Nest Building Instinct
female hummers arrive and mate in the spring, the female's instinct "tells them" to build nests for raising
young. These little homes must be strong yet soft as a baby blanket
and stretchy enough to hold fast-growing nestlings. They must also
be protected from cold, rain, and predators. That's no easy task!
closely at this hummingbird nest. What kinds of materials do you think it's made from?
Make a list of things you can think might have been used.
Fluffy Seed Heads
this be good material for a hummer nest?
Cattail flower seed heads were once used for stuffing blankets and pillows. They were also stuffed into shoes for warmth. Why would this be a helpful nest material?
One of the most important components of a hummingbird nest is a material that can hold it all together. Have you ever noticed how strong and stretchy a spider's silky web is?
what you see covering this nest. Lichens are commonly placed on the outside of little hummingbird nests. Why do you think they are used this way?
Many nests are cup-shaped. The female builds the lip of the nest by pressing the soft nest materials between her bill, chin, and chest as she rotates her body in the nest.
Tiny Bird, Tiny Nest
It takes the female hummingbird about 5-6 days to build her nest. It is a small nest that is just the right size to hold her little family. Estimate
the size of this hummingbird nest.
Finding a good location for the nest will help the mother hummingbird and her nestlings survive. How would you describe this nest location?