related to how much they share parental duties?