Baby Hummingbirds: Everything You Need to Know

Resting baby hummingbirds

Imagine a tiny creature, no larger than a thumbnail, nestled in a meticulously crafted nest hidden among leaves and branches. This is where the miracle of life begins for baby hummingbirds. 

From the moment they hatch from their minuscule eggs to their eventual journey into the sky, these precious beings captivate our hearts and spark our curiosity. 

In this article, we will explore these baby hummingbirds, delving into their appearance, behavior, and development, shedding light on the extraordinary characteristics that make them unique. 

What Does a Baby Hummingbird Look Like?

Baby hummingbirds in their nest

Baby hummingbirds begin their lives as tiny, naked beings, resembling fragile creatures that require utmost care and protection. 

Their bodies are covered in a thin layer of soft fuzz, which develops shortly after hatching. This initial fuzz provides warmth and safety as they grow and develop.

As the days pass, their bodies undergo remarkable transformations. Feathers gradually emerge, replacing the initial downy fuzz. 

The vibrant colors that define adult hummingbirds begin to appear, although they may initially manifest as muted shades. 

With each passing week, the baby hummingbird’s plumage becomes more vibrant and defined, showcasing the breathtaking hues that these birds are known for.

The feathers, often resembling delicate and iridescent scales, contribute to their aerodynamic abilities and aid in their flight. The beak of a baby hummingbird is relatively short compared to that of an adult. 

As they mature, their beak elongates, allowing them to reach into flowers and extract nectar with precision. This adaptation ensures they access the vital sustenance needed to fuel their growth and energetic lifestyle.

Overall, baby hummingbirds embody a delicate grace and innocent charm. Their diminutive size and fascinating features make them a true marvel of nature. 

Baby Hummingbird Pictures and Videos

To truly grasp and appreciate baby hummingbirds, it is vital to witness their journey firsthand. 

Through pictures and videos, we can capture the precious moments of their growth, their interactions with their parents, and their gradual development into agile flyers. 

Here’s a heartwarming video showing a mother hummingbird feeding its chicks by regurgitating nectar and insects into their open beaks:

Amazing! Hummingbird Feeding Babies CLOSE UP VIDEO

The pictures below illustrate the remarkable transformation of a baby hummingbird’s feathers from soft fuzz to vibrant plumage:

Hummingbird fledglings in their nest

The photos below show the gradual emergence of colors and patterns that will define the hummingbird’s adult appearance:

Hummingbird with vibrant feathers

Next, experience a truly awe-inspiring moment as a baby hummingbird unfurls its wings, poised for its inaugural flight:

Baby hummingbirds poised for their inaugural flight

To cap off this section on hummingbird pictures and videos, watch this informative video about a hummingbird rescue:

Hummingbird Babies Rescued by Rehabber

What Is a Baby Hummingbird Called?

A baby hummingbird is commonly referred to as a chick or nestling. The term “chick” emphasizes their vulnerable stage, as they depend entirely on their parents for warmth, protection, and nourishment. 

On the other hand, the term “nestling” highlights their occupancy within meticulously built nests that function as their temporary residences.

What Is a Group of Baby Hummingbirds Called?

Newborn hummingbirds in their nest

A group of baby hummingbirds is commonly referred to as a brood or clutch when they are still in the nest. 

The term “brood” highlights the close association of the siblings within the nest, emphasizing their shared upbringing and the nurturing care provided by their parents. 

It signifies the bond formed among the young hummingbirds as they navigate their early stages of life together.

How Many Babies Do Hummingbirds Have?

In most hummingbird species, a female will lay a clutch of one to three eggs. The exact number can depend on factors such as the availability of food, the health and condition of the parents, and the habitat conditions. 

Some species may have larger clutches, while others may have smaller ones.

How Big Is a Baby Hummingbird?

Tiny baby hummingbird

When they hatch, baby hummingbirds are incredibly tiny, often less than an inch in length. Additionally, their size can depend on the species, but on average, they are around 2 to 2.5 inches long when full-grown.

Their bodies are slender and streamlined, designed for agile flight and maneuverability. These delicate creatures are a testament to the wonders of nature as they swiftly progress from little hatchlings to fully-fledged birds. 

How Much Do Baby Hummingbirds Weigh?

On average, a baby hummingbird’s weight can range from approximately 0.6 to 1.8 grams during its early days. 

This weight may seem almost insignificant compared to other bird species, but it is perfectly suited to their unique lifestyle and flight style.

What Do Baby Hummingbirds Eat?

Baby hummingbird being fed

Baby hummingbirds primarily rely on regurgitated food provided by their mother. Parent birds collect nectar from flowers and consume small insects, which they then process and regurgitate to feed their young. 

This regurgitated mixture contains a combination of essential carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vital nutrients necessary for the chicks’ growth.

As the baby hummingbirds continue to grow, their nutritional needs evolve. Their diet expands to include a greater proportion of insects.

A colleague of mine who specializes in the diet of birds has mentioned that insects are an important source of essential amino acids and other nutrients for muscle and tissue development.

Hence, this type of diet is effective in providing additional protein for the developing bodies of baby hummingbirds.

In addition to nectar and insects, some species of baby hummingbirds may also consume tree sap. Tree sap offers a concentrated energy source, mainly in the form of sugars, which helps fuel their high metabolic rates.

How Do Hummingbirds Feed Their Babies?

To provide their young with the necessary nutrients, adult hummingbirds regurgitate a mixture of nectar and insects that they have collected and partially digested. 

They lap up the sweet liquid using specialized tongues, extending and retracting rapidly, enabling them to extract nectar with incredible efficiency.

Moreover, the mother carefully inserts its beak into the open mouths of the chicks, delivering tiny droplets of the regurgitated food. 

Then, the chicks instinctively position their beaks to receive the nourishment, eagerly accepting each small bite. 

When Is Mating Season for Hummingbirds?

Two hummingbirds circling each other during mating

Hummingbirds’ mating seasons generally occur during the summer and spring months, characterized by favorable weather conditions and abundant food resources. 

It is worth noting that the specific timing of these mating seasons can vary based on factors such as the species of hummingbird, the latitude and altitude of their habitat, and local climate patterns.

What Month Do Baby Hummingbirds Hatch?

The hatching time for baby hummingbirds also depends on the species and region. In North America, most hummingbird species begin nesting between April and July. 

However, there are variations, and some species may start nesting earlier or later in the year.

Can Baby Hummingbirds Fly?

Baby hummingbirds trying to fly

Baby hummingbirds can fly. However, they cannot fly immediately after hatching. They spend their early days in the nest, growing rapidly and developing their flight muscles.

When Can Baby Hummingbirds Fly?

Usually, baby hummingbirds begin to fly approximately three to four weeks after hatching. This is an exciting phase known as the fledgling stage.

During the fledgling stage, baby hummingbirds practice flapping their wings, building their flight muscles, and developing the coordination required for sustained flight. 

Initially, their flights may be short and somewhat unsteady as they are still honing their flying skills and building the necessary strength and coordination.

As the days pass, the fledgling hummingbirds become more proficient in their flight abilities. They gain confidence and gradually explore wider areas, expanding their range from the nest. 

Their flights became more prolonged and more controlled, allowing them to access food sources independently and establish their territories.

When Do Baby Hummingbirds Leave Their Nests?

Baby hummingbirds preparing to leave their nest

On average, baby hummingbirds begin to fledge or leave the nest approximately 18 to 30 days after hatching. However, this timeline can vary, with some species taking longer to fledge compared to others. 

Once the baby hummingbirds are fully confident in their flying abilities, they leap into the safety of the nest. This initial flight can be an exhilarating and sometimes challenging experience for them. 

They may make short flights, hopping from branch to branch, as they familiarize themselves with their new environment and hone their flying skills.

How Long Do Baby Hummingbirds Stay With Their Mother?

After leaving the nest at three to four weeks old, baby hummingbirds continue to stay with their mother for guidance and protection for another seven days. 

They accompany their mother on foraging trips and learn essential survival skills. As baby hummingbirds venture out on their own, they continue to explore and adapt to the world around them. 

Their incredible independence and self-sufficiency at such a young age highlight their remarkable abilities and the unique nature of these captivating birds.

How Long Does It Take for a Baby Hummingbird to Reach Maturity?

Matured hummingbird perched on a branch

Generally, baby hummingbirds should be around one year old for them to attain full physical and reproductive maturity, enabling them to embark on their own mating journeys.

How Many Baby Hummingbirds Survive to Adulthood?

Being one of the smallest bird species, survival rates for baby hummingbirds can vary due to a range of factors such as predation, food availability, and environmental conditions.

It is believed that roughly 45% of baby hummingbirds reach adulthood and live a lifespan of 3 to 5 years.

What to Do If You Find a Baby Hummingbird?

Baby hummingbird on a palm

When you come across a baby hummingbird, it is important to assess the situation carefully. Take note of the bird’s appearance and behavior, observing from a distance if it is not in immediate danger or distress. 

Remember that the presence of an adult hummingbird nearby may indicate that the parents are monitoring and caring for their young.

If you determine that the baby hummingbird requires help, it is recommended to contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who specializes in birds. 

These professionals have the knowledge and resources to provide appropriate care and rehabilitation. They can offer guidance and instructions based on the bird’s condition and behavior.

While waiting for professional assistance, you can create a temporary habitat for the baby hummingbird. Use a small container lined with a soft, clean cloth or tissue paper to keep the bird warm. 

Place the container in a quiet area away from pets and children, providing a safe and calm environment. 

Additionally, you must not attempt to feed the baby hummingbird unless specifically advised to do so by a wildlife professional. 

Now, we invite you to share your own experiences and observations of baby hummingbirds in the comments section below! You may also ask any questions you may have about these small, amazing baby birds.

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