do humming birds mate for life

Hummingbirds make small, exquisite nests, and lay tiny eggs! Like other birds, they also have to find mates and raise their babies.

How do hummingbirds find the right mate? Do they stay with that same mate for the rest of their life?

Learn More About Hummingbirds

do humming birds mate for life

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The Art of Courtship

Hummingbird males attract females in one of two ways. Yes, they sing like other birds do, even though it’s hard to imagine that most male hummingbirds, if not all of them, do so.

Many hummingbird songs are simple chip notes and insect-like noises. Some tropical species do, however, have loud, intricate songs that sometimes even mimic the calls of other bird species!

do humming birds mate for life

The Scaly-breasted Hummingbird of Central America sings like this. Interestingly, this species of hummingbird is also among the duller ones. Rather than using vivid colors to draw attention from women, it seems to sing a fancy song.

Speaking of vivid and lovely hues, most male hummingbirds entice females in the same way. Males of many species, such as the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, Costa’s Hummingbird, and others, have far more vivid colors than females.

In addition to drawing attention from females, their brilliant, iridescent colors highlight the male bird’s good health. The brighter the male’s plumage, the healthier he is.

What do hummingbird displays look like?

Hummingbird males must dance in order to find a mate, even though their beautiful song and colorful plumage may draw in females. Although hummingbirds’ tiny feet are unsuitable for shuffles or fast steps, their wings are incredibly powerful!

do humming birds mate for life

do humming birds mate for life

Some of the world’s most spectacular avian courtship displays are those of hummingbirds. In spring, if you observe male hummingbirds, you will most likely witness them in action. Most of the time, the male birds hover and dart in front of the females.

They take care to fly at a height and angle that highlights their glowing throats and body colors. Male hummingbirds may also extend and move their throat patch, or “gorget,” to better display it.

Small hummingbird species perform diving displays in North America and other countries, using their wings and tails to produce high-pitched buzzy or whiny noises. They have the ability to dive from 90 feet above to quickly surface close to the ground, usually next to the female.

Additionally, different species have different dive displays. For example, the Anna’s Hummingbird makes a “J”-shaped dive, while the Ruby-throated Hummingbird makes a “U”-shaped dive.

Male hummingbird displays in tropical areas can also feature long, flowing tails and other fancy plumage!


Do hummingbird families stay together?

No. They don’t even stay together to raise the babies. The female does ALL the nest building, incubating, and caring for the babies herself, and a male hummer will mate with any females that he can attract to his territory. These are NOT romantic birds.

What’s the life expectancy of a hummingbird?

The average life span of a hummingbird is 5 years, but they have been known to live for more than 10 years. Hummingbirds fly at an average of 25-30 miles per hour, and are able to dive up to 50 miles per hour. Some hummingbirds will travel over 2,000 miles twice a year during their migration.

Do hummingbirds recognize humans?

Studies have shown that hummingbirds can remember migration routes and every flower they’ve ever visited. They can also figure out how long to wait between visits so the flowers have time to generate more nectar. They can even recognize humans!

Do hummingbirds come back to the same place every year?

A: Most hummingbirds return each year to where they hatched, but not necessarily to the exact same yard–if they were a mile away, you’d never know it. Roughly 10-15% will be the same individuals every year.