Hummingbirds are some of the smallest birds in the world – and as you might expect, their eggs are pretty small too! But just how small are hummingbird eggs?
Get to know more of the details as you continue reading this post.
Why Are They Called Hummingbirds
With their wings beating up to an astonishing eighty times per second, these remarkable birds were aptly named “hummingbirds” for the humming sound they produce in flight. What’s more incredible is that, due to this feathered force and their uniquely-shaped wings, hummingbirds are able to soar through amazing aerobatics like hovering, flying both forward and backward as well as upside down! It truly amazes us all just what feats such a small bird can accomplish.
Facts About The Eggs Of A Hummingbird
Hummingbirds typically lay two eggs per nest, each measuring a mere 9-10 mm in length and weighing approximately 0.25-0.9 grams – drastically smaller than the average chicken egg, which is 50 mm long and weighs 55 g!
Touted for their resilience, these small eggs have thick shells that prevent them from being broken or cracked due to minor falls or predation. Furthermore, the pointed end of the egg works as a shock absorber if it is dropped onto hard ground, helping female hummingbirds easily nest the fertilized eggs into tight crevices and providing extra protection against predators.
The hues of these small eggs are determined by the type, but they mostly flaunt creamy whites with specks that drift from tan to onyx. These spots cover approximately one-third of their shells, providing a special kind of defense against hungry predators.
Amazingly, even though the eggs of hummingbirds are of minute size, they need a sizeable amount of energy to form since each egg constitutes 20% of the parent’s body mass. Therefore, due to this huge demand for effort and strength from hummingbirds during reproduction, the average number of eggs laid by them per season is fewer than four.
The entire incubation period can last from 15 to 18 days, fluctuating with the temperature, humidity, and assumptions of captivity. Post-hatching behavior will require an additional 18-27 days of nesting before fledglings become aerially adept enough to explore their new habitat.
Astonishingly, the eggs of hummingbirds have a notable rate of survival when cared for properly. Backed by parental attention, the small eggs can hatch and produce strong chicks! Incubating these precious eggs is quite manageable; all that’s needed is to occasionally monitor them and maintain an even temperature so they stay safe until it’s time for hatching. Furthermore, it is essential to provide your children with a secure and clean environment, as well as the right nourishment for healthy development.
Although they are diminutive in size, the eggs of these tiny birds possess outstanding strength and determination. With the correct nurturing, they will hatch into fragile yet resilient chicks who can fly independently within a few short weeks. Thus, these tiny eggs should never be underestimated – their potential for growth is incredible.
Natural Predators That Can Be A Threat On The Eggs Of Hummingbirds
Predators, such as snakes, lizards, cats, rats, and other small rodents, are naturally drawn to the vibrant colors and tiny size of the eggs of hummingbirds. This presents a clear danger not only for their direct threat on the eggs but also for disrupting the nesting procedure. Once a predator has identified the hummingbirds’ nest, it may disturb them while they are struggling to nurture their young.
Snakes are one of the few predators that can squeeze themselves into a hummingbird’s tiny nest and devour their eggs, posing an intimidating threat to these delicate creatures. With nests so compact, it is remarkably effortless for snakes to access their contents and consume what lies within.
Moreover, certain large species of snakes have even been known to prey on adult hummingbirds. Snakes often blend in with the leaves or tree branches near the nest of a hummingbird, waiting for an unsuspecting parent or egg nearby before pouncing.
In contrast, lizards are a menace to the eggs of hummingbirds, as they typically feast on tiny insects, frogs, and other small creatures—including the eggs of hummingbirds. Certain types of lizards mainly hunt for food at night, while others will scavenge during daylight hours when these birds might have their nests exposed. That is why it is so important to be mindful of our reptilian neighbors.
Lizards are known to feast upon hummingbird nestlings, but they can potentially endanger the entire brood. Therefore, parents must remain ever vigilant in protecting their nests from these unwelcome predators.
Not only are cats naturally inclined to hunt and feast on small birds, but they can also prove dangerous for hummingbirds due to the vibrant colors of their nests. Moreover, cats’ jaws have no problem crushing tiny eggs that resemble jelly beans in size. Thus, it is important to keep your feline friend away from any nesting areas near you.
While some cats have been taught not to hunt birds, stray house cats still pose a major threat to hummingbird populations. Consequently, it is essential that owners monitor their outdoor feline friends closely to ensure the safety of nearby avian species.
Hummingbirds face a plethora of threats, one of which is small rodents, such as rats, that are able to access their nests due to their sharp teeth and claws. These creatures can easily puncture eggshells, leading them to consume the contents or even disrupt the nest entirely. Therefore, these little birds must be given adequate protection from predators if they are to continue thriving in our environment.
To protect vulnerable species such as hummingbirds, people living near wooded areas or nature conservancies must take steps to prevent rodent infestations from taking root. This is especially important due to the prevalence of rat populations in urban and residential areas with easy access to food sources.
In sum, while hummingbird eggs may appear delicate and small in size, their incredible traits like resilience make them well-adapted for surviving the perils of nature. These little gems have won our hearts with their captivating beauty – may we strive for a brighter future where they can flourish on Earth without worry or fear.