Mother’s love is the kind of love that remains constant, be it for humans, for animals or even for the birds. The love and care that mothers shower their kids with is surreal and beautiful to the man mankind.
You may have witnessed this kind of love and care in many forms from all over the world, but have you witnessed How hummingbirds care for her babies?
You would find these hummingbirds darting around the flowers and nectar feeders in the U.S. during the summer season.
These Tiny birds that are very popular during the summers and you would see a lot of hummingbirds around your gardens and trees. These tiny creatures are an absolute blessing to the eyes during the summers and to see them take care of their little ones.
What are Hummingbirds?
Hummingbirds are the tiny creatures with long beaks with fast-moving wings that love travelling places. They are also known for migrating birds as they migrate countries to countries, but they only travel 500 miles at a time.
They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound their wings make while flying and the best thing about their wings is that they can fly backwards. There are the only birds that can fly backwards.
These birds are very small in size and the eggs that they lay are as small as a Pea. They give birth to blind and naked baby hummingbirds which are very sensitive and may need nice care to survive.
How a Mother Hummingbird Cares for Her Babies?
Baby hummingbirds grow in three stages before they turn into an adult hummingbird, the first stage is the new-born with no hair and is black in colour. Next comes the Nestlings which are 15-20 days old that have some grown hair over their body and head. The Repledging’s are 16-21 days old that have hair all over their body, but their beaks are not yet fully grown.
Raising a baby is a task yet a beautiful feeling for all the moms but raising a young hummingbird can seem like a difficult job to the humans. There are many humans that are specialized in taking care of baby hummingbirds, but studies show that only mother hummingbirds can take good care of them.
The mother hummingbird lays only 2 eggs at a time and that too one egg at a time. The father hummingbird leaves the nest as soon as the egg is hatched and finds another partner to live with. The mother hummingbird stays back and takes care of its baby hummingbirds. Although, the babies are born blind they can feel the love their mom is giving them.
They need constant care and food to grow healthy and mother hummingbirds take care of them with all her love. Raising young hummingbirds is a daunting job for the mother hummingbird too as they leave their nests for over 200 times a day in search of food for their babies.
The baby hummingbirds need food every 20 minutes starting from the daylight till the dawn, you will always find the mother hummingbirds feeding them food. As the experts say, you need plenty of time and patients to take good care of baby hummingbirds.
What Do Baby Hummingbirds Eat?
Question that arises every time, what does baby hummingbirds eat? Do they eat like the adult hummingbirds? How does the mother hummingbird feed their babies?
Mother hummingbirds spends her entire day gathering food for her baby hummingbirds because they are in constant need of food after every 20 minutes. The mother hummingbird feeds her babies by eating bugs or fruit flies and transferring that into the mouth of their young ones.
The young hummingbirds also eat the nectar as the mother hummingbird transfers the nectar by regurgitating into the mouth of the baby hummingbird. The hummingbird creates a combination of bugs and nectar to feed her younger one. They also love drinking nectar from the fruit raspberry.
Many humans that are hummingbird enthusiasts, pet these hummingbirds and try to create their own combination of food by catching all the bugs and fruit flies. They freeze the bugs, crush them with mortar or pestle and then they mix them all together with a nectar supplement with vitamins.
8 Facts About Baby Hummingbirds and Mother Hummingbirds
We have seen how mother hummingbirds take care of their little ones and what they feed them, but we will also discuss some facts about the hummingbirds and their babies.
They Eat Half of Their Weight
As said before, they eat after every 20 minutes as their metabolism is very high and they consume all day long to survive. The body weight of hummingbirds can range from 0.141 ounce and they consume half of their weight.
They visit 1000-2000 flowers daily and feed themselves and their babies by nectar or by eating bugs. Their meal is surrounded between bugs and nectar. They love eating bugs like ants, mosquitos, beetles, and wasps.
Large Number of Species
You would only be aware of one species of the hummingbird, the ruby-throated hummingbird. You will be surprised by this fact that there are over 330 species of hummingbirds of different colours that are found in only some of the regions in the world.
They are mostly found in the western hemisphere and half of them have built their nests around the equator. Few of these species live and visit the U.S and Canada but they primarily live in the north of Mexico.
Smallest Bird in The World
Hummingbirds are the smallest bird in the world as one of the species from hummingbirds weighs less than ¼ teaspoon of sugar. Logically they also lay the tiniest eggs among all the birds and they give birth to cute little baby hummingbirds.
The nest of the hummingbirds is as small as the walnut shell and the eggs inside it are as tiny as a pea. Now you know why the mother hummingbird takes special care of their little ones as they are very tiny and can die without sufficient food.
They Travel Very Often
How much do you travel? Once a year? hummingbirds travel 2000 miles twice a year and they love migrating from one place to another. The fun fact here is they gain 20-40% of their weight before they travel so they could reach their destination.
They spend their winters in the central America or even Mexico and then again migrate in the U.S during late summers and early springs. They fly during the daylight so they could find some nectar on their way to their destination.
They Fly Like No One Else
They are the only bird that can fly backwards, upwards, downwards, and upside-down. They love flying while showing their different kinds of moves and there is no doubt that they are one of the unique birds of all time.
Mother Hummingbirds are Builders
The male hummingbird is not involved in any of the activities with the mother hummingbird, as she builds the nest, hatches the eggs, and feeds food to the baby hummingbirds. The father leaves the nest as soon as the eggs are hatched.
Female hummingbirds are the one that comes forward to feed the babies and takes care of them until they are fully prepared to live their life alone.
They Have Got Speed
Apart from being the smallest bird, hummingbirds have a lot of speed and stamina because of which they migrate and travel around the cities. Not just their wings but also their body part moves faster.
The heartbeat of hummingbirds beats 225 times a minute when they are resting and during their flying hours their heartbeat runs 1,200 times a minute.
They Sleep Deep
When your body parts are moving so much all day, they would need some rest by the end of the day. So, the hummingbirds take very deep naps where their metabolic functions slow down to the minimum level and a decent body temperature is maintained.
There are very few birds in the world that go into torpor. Torpor is a state in which few birds get into a deep sleep slowing down their metabolism.
The baby hummingbirds would only require care until they are 20-25 days old and have gained their flying skills from mother hummingbirds.
They are all set to start their own individual life like their mother once they have learned the required skills for flying and have gained knowledge to take care of themselves.
Taking care of baby hummingbirds may seem task to all the humans as their constant requirement for food may seem a task but the mother hummingbird does it all. She makes sure that their little ones get plenty of food to survive during their early stages.
Every mother in this world makes sure that their young one gets everything that they need until they are all by themselves.