When Do Hummingbirds Lay Eggs?

when do hummingbirds lay eggs

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Have you ever seen a hummingbird flitting around your backyard and wondered how they lay eggs? There’s so much to learn about these tiny birds and their eggs, from the number of eggs each can lay to where they build their nests. Keep reading to learn all about when hummingbirds lay eggs.

The Number Of Eggs Laid By Hummingbirds

when do hummingbirds lay eggs

Hummingbirds typically lay two eggs per clutch; however, there have been cases where hummingbird mothers have laid three or even four eggs per clutch. The size of the egg is also quite remarkable—it measures just one centimeter long and is about the size of a jellybean! In comparison, robin eggs are around twice as large as hummingbird eggs.

Read more: When Should The Hummingbird Feeder Be Put Out?

Incubation Period

Hummingbird mothers take on the responsibility of sitting on their eggs for 14 to 16 days until they hatch. During this time, they keep their eggs warm by fluffing out their feathers so that their body heat can reach the egg. Once hatched, both parents take turns feeding and caring for the nestlings until they’re ready to leave the nest after 18–24 days.

Migration Patterns

Unlike other species, only female hummingbirds migrate during winter months in search of food sources that can sustain them year-round. Female hummers will fly north for mating season and then fly south for winter when food supplies become scarce.

Male hummers, on the other hand, will stay within 100 miles from where they were born during mating season and will spend winter within 500 miles from where they were born instead of migrating south with female hummers. This helps males conserve energy while still being able to find food sources throughout winter months without having to travel too far away from home.

Hummingbird species that are found in the United States include Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Black-chinned Hummingbirds, and Anna’s Hummingbirds. These species can be found in various regions of the United States during different times of the year.

When Do Hummingbirds Lay Eggs?

when do hummingbirds lay eggs

Hummingbird breeding season typically takes place during the summer months, with peak mating season being in March and July. During this time, female hummingbirds look for good nesting sites and then build their nests using twigs, grasses, feathers, and moss before laying eggs. Because these nests are usually so small (only about an inch wide!), it can take up to 4 days for the nest-making task. Once the nest is built and ready for her eggs, she will lay two eggs at a time over a period of 3–4 days.

After the eggs have hatched and been cared for by both parents, they will leave the nest after 18-24 days when they are ready to fly on their own.

Read more: How Can You Protect Hummingbird Feeders From Pests?

Where Does Hummingbird Nest Build?

Hummingbirds are very choosy when it comes to where they build hummingbird nests. They prefer areas that have some foliage for camouflage, but also need plenty of open space nearby so they can take off quickly if necessary. Trees, shrubs, and other plants in gardens or near open fields are usually the best options for hummingbird nesting sites.

Hummingbirds also like to build their nests low to the ground—usually no more than two feet off the ground—so they can easily access food sources, such as flowers and feeders.

These tiny birds are incredibly fascinating creatures and it’s amazing just how much they can accomplish in a short period of time! From building intricate nests to laying eggs and caring for their young, hummingbird mothers are truly amazing creatures.

How Long Is A Hummingbird’s Pregnancy Period?

Female hummingbirds gestate for three weeks before they lay their eggs one or two eggs per clutch. However, it can take up to two days for the eggs to be laid once they have been fertilized. The eggs are very small—about the size of jellybeans—and both parents take turns incubating them until they hatch. Incubation typically takes 16-18 days. During that time, the female will leave the nest every few hours to feed while the male stands guard.

Once they hatch, mother hummingbird feeds their hummingbird chicks with a diet of nectar and insects until they leave the nest at about three weeks of age. The chicks grow quickly; in just two weeks they will develop feathers and gain enough weight to fly from the nest. It’s amazing how much this little baby hummingbird can accomplish in such a short amount of time.

Read more: Are Hummingbirds Attracted To Red?

Why Are Hummingbirds So Special?

when do hummingbirds lay eggs

Hummingbirds are special for many reasons, but perhaps one of the most interesting facts about them is that they are some of nature’s best migration success stories. Each year thousands of hummingbirds migrate thousands of miles from Central America to North America and back again on an annual basis! This incredible feat requires incredible stamina and skill – not only do these tiny birds have to survive months without food or rest during their migration journey, but they also have to contend with predators and inclement weather along the way.

Learn more: Are Hummingbirds Endangered?

Caring Tips For Baby Hummingbirds

While it’s important to step in when a hummingbird is in distress, and many baby hummingbirds need human intervention to survive, it’s also important to understand that these tiny birds require very specific care. Let’s take a look at what kind of care baby hummingbirds need in order to thrive.

Feeding Baby Hummingbirds

Baby hummingbirds need to be fed every 20 minutes or so from sunrise until sunset for the first two weeks of life; after that, they only need to be fed every 45 minutes. To feed them, use a syringe or eye dropper and fill it with a nectar solution made of four parts water and one part sugar. It is important not to use honey or any other type of sweetener because these can cause digestive problems. The nectar should always be at room temperature—never warm or cold—and should only contain the ingredients listed above.

Cleaning The Nest

Hummingbird nests are delicate and will often break apart if touched by humans. To clean the nest without touching it yourself, you can use tweezers or a paintbrush (or even just your breath!) to gently remove any dirt, debris, bugs, etc. Be sure not to touch the babies as you do this; their feathers are incredibly delicate and may be damaged if handled improperly.

Handling Baby Hummingbirds

when do hummingbirds lay eggs

In general, it’s best not to handle baby hummingbirds unless absolutely necessary (such as if they have fallen out of their nest). If you do need to handle them, make sure your hands are clean and dry before picking them up; never wash your hands with soap before handling baby hummingbirds as this could strip away their natural oils which are essential for keeping their feathers healthy and waterproofed.

Also, make sure that your hands are warm (not hot) before picking them up; cold hands can shock tiny birds like hummingbirds! When handling baby birds always keep your movements slow and gentle; never shake them or move them too quickly as this could cause serious injury or death.

Learn more: 6 Best Hummingbird Feeders To Keep Bees Away


As you can see, there is so much more than meets the eye when it comes to understanding the life cycle of a hummingbird. From finding mates during the breeding season all the way through migration patterns in winter months—hummingbirds have an incredibly unique set of behaviors that make them such special creatures. Whether you’re an experienced bird watcher or just getting started with learning about our feathered friends—we hope this brief overview about when hummingbirds lay eggs has given you some insight!

Dawn Caffrey

Dawn Caffrey

Hummingbirds just make me happy - in fact, I read somewhere that they represent happiness in Native American totems.
Let me tell you what I found about feeders from treating the hummingbirds in my back yard.

About Me

Hummingbirds just make me happy – in fact, I read somewhere that they represent happiness in Native American totems.
Let me tell you what I found about feeders from treating the hummingbirds in my back yard.

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