A Costa’s hummingbird chick, hatched in August at Franklin Park Zoo, is trying out its wings in preparation of taking flight soon. Its feathers are still coming in. The small bird can be seen inside Butterfly Landing where it lives with its mother Bluebell and two other Costa’s hummingbirds. It is rare for these birds to breed in captivity.
Costa’s hummingbirds are the second smallest North American hummingbird with an average length of 2.8 inches to 3.5 inches, from bill to tail. These birds are predominantly found in the western United States and Mexico.
Hummingbirds are solitary and there is no pair bond. The female is responsible for building the open cup-shape nest, measuring 1.5 inches in diameter and 1 to 1.25 inches high. She constructs the nest out of plant fibers (leaves and flowers) as well as feathers and moss. The nest is lined with plant fibers, animal hair and feathers and is strengthened with spider webs and other sticky material. This gives it an elastic quality allowing it to expand as the chicks grow.