SPATULETAIL HUMMINGBIRD

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Nesting habits of the Spatuletail Hummingbird

Peak breeding season for the Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird runs from December to February. However, courting flights have been observed starting in late October and running through early May.

Mating Rituals

One of the most interesting things about Marvelous Spatuletails is their courtship displays. These displays are performed at leks, which are gatherings where males put on a competitive display in front of the females. During this aerial display, the male dances across a twig at very high speeds. He bounces back and forth across the twig in mid-air. Then, he hovers in front of the female, quickly waving his spatules about, while making snapping and chittering noises.

Nest Building

After mating, the female Spatuletail is responsible for building a nest and raising her young. The nest of the Marvelous Spatuletail is small and cup-shaped, made from woven plant fibers and camouflaged with green moss. Nests are usually lined with soft plant fibers, animal hair, and feathers. Spider webs and other sticky materials help to hold the nest together, while also giving it enough elasticity so it can expand as the chicks grow. Nests are typically built on low, horizontal branches of protected locations like a shrub or tree.

Brood

The female incubates the eggs alone, while the male continues to defend his territory. On average, a clutch contains two small, white eggs about the size of a jellybean. The chicks are born blind and featherless, but they grow very quickly. During the brooding period, the female protects the chicks and feeds them regurgitated food. The food consists mainly of partially digested insects, since they require a lot of protein for growth. The chicks leave the nest after only 7-10 days.

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