Video Diary: One Tiny Hummingbird Family

If you don’t already have an obsessive devotion for hummingbirds like I do, beware: this might change your mind. Hummingbirds are among the worlds smallest and fastest birds. Darting and diving through the sky at faster-than-the-eye speeds that can make even the most focused birders dizzy.

While sitting on my balcony one morning this January, I spotted an Anna’s hummingbird chirping away. Insta-thrill. There’s nothing quite like having a ‘resident’ hummer. It’s a very special kind of privilege. My hope in documenting this journey is to pass that joy along to you.

Alexis Coram
Photo of Anna’s hummingbird mother and two chicks by Alexis Coram.
Hummingbird chicks hatch from eggs the size of raisins. As altricial nestlings, they barely look like birds at all…but we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because even hummingbird chicks possess an endearing quality that can make any nature lover swoon.

3 & 4 Days Old

The two chicks hatched one day apart. At just 3 & 4 days old, they are still so tiny that the mother spends most of her day on the nest keeping them warm and protected. The rest of the time she’s searching for insects to feed them.

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Mama Needs to Eat, Too

Mama needs to eat too. Sugar water from home feeders or nectar from backyard gardens provide a quick boost of energy for busy hummingbirds. Here is the mother of the chicks coming for a quick drink. Listen to the sound of her wings as they beat faster than we can imagine.

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Visitors Beware

It’s not always flowers and sugar water in the life of a hummingbird! When other birds get too close to the nest, Mama needs to protect and serve. Watch what happens when another female Anna’s hummingbird stops by to check out the cute chicks (8 and 9 days old).

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Potty Trained

Did I mention that hummingbirds don’t need to be potty trained? It is quite astounding that this behavior of going to the toilet (over the side of the nest) is innate. You’ll see that behavior as well as some awkward cuteness in this multi-clip video of the chicks between days 1 and 10.

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Flapping Practice

As soon as the chicks started to develop their wings at around 10 days of age, they were eager to try them out. Watch their wings develop over the course of just 5 days!

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At 17/18 days old, the chicks are really starting to look like hummingbirds in this short “day in the life” video. A few more days now until they fledge and start their journey of independence. To see more videos of the chicks up to and after fledging, head over to Facebook and enjoy the adventure.

Click image to play the video.

Attract Hummingbirds to Your Yard

Anyone who has been blessed with a close encounter of the hummingbird kind will tell you how mesmerizing these tiny birds are. What’s even more amazing is that many people who have never seen one in the flesh feel the same way. That’s a lot of power for such a small creature.

Certify Your Wildlife GardenYou can welcome these tiny wonders to your garden with native plants or by making your own nectar. Attract these birds (and other wildlife) and submit your yard or garden to be recognized as a Certified Wildlife Habitat!


Alexis CoramAbout the Author: Alexis Coram is a photographer and filmmaker from England. Alexis is currently based in Silicon Valley, California where she focuses on nature and landscape still and motion photography. Connect with Alexis on Facebook or her website.

The Hummingbird Project is the story of Annabel the Anna’s Hummingbird and her two chicks. The project was created by photographer and filmmaker, Alexis Coram, with support by and Smugmug.