Outgrowing the Nest
Nestlings Become Fledglings
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The Easy Life
For about 3 weeks these nestlings have been completely cared for by their mother. She feeds them a high-protein diet of insects and spiders so they grow strong. It won't be long before they are ready to leave the nest. Then they'll have to find food on their own and life will get really interesting!

Practice Makes Perfect
To prepare for fledging, there are lots of exercises for strengthening tiny wings. See how the nestling hangs onto the edge of the nest? This little bird won't be swept up and out before it's ready to fly! The nestling's first flight — usually in the morning — could be more than 50 feet.

First Flight
After exercise and some practice the young hummer can fly pretty well as soon as it leaves the nest. But landing, which can be a bit tricky, takes a bit more practice. This young hummingbird lands on a leaf. Where do you think the mom is?

Learning the Ropes
A fledged rubythroat hangs around the nest for 10 days to a few weeks. Mom will feed it for a while, and she'll show it where to find nectar sources. The nestling will also begin to explore on its own. But watch out little bird; the strong desire to feed and fatten will bring new challenges . . .