Minus 2: Building for the Future
This nest isn't much bigger than a coin, but it took the hummingbird about 5 or 6 days to build it. She started
by building a base of down on the branch, stamping it flat with her feet to make the bottom very stiff and secure.
Then she laced the downy plant material, bud scales, and lichens with spider silk using a figure-8 motion of her
bill. A hummingbird sometimes uses a bit of sticky pine resin to hold nest materials together. She formed the lip
of the nest by pressing the nest material between her bill, chin, and chest as she rotated her body.
A. Lichens are good hummer nesting materials
because they are tiny, strong for their weight, easy for a tiny hummingbird
to manipulate, and waterproof. Because they provide good camouflage
against branches, lichens are used mostly on the outside of the nest.