Ruby-throated hummingbirds were named for the look of the male birds’ necks, which are spangled with shiny red feathers. When I see a male ruby-throated hummingbird in good light, I think his throat looks just like Dorothy’s ruby slippers in The Wizard of Oz.
I have seen quite a few ruby-throated hummingbirds over the years, but do you know what I have never seen? I have never seen a ruby-throated hummingbird’s nest. And I have searched hard for one!
Hummingbird nests are made using spider webs. A female hummingbird builds with fibrous plant matter and then glues it all together with sticky spider silk. Isn’t that so clever?
The nests these three-inch-long birds build are teeny-tiny and therefore hard to find. It would be easy to overlook a hummingbird nest, thinking it was nothing but an inconsequential bump on a tree branch. To make things even more challenging, the nests are inhabited when trees are covered in leaves, so the little nests are most-likely hidden behind a curtain of greenery.
I will, however, not be daunted! I plan to continue my search for a ruby-throated hummingbird’s nest this year. Wish me luck, okay? I will need it!
In the meantime, I plan to re-watch this delightful two-minute video from the folks at PBS Nature, which shows a female hummingbird building a nest. If you have the time, you should definitely check it out!