Like honeybees and bumblebees, hummingbirds are an integral part of the pollination process. They’re also the tiniest birds in the world, with many species weighing in at less than a penny.
Hummingbirds are native to the Americas, and can be found in Alaska, Chile, and everywhere in between. The Anna’s Hummingbird is a medium-sized (think of a ping bong ball) hummingbird. Their habitat spans Southern California and Northern Mexico, and males can be identified by their emerald colored feathers and ruby-tinged throats. The females have similar, but more subdued, coloring. They were named after Princess Anna de Belle Masséna, who is best (only) remembered for being pretty and having a hummingbird named after her.
Watch these Anna’s Hummingbirds transform from eggs to baby hummingbirds to full-fledged adults. It all takes less than a month.
Hummingbird nests are so tiny and expertly camouflaged that humans often mistake them for a knot on a tree limb. Source: The Huffington Post
A female hummingbird uses soft material like moss, lichen, cotton fluffs, bits of willows, soft plant pieces, dryer lint, and leaf hairs to build her nest. She will use spider webs to glue it all together. Source: Gary Yost Photography
A mother hummingbird needs to keep her nest at the perfect temperature. If it gets hotter than 96 degrees Fahrenheit, the eggs will be too hot to hatch. Source: Gary Yost Photography
Mom feeds her hatchlings by inserting her beak all the way down into her baby's mouth and regurgitating a mixture of nectar and insects. Source: Gary Yost Photography
After nine days the babies have enough feathers to regulate their own body temperature. Source: Gary Yost Photography
The baby hummingbirds start stretching their wings by gripping the floor of the nest with their feet and flapping. Source: Gary Yost Photography
By week three the baby hummingbirds are almost ready to strike out on their own. Source: Gary Yost Photography
The baby hummingbirds have left the nest. Mom will help them out for the next few days by showing them good spots to find flowers and insects, but after that they're on their own. Source: Gary Yost Photography