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Baby Hummingbirds’ Journey

We discovered the nest in April inside a trumpet vine in our back yard. The baby hummingbirds hatched on May 1st. It’s amazing how quickly they grew. They will be three weeks old tomorrow and they’ll fly away soon. I’ll probably cry and will miss them so much. I hope they stay in the yard and maybe I can recognize them again at the feeders.

Nest was discovered April 19th

Day One (May 1st – 3 hours old)

It wasn’t easy getting this photo. I needed a ladder, a flashlight and some hair clips.

Day Two

The inside of this nest measures only 1/2-inch!

Day Four

They’re resting today and getting bigger (& fuzzier).

Day Seven

It looks like they’ve practically doubled in size in three days.

Day Eight

Taking an afternoon nap, enjoying the California sunshine.

Day Nine

Day Ten

Day Eleven

Day Thirteen

Day Fourteen

Day Fifteen (May 15th)

Day Sixteen

Day Seventeen

Day Eighteen

Day Nineteen

Day Twenty (running out of room)

Day Twenty-One (3 weeks old today – May 21st)

Day Twenty-Two at 3:00

Twenty Minutes Later

Day Twenty-Three

Day Twenty-Four (looks like he’s ready to move out)

Day Twenty-Five (bye-bye, birdies) πŸ™

When baby hummingbirds hatch, they have no feathers and dark skin. Babies are hatched with their eyes closed and weigh about 0.62 grams (that’s 1/3 the weight of a dime). They are about one inch long with short, stubby, yellow beaks. The mother will drink nectarΒ and eat bugsΒ and then regurgitate them into the babies’ mouths, feeding them this mixture every 20 minutes. The babies will feel the wind from the wings of their mother and lift their little heads up and open their mouths. It will be about 3 weeks before they fly. Also, mother hummingbirds have no problem re-using another hummingbird’s nest. Sometimes the new mother will move in before the nestΒ has had a chance to cool off from the previous brood. The nests are tiny.

26 Responses

  1. Cynthia says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures.

  2. MaryHouck says:

    Hi Jenny. I just wanted to say a big thank You for this story! The pictures were incredible!! I appreciated seeing each and every one of them.
    Gratefully, MaryHouck

  3. Linda says:

    Beautiful! I currently have 8 days old hatchlings outside on my front porch…the nest is so small and I love them and the mommy, too! I take daily pics, as well. I know I will miss them when they leave. Such a miracle to witness…God is so goodβ™‘

  4. Rhonda says:

    Aw Jenny it makes me sad that you are sad πŸ™
    I’ve seen the show Bye Bye Birdie on TMC or AMC before and I love the movie, so I YouTubed and found this and I’m hoping it will cheer you up πŸ™‚
    Oh and I’m sure you will be looking for your babies out there in your yard and I’m hoping you can spot them hanging around πŸ˜€

    http://www.youtube.com/topic/QAMXsjzKQn4/hummingbird
    Hummingbird Channel-(you’ve got to check this out)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Odi4pNWaEU8
    2009 Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade – Bye Bye Birdie-(hope this one puts a smile on your face)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rS38PiZ2-RA
    “Lot of Livin'” dance scene from “Bye Bye Birdie”-(just because I love this clip)

  5. Rhonda says:

    Yeah Jenny I think he will be leaving soon too. He doesn’t look so lonely anymore πŸ™‚ He seems to be perching more than nesting. Days 22 and 23 he just looked lost after the other one flew away. Maybe he sees and or hears his sibling out there and that’s why he seems more alert in the nest…
    Great photo on day 24. I like’em all but day 24 is probably my favorite out of them all. I like the way he’s sitting inside your plant πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

  6. Rhonda says:

    Aw bye bye birdy and remember to stay close to home. One has already flew the nest and the one still there looks lonely. That makes me sad πŸ™
    I wish they both would’ve flew away the same day…

  7. Rhonda says:

    I knew your pictures would get better. The last couple of photos have great lighting and it seems maybe because you don’t have to get to close anymore to get a great photo πŸ˜‰ …I really hope once they fly the nest you will see them in your yard. You deserve to see them and enjoy them…
    Oh and last week I was sitting outside on the porch and a hummingbird came to the feeder and I think it’s so cool how they can stop in mid air. Kinda like a helicopter. They fly really fast so I’m glad you are good with your camera…
    I haven’t figured out how to control the ants yet at the feeder, so we still have clear water for them to drink. I’ve been researching and they give some ideas so I might try the lid one from a container. Heck I might just buy a new one and make sure it’s ant resistant with a mote. Very annoying insects…
    Take care and have a great week Jenny…

  8. sue says:

    I bet they will remember Jenny! Don’t cry, it’s just a part of nature. One day we will all be reunited in Heaven and I bet these beautiful hummingbirds will be welcoming you home!! ( when you are 110+ of course) !! Teka is going to be 12 on June 8th. I can only hope she will be with us another 12 years! We take them for 4 mile walks almost every weekend and she doesn’t stop!!! Kya is 6 and has lost her 8 lbs. πŸ™‚

    Love ya my sista!!!
    Sue

  9. Mohammad says:

    I love the idea how you covered the whole process, it is great, thank you!

  10. sue says:

    They look wonderful on day 20!!! πŸ™‚ Wow!! So beautiful!!

    Suzy

  11. Rhonda says:

    Omg Jenny that is a great picture on day18. I love it! Best picture and I can’t wait to see more. They are perfectly nested for a perfect picture. Awesome shot! πŸ˜€
    I too hope they stay close to home and in your beautiful yard so you can enjoy their beauty. You have watched over them and shared with us their development which we rarely see. I’m glad you got a chance to see such a wonderful thing first hand and thank you again for sharing their growth…

  12. sue says:

    wow!! I’m loving day 18. Those two little munchkins are beautiful! Look at their innocence. I hope they live wonderful healthy happy lives and when they fly away, I hope they return to your property where they were born. I hope somehow in their hearts they will return to you or stay around!! I really love this JJ being such an animal advocate.

    Sue

  13. Rhonda says:

    Wow Jenny, I knew your photos would get better as they grew. They are 100% feathered now. That is so cool 😎
    You can tell they are starting to out grow the nest. It’s fuzzy around one side and I just hope it don’t fall apart…

  14. Rhonda says:

    Aw, you got a nice photo of one of them awake and wow, in just 2 days they have maturing feathers now. You can see the growth every 2 days πŸ™‚
    Cool and best picture on day 13 😎

  15. Rhonda says:

    Aw Jenny, your pictures are getting better and better and it’s because the baby birds are getting so big. You can actually see them. It seems they sleep a lot and I hope you can catch them awake soon. I want to see them with their eyes open. Don’t be surprised if you see them with one leg hanging out of the nest, because next week there may not be any more room. They are really jammed in that nest but I’m sure they like it that way. Great pictures as always πŸ˜‰
    Take care Jenny and have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  16. Rhonda says:

    Jenny, the nest looks like the size of a cotton ball. How did you spot something so small and know what it was? I would’ve thought it was nothing but a ball of cotton on a branch made from maybe a spider, bee or something smaller. I guess being as good as you are with your camera you have a good idea for things πŸ˜‰
    They are getting bigger day by day. It’s shows in your photos. Thank you for letting us see them grow. Most birds make their nest high up so we can’t see them. I bet you are amazed to see them first hand as we are to see the progress in your photos and Jenny, day 7 shows how fast they have grown and it’ seems to be a little crowded. No room for Momma bird πŸ™
    I wonder if she still lays on top of them at night…humm!

  17. Sue says:

    Awww! It’s nice to be able to see them better. They look adorable! πŸ™‚ This is very interesting following their birth and growth. I have to say this is a first for me.

    Thanks for sharing this with all of us.

    Sue

  18. Tiffie says:

    How cute! Well, they’re not cute as in “cuddly cute”, but cute nonetheless πŸ™‚

    “The mother will drink nectar and eat bugs and then regurgitate them into the babies’ mouths, feeding them this mixture every 20 minutes.” I wonder if this is where Alicia Silverstone got it?….. I think you just found Mama Bird’s new name…..:-D

    ~Tiffie

  19. Rhonda says:

    Great picture of day 4, Jenny πŸ˜€
    You are right on top of it and really really close. They seem to be growing really fast. I can tell the difference day by day. I’m excited and I can’t wait to see them this time next week. Keep monitoring them and keep us posted as they grow…
    Oh and by the way Jenny since seeing your photos and knowing what I know about hummingbirds, I will be filling my hummingbird feeder up with nectar soon. Just got to figure out what to do about the ants it attracts. Ants are very annoying but these birds need the nectar to feed their babies…
    Take care Jenny and have a great weekend πŸ™‚

  20. Rhonda says:

    Aw those are so tiny and I see you have researched on this happening right before your eyes. It’s interesting that other hummingbirds will use the same nest and how they feed their young. I hope you are thinking of leaving the nest there for more use. We have to help nature at times because things go extinct…
    Becky, I was thinking the same thing when I saw Jenny’s post. I thought, “Congratulations young Grandma” and Jenny it’s funny. You are the youngest granny I’ve ever seen…lol πŸ˜†
    Oh and Jenny the pictures are fine. Awesome as always. I’m sure you will get better ones when they get older. They are just so tiny right now. 3 hours tiny that is πŸ™‚

  21. Becky says:

    Awwww….congratulations, “Babcia!!!” πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰

    Awesome pictures, too!!!!!!! Incredible how small!!!

    Becky

    • Jenny says:

      If I recall, “babcia” is grandmother in Polish and I guess I am. I look out for the mom and her babies! It’s just awesome to have this little nest right outside our door. More like a privilege.

      • Becky says:

        That’s right, Jenny!!! I thought you’d like that πŸ™‚ You’ve taken such good care of them that I couldn’t resist giving you that name!
        Wow, what a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime thing you’ve gotten to witness!
        I’m in awe! Thanks SO much for sharing it with all of us!

        Hugs,
        Becky xox

  22. Heather says:

    Are you sure you don’t live on a nature preserve? You have a lot of critters there.

  23. MrsNews says:

    Cool beans!! Great shots

    K

  24. Sue says:

    The mother will drink nectar and eat bugs and then regurgitate them into the babies’ mouths, feeding them this mixture every 20 minutes. hmmmm πŸ˜‰

    But seriously, I find it amazing that something that tiny can live! They weigh less than a dime. Wow. Great photos! and congratulations momma bird!!

    Sue

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