Monday, July 16, 2012

Hummingbird Update!

 Remember these tiny little Calliope's hummingbird hatchlings? 

Thursday July 12th, 2012
Today the first hatched chick is twelve days old, and the second chick is eleven days old. The chicks are much larger, and definitely fill up the whole nest. Their feathers are short, even in length and distribution. The feathers are dark brown with white tips. Their orange beaks have elongated but are not as long as a mature hummingbird's. They were nestled in the nest facing the same direction, and breathing very fast but probably normal for a hummingbird.

Sunday July 15th, 2012
Today the chicks are fifteen and fourteen days old. The weather is dynamic today, with some thunder, wind, and sun. Amazingly, the big leaf maple branch that is carrying the hummingbird nest is very reliable, the chicks do not seemed phased. The chicks eyes were open for the first time in my observations which was awesome to see, they are looking around and blinking a lot, also drifting in and out of sleep. Their beaks have definitely developed into longer (approx. 1.5 cm), thinner, and stronger beaks. The beak coloring is now red/orange at the base with yellow edges; the tip is black.

As far as feather coloring and texture goes, the chicks have short, white, feathers on their chins and also slightly above the beak. From the top of their head and covering their back the feathers are a mixture of some solid white feathers and some brown feathers with reddish tips. These feathers are short and smooth and even in length. They are less evenly distributed than the previous observation. They also still have light brown downy feathers that stick up along their backs. These chicks should fledge in about five days!

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