[Tweeters]: Hummingbirds feeding odd things to nestlings

Kevin Mack kevin_mack at comcast.net
Tue May 7 21:13:53 PDT 2013

Hi Tweets,

I spent the last few weeks observing a mother Anna¹s Hummingbird as she
incubated her eggs and raised her young. On at least three occasions, I saw
the mother pick bits of plant down off of the nest and feed it to her
babies. I am aware that many species of birds ingest indigestible bits to
aid with the digestive process (e.g. Pigeons eating small bits of gravel or
grebes ingesting feathers), but until now I had never heard of or witnessed
this behavior in hummingbirds. Has anyone else seen this or seen any
references to it in the literature?

If you would like to see photos of the behavior you can find them in the
most recent PAWS Campus Update here:

Happy Birding!

Kevin Mack
Seattle, WA

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