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Saturday, July 6, 2013

Why Hummingbirds can use spider webs in nests, without getting stuck.



Hummingbirds quite often use strands from spider webs to build nests. The strands can be very sticky, however, to help the spider catch bugs. The Hummingbirds keep from getting the webs stuck all over themselves and their nestlings by selecting only certain strands. True – much of a web is sticky. But certain structural strands are non-sticky. Hummingbirds know which is which.  Hummers do use the sticky strands for the outside of the tiny nest, so they can affix flakes of lichen or bark as camouflage.

 

Birds’ beaks adapt to their food source   A bird that eats insects, and one that eats seeds have evolved with very different beaks. The type of beaks they’ve developed will help them locate, grab and swallow the specific food that their digestive system can handle and that's around them.  In north Texas you can see this most clearly in the large, cone-shaped beak of the seed-eating cardinals versus the narrow, pointed beak of the insect-eating wrens. And beaks that are massive and powerful like Grosbeaks, or Hummingbirds' long, narrow beaks for getting deep into flowers, where the nectar is.

 

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