What Does the Hummingbird Use to Build its Nest and How Big Are Hummingbird Nests?

Hummingbirds use spiderwebs and dandelion down to build their nests.

hummingbird nest

As fast and small as the hummingbirds are, you’d think they’d be hard for scientists to keep track of, but we actually know quite a bit about them.

A nesting hummingbird attaches dandelion thistles to the top of a tree branch under overhanging leaves, using fine pieces of spiderweb and sometimes pine tar as an adhesive and stamping it down with its tiny feet.

After the base is done, the hummingbird starts building the sides using soft down from plants.

To weave these materials together, the bird takes spider silk in its beak and literally sews in and out, as we do with thread and cloth.

Afterward, she decorates the outside of the nest with lichen for softness and camouflage.

The tiny hummingbird’s nest measures between one and a half and two inches in diameter and one and a half inches in height; its walls are usually less than half an inch thick.

Give a Little Thistle.

Pieces of hay and grass seem too big for a tiny hummingbird. What do they use to build their nests?

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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