Mama hummingbird feeding babies

15 Amazing Baby Hummingbird Facts and Pictures

Baby hummingbirds are beyond adorable! Learn what a baby hummingbird looks like, how long they stay in the nest and what they eat.

Courtesy Pete Ritz

Facts About Baby Hummingbirds

For many birders, hummingbirds returning to their backyards is one of the most exciting events of the year. It’s always a delight to see the tiny flying jewels zipping about from flowers to sugar water feeders. But seeing a baby hummingbird? Well, that’s even better. Here’s what you need to know about baby hummingbirds, including when you can expect to see them, how long they stay in the nest and what they eat. Plus, check out adorable pictures of baby hummingbirds.

Discover the heartwarming story that happened when a birder found a hummingbird nest.

Courtesy Rick Hess

What Time of Year Are Baby Hummingbirds Born?

This timing may depend on the hummingbird species present in an area, but in general, hummingbirds’ breeding season usually occurs in late spring. Chicks typically take four to five weeks to go from eggs to fully fledged, so they’d be leaving the nest in summertime. In most cases, baby hummingbirds are born in late spring or early summer. A hummingbird mom may start making a new nest for a second brood while still monitoring the first.

“I was fortunate to be able to photograph this female ruby-throated hummingbird (above) feeding her two babies at the nest in Newville, Pennsylvania,” Birds & Blooms reader Rick Hess says.

Will a hummingbird nest in a birdhouse? Here’s what you should know.

Courtesy Monica Slack

How Long Do Baby Hummingbirds Stay in the Nest?

From egg to fully fledged, about five weeks. The female hummingbird incubates her eggs for about two weeks before they hatch, and the chicks fledge around three weeks later (they start to test their wings 15 or so days after being born).

“This photo (above) was taken of two babies about two days before they decided to fly. I watched the nest from afar until they were bigger, as not to disturb their mother. I was hoping to catch them during their first flight, but didn’t have much luck. The smaller of the two returned to the nest for three days after its sibling departed,” Birds & Blooms reader Monica Slack says.

Don’t miss more super cute pictures of baby birds.

Courtesy Greg Griffin

How Many Babies Do Hummingbirds Have?

A typical hummingbird clutch consists of two eggs.

“Last spring, my wife and I were lucky enough to discover a hummingbird nest in one of our trees. We were weeding under the tree, and mama hummingbird kept buzzing around us. Then we saw why! We were fortunate to be able to watch the entire process – from seeing the two tiny eggs, watching them hatch and grow, and finally having an empty nest,” Birds & Blooms reader Greg Griffin says.

Do hummingbird sightings have special meaning? Plus, this is how much hummingbirds weigh.

Courtesy Linda Schoenherr

What does a Baby Hummingbird Look Like?

For most species, including ruby-throated hummingbirds, recently fledged or juvenile hummingbirds look extremely similar to females — so much so that it can be tough to tell them apart!

“This is a baby ruby-throated hummingbird (above),” says Linda Schoenherr. “My dog and I were in the front yard when she pointed it out to me. We have a lot of adult hummingbirds in our yard, but I never expected to be so close to a baby.”

Learn how to attract hummingbirds with 10 expert tips.

Courtesy Sally Harris

What Do Baby Hummingbirds Eat?

The mother feeds her nestlings a slurry of nectar that she regurgitates for them. Once they’re about 15 days old, she starts bringing the babies small insects. Learn more about female hummingbirds.

“It’s hard to imagine just how small a rufous hummingbird nest is until you see one for yourself!” says Sally Harris. “I took this photo in Sequim, Washington. Just 12 days later, the two babies took flight.”

COurtesy Anne Winder Steed

Baby Hummingbird Size

A hummingbird nest is about the size of a thimble, with the diameter of a quarter. It measures 2 inches across and 1 inch deep. Eggs are the size of jelly beans, so newly hatched baby hummingbirds are very small, scrawny and featherless at first. The nest, made with stretchy spiderwebs, expands to accommodate the babies as they grow.

“An Anna’s hummingbird built a nest in a tree in our front yard,” says Anne Winder-Steed. “In this image, the hatchling is no more than two days old. We rarely get to see these special birds up close like this.”

Courtesy Judy Evans

How Do Baby Hummingbirds Learn to Fly?

Baby hummingbirds start to grow feathers soon after hatching. Within about two weeks, they sit on the edge of the nest and begin stretching their wings. They make their first flights about three weeks after hatching.

“A friend and I were taking a short hike when we found this hummingbird nest with two babies. We weren’t there very long before the mama came to feed them. The nest was so small and they were not newborn, so they didn’t have much room. We were so thankful to see them.”

Where do hummingbirds sleep at night?

Courtesy Wm Erik Voss

How Do Hummingbirds Feed Their Babies?

A female hummingbird jabs her bill far down the throat of her nestlings to feed them. But don’t worry, she doesn’t poke or hurt her babies with that long bill. Since they can’t feed themselves right away after taking flight, the mother continues to feed her young for a week or two after they leave the nest.

“I photographed breakfast time for a fledgling Allen’s hummingbird in the horticulture department at Fullerton College,” says Wm Erik Voss.

Find out what foods, how often and how much hummingbirds eat.

Courtesy Stephanie Cullinan

Stages of a Baby Hummingbird’s Life

“This is the second year we put hummingbird feeders out and the first time we put out nesting material. This sweet lady grabbed some, and I watched her fly into our tree to a nest she had been working on. I’d never seen a hummingbird nest before, and this one was visible from several windows of our house. Every day I documented the progress: nest building, eggs, chicks, feeding, and fledging. This photo was taken when Mom came to feed the chicks shortly before the first one fledged!” says Stephanie Cullinan.

Psst—baby chickadees are SO small and cute.

Courtesy Elsie Jones

Cute Baby Hummingbird in Nest

“I used my Nikon D-90 to capture this cute baby hummingbird in my friend’s yard on Little John Lake in Allegan, Michigan,” says Elsie Jones.

Find out how long baby birds stay in the nest and more nest facts.

Courtesy Willie Powell

Baby Ruby Throated Hummingbirds

Willie Powell of Maceo, Kentucky, writes, “This nest was in a maple tree in my friend’s front yard. I felt so fortunate to see these baby ruby throated hummingbirds.

Are male hummingbirds territorial at feeders and flowers?

Courtesy Audrey Carroll

Little Hummingbird Chick

Audrey Carroll shared this photo of a hummingbird nest in her backyard in Kalispell, Montana. She says she loves watching hummingbirds drink from her feeder.

Learn about 9 different types of bird nests and how to spot them.

Courtesy Nancy Marshall

Busy Hummingbird Mom

“I captured this image of a female ruby-throated hummingbird feeding her hungry chicks in Chatham, Massachusetts,” says Nancy Marshall. Did you know that female hummingbirds are among the best bird mothers in the world!

Courtesy Alyssa Popp

Baby Hummingbirds Peeking Out

“I took this photo of a hummingbird nest with two babies on summer vacation in Highland, Michigan,” says Alyssa Popp.

Next, learn everything you need to know about baby mourning doves.

Originally Published: March 10, 2022

Emily Hannemann

Emily Hannemann is an associate digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in magazine writing from the University of Missouri - Columbia. When she’s not writing and editing, you’ll find her swimming, running, or hiking. She knows blue jays are controversial, but she loves them anyway.

The Gift of Caring for Baby Hummingbirds

One writer learns that this task is anything but a burden.  

By Sy Montgomery

March-April 2013


By Sy Montgomery

March-April 2013

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Anna's Hummingbird feeds chicks in nest (Calypte anna).  Irvine, California Photo: Photo by Hal Beral

When they were found, the infants were nearly dead. Hatching from eggs the size of Navy beans, they were bumblebee size, pink, naked, and blind. That’s when my friend Brenda Sherburn, who specializes in raising orphaned baby hummingbirds, received a call. I flew from New Hampshire to California to help.

Even for a mother hummingbird, raising nestlings is a daunting job. She leaves the nest up to 200 times a day to gather food. For a human, raising baby hummingbirds is a positively Herculean task—as I soon found out.

Every 20 minutes, from dawn to dark, the babies need food. That means catching hundreds of fruit flies a day, freezing them, crushing them with mortar and pestle, and mixing the mush with special nectar supplemented with vitamins, enzymes, and oils in precise combination. The mixture spoils easily. If it does, it can kill the baby birds.

In fact, it seems everything can kill them. In the wild, yellow jackets can sting them to death. Hawks, jays, roadrunners, opossums, even dragonflies eat them. They can die of cold. They can die of heat. They will certainly die if left alone. But an inept surrogate mother can kill them easily, too, as Brenda explained.

Carefully she showed me how to fill a syringe and thread a thin catheter down the babies’ throats. I was petrified. Nothing seems as delicate as a baby hummingbird: You can damage their feathers by touching them; their feet are thin as thread. I feared I would hurt their mouths. I feared they’d choke on their food. But even worse can happen, Brenda told me: “If you overfeed them,” she said, “they can actually pop.”

If you miss a feeding, they can starve. Brenda set a timer so there was no risk we’d forget. For weeks, inch-and-a-half-long baby birds ruled our days.

Brenda is a professional artist, but she couldn’t work on her sculptures or pastels. Nor could I write. In the 20-minute snippets between feedings, we could never fit in a workout at the gym or a long phone call to a friend. Before breakfast, one of us ground coffee beans, the other did fruit flies. We gulped lunch. We interrupted each dinner at least twice to feed the little birds.

“Everything stops for the hummingbirds,” Brenda told me. That’s why it’s so hard to find volunteers to care for them. Could I commit to such a schedule? I wondered.

The next morning, I watched one of the babies stretch a membranous wing to preen. Tissue paper is armor in comparison. And then, before my astonished eyes, the tiny creature stood up in its nest and whirred its wings with concentrated ferocity. How can this bird summon a resting heartbeat of 500 times a minute, revving to 1,500 times a minute when, one day, God willing, this gossamer being conquers the sky?

Then, I understood: Not only could I do this, but it was an honor I’d cherish.

When the Spanish first encountered hummingbirds (they live only in the New World) they called them Resurrection Birds—for surely something this shining and perfect died each night and was reborn the next morning.

This names the gift that working with these nestlings gave to me. They allowed me a hand in resurrection. If they lived, they would go on to even greater miracles. These nestlings proved to be Allen’s hummingbirds. The adult males of this tiny species perform a nuptial flight that, in terms of body lengths covered per second, bests the speed of the Space Shuttle as it screams toward earth through the atmosphere.   

But all birds, of course, are miracles, and humans have known this for millennia. We have looked to birds as oracles. Our hearts soar on their wings and their songs. Even the tiniest bird can teach us that life is larger than humankind alone.

So each time our timer buzzed, signaling another feeding, I came to understand that life wasn’t stopping for the hummingbirds; each feeding instead offered a chance to begin life anew. This is the lesson birds teach us. Every day, we can witness miracles. Each day, we can participate in resurrection, in mending the broken world.

From an empty branch to teenagers in 6 weeks. Chronicle of Calyptus Anna's Hummingbird Nest »

David Goliafsky says: “This timeline was filmed in a backyard in Cupertino, California. On Saturday, April 25, we noticed that the female hummingbird had started building a nest. On Saturday, June 6, the young chicks flew out of it for good.

Construction of the nest

The whole construction took 5 days, from 25 to 30 April.

Hummingbird builds a nest from fluff, cotton, feathers, soft parts of plants. It's all held together with a web. Outside, the nest is covered with pieces of bark and leaves for camouflage.

Beak, lower abdomen (tamping), paws and wings are used in construction. When the nest is built, the hummingbird lays eggs.


This is the least eventful part of the process.

The mother hummingbird sits on the eggs for a little over two weeks. In our case, it took her 16 days: April 30 - May 16.

During the day, from time to time, mother flies away to eat.

Feeding chicks, from newly hatched to fledgling

Chicks usually hatch both on the same day. I only found out today.

The mother regulates this process by starting full incubation only when she has laid both eggs. When the chicks appeared (May 16), I thought for several days that there was only one chick, because each time I could observe only one.

I think this is due to the fact that during this period the mother feeds them in turn, the second - when the first, having eaten for the previous feeding, sleeps off.

Small nanohummingbirds are born without feathers, with black skin, closed eyes and tiny yellow beaks. At first, in between feedings, the mother constantly sits on the nest, warming the babies.

After the eighth day, the chicks are already sufficiently overgrown with the first whitish feather-needles and have mastered thermoregulation, so the mother stops sitting on the nest even at night.

The eyes of the chicks open around the fifth day.

Mother hummingbird feeds her chicks mainly with small insects, later mixed with nectar. She does this by burping half-digested food deep into the chicks' throats.

Usually, after catching food, mother would fly in and sit on the same top branch of the tree and sit there for a while, digesting. Then she began to descend to the nest, making sharp creaking sounds. She sat on the edge of the nest and fed one or both chicks, often several times.

Normal plumage to departure from the nest

At about two weeks of age, the chicks are almost completely covered with normal feathers on top of the “white needles”.

They become more and more active, pushing, moving, trying to flap their wings.

Feeding is the same as before, only now the chicks look more and more like a slightly smaller copy of the mother, with slightly shorter beaks, slightly yellow inside.

And finally, when the time comes, the chicks leave the nest and fly away to a greater life.

Q: Is it true that looking at the chicks that have just begun to be covered with the first needle plumage, you are convinced that birds are descendants of dinosaurs?

O: True, pure truth!

Q: Is two chicks a common thing?

A: Yes, moreover, it is very rare to do otherwise. One egg almost never happens, more than two means that two females laid eggs in the nest.

Q: How are they, well, with the toilet?

A: The chicks move over the side of the nest. This is a very funny sight, the chick shudders for a long time, sticks out its butt and, finally, “shoots”.

Q: What will happen to the chicks after they leave? How will they live, what to eat, where to sleep?

A: The first few days the chicks hang out in the area around the nest and the mother continues to feed them. I managed to see one such feeding, but high in the branches of the nest tree, and at that moment I didn’t have a camera to shoot. Then they themselves begin to feed on nectar and insects. And sleep like adults - somewhere on the branches, falling into a stupor so that energy is almost not consumed. Somewhere until autumn, the chicks will hang out together, then they will scatter anywhere. They will become fully grown in a year.

Here are all the videos in order in a single entry. I don’t think that anyone will get to them, although in retrospect they are very interesting to look at, they give an idea of ​​\u200b\u200bthe changes.

See also: 30 nests in the strangest places

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Legends of hummingbirds / photo 2023

August 30, 2014


There are more than 300 species of hummingbirds in the world. And they are all very different and very beautiful. Rainbow feathered babies are amazing creatures. There are real legends about them.


Kaposti Kosta-riki

Humber of the neck

Hummingbirds for rituals in the Pueblo Indians tribe. Shamans use birds to "transmit gifts to the Great Mother who lives underground." Hummingbird feathers are worn to perform a ritual to summon rain.

Anna's Hummingbird

Fire Hummingbird

Hummingbirds flap their wings 52-70 times per second. The principle of wing movement is different from the usual wing movements of birds. The trajectory of the movement of the wings resembles a figure eight, a sign of infinity, hence there are many more guesses about the mystical influence of these birds on our world. Due to this property, birds can change their trajectory abruptly and fly up and down, back and forth, and change their trajectory instantly.

Fire Hummingbird

Violet Sabrewing Hummingbird

Firemouth Hummingbird

Hummingbirds can hardly walk and can hardly even stand: their legs are very weak. They live in South America, as well as where it is humid and there are many mountain plants.

Firemouth Hummingbird

Hummingbird must not be harmed. The souls of dead ancestors live in them. Legends of the Chayama people from Trinidad

Purple crown hummingbird

Hummingbird's large heart is three times the size of the stomach. It beats at a speed of 500 beats per minute, and in a state of flight - at a speed of 1200 beats per minute. They take out nectar from flowers with a long tongue, flying up to the calyx of the plant, and fluttering near it.

Firemouth Hummingbird

The big heart of a man who wanted to conquer the moon-woman turned into a beautiful bird. Legend of the Maya

Hummingbird Forest nymph in a purple crown

When a hummingbird flies, it is not visible, only a rainbow cloud is barely audible passing in front of the face with a slight buzz. With a sprout, these birds are no larger than a large bee.

Firemouth Hummingbird

A small bird flew from darkness to light and made its way through a narrow hole. She brought a beam of light in the key. This is how people came to know the world. Mojave Legend

Firemouth Hummingbird

Violet Crown Hummingbird

Hummingbirds have a maximum of two chicks.

Hummingbird Brilliant Green Crown

Marvelous Spatuletail Hummingbird

Firemouth Hummingbird

Hummingbird is a guy in love. And the red flower is his beloved. The families of the guy and the girl wanted to separate them, but they failed. And the young couple became a bird and a flower to love each other forever. Legend of the Jatiboniku people from Puerto Rico

Violet Crown Hummingbird

Bird weight - 2 grams, size - 2-3 cm, with a tail - 5.

Learn more