Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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This video was sent to me by a friend who works at National Geographic (and later, by an aviculturist whom I know) and it seems appropriate for today, considering that winter has closed her icy hand around us all. This video is a small glimpse into the lives of two hummingbird chicks, from when they are mere eggs until the moment when they fledge. I am amazed to see how deeply the mother puts her long beak into the chicks’ mouths when feeding them — it seems almost as though she might pierce the bottom of their crops! The music is “Inspiration” by George Winston from his Spring album [3:35]


  1. #1 Mark P
    January 29, 2008


  2. #2 Mus
    January 29, 2008

    Wow, how I wish I could see that myself.

    Are they ruby throated hummers? If so, I didn’t know the male also fed the babies!

  3. #3 travelgirl
    January 29, 2008

    that was truly wonderful…

    i wondered the same thing about the beak / chick’s crop, too, and wondered also about the size of the nest after 25 days – one would think it was Way Too Small for the two of them, plus mom (for continued incubation / warmth)…

  4. #4 lectric lady
    January 29, 2008

    Notice the difference in the beak length from day 30 to day 36.

  5. #5 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2008

    #4: Isn’t that cool? That’s typical of birds with long or otherwise modified beaks: they typically don’t hatch out that way. Almost a metamorphosis. Bit of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny?

  6. #6 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2008

    #2: It’s San Diego, so I’d guess Anna’s.

  7. #7 CanadianChick
    February 2, 2008

    I’d say Anna’s too – and that was SO beautiful. I had no idea that they grew so quickly!

  8. #8 trog69
    February 2, 2008

    How fortunate for us! Incredible growth rate, and the beak growth was indeed fascinating!

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