The ruby-throated hummingbird is one of nature’s most skilled fliers. This tiny creature is one of the only birds able to fly backwards. Alongside their acrobatic prowess, they have a talent for architecture. They construct tiny delicate nests to rear their young and stay hidden from predators.
How this small bird builds its tiny nest:
Finding materials: This hummingbird’s nest starts off very much like any other nest. The female will hunt around the area looking for branches and twigs that she can use to weave together to create the basic shape and structure. To this she will add any odd bits of fluff or feathers that she can find in order to pad out the nest.
Taking shape: As the female carefully constructs her nest on her chosen branch, she sits in what will become the middle of the nest, placing the materials around her body as she wriggles from side to side. This movement is what forms the rounded cup-like shape, providing the space in which she will eventually lay her eggs.
Binding together: It is the final stage that makes this birds nest so special. Their nests are only around five centimetres (two inches) in diameter, so to ensure the nest stays sturdy in strong winds, the female gathers together spider webs to glue the nest together. To keep it hidden from predators, she weaves moss and lichens around it.