Nesting Habits of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird is a solitary bird who generally comes into contact for the purpose of mating. The male Ruby-Throated hummingbird arrives before the female Ruby-Throated hummingbird in the spring.
A male Ruby-Throated hummingbird courts a female Ruby-Throated hummingbird who has entered his territory by performing courtship diving displays, rising 8-10 feet above the female and moving 5-6 feet to each side.
If the female Ruby-Throated hummingbird perches, the male Ruby-Throated hummingbird flies in a rapid horizontal arc very close to her, with wings flapping up to 200 times per second. If the female Ruby-Throated hummingbird is receptive, she may give a call. The male and female Ruby-Throated hummingbird face each other, ascend 10 feet, then descend and drop to the ground for mating.
The nest of the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird usually can be found in a very well-protected tree or shrub on a downward-sloping tree limb generally about 10-20 feet above the ground. The Ruby-Throated hummingbird female uses lichen, spider silk and plant down to give the nest flexibility.
The Ruby-Throated hummingbird often uses the same nest from year to year, making home improvements as necessary. Nest construction and repair, as well as incubation of eggs, is performed solely by the female Ruby-Throated hummingbird.
The female Ruby-Throated hummingbird lays two eggs, producing up to three broods in a given year. At 22-25 days old, the Ruby-Throated hummingbird young leave the nest and bravely venture into the world!
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